This 30-minute strength workout will reverse the damage of sitting down

This half-hour no-kit workout will help you strengthen your core and back muscles

Strength workout to improve back pain
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If the pandemic means you've been spending a lot more time at home, whether you've been working from home instead of an office or you've been sitting at home mulling over cancelled plans, you're likely to be spending more time sitting down than you would normally do. 

This can be extremely harmful for your back: spending lots of time on chairs without good lumbar support, hunched over your laptop, is not a good recipe for muscle and bone health. 

One study, published by Copenhagen researchers, found a "significant positive association between total sitting time (per hour) and high lower back pain intensity". The longer you sit for, the more pronounced the correlation. To relieve the pain, you need one of the best office chair entries (and perhaps one of our best posture correctors).

Fortunately, we can help. Expert PT Anna Cousins recently took over our Instagram account to walk us through a dynamic 30-minute routine designed to strengthen our back and core muscles, protecting them from the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle. Check out the full workout below:

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Why is back strength so important?

If you're getting too much back pain from spending time slumped on the sofa, or hunched over your keyboard, this strength exercise routine is just what the personal trainer ordered. 

A study published in the Journal of Exercise Rehabilitation examined the effect of strength training and walking exercises on the back, and found they were beneficial in improving lumbar function, helping you stand up straight, twist and walk. The exercises also reduced instances of back pain.

With yoga-inspired moves like the walking plank, Cousins' workout doesn't just improve your back, but also tightens your core. The lower back and core muscles form the "trunk" of your body, two muscle groups moving in tandem to help support almost every kind of total-body movement you can do. 

From lifting yourself out of a chair to boxers twisting and turning their torsos in the ring, this routine is applicable for every fitness level.