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Fitness tips: three back-strengthening Pilates moves


The glute bridge
Lie on your back with your feet on the floor, hip distance apart. Using your bum, raise your hips off the floor. From there, roll the spine back down on to the mat, working on the lower back to isolate and strengthen your glutes and hamstrings. This is good for your core and helps lengthen the lower-back muscles. Beginners should do three sets of 12 repetitions.

The plank
Lie flat on your front, elbows down. Go up on your tiptoes so only your toes and forearms touch the floor. The main muscle in use is your core; but by squeezing your bum, the glutes are also activated. Hold that plank position and aim for 30 seconds at a time. To make it easier, go on your knees, not tiptoes.

Back extension
This strengthens your lower back. Lie on your front, hands down beside you, and raise up through the chest: with your neck slightly long and chin tucked inward, squeeze the shoulder blades together. Then slowly lower yourself back down.

Chris Richardson is co-founder of

As told to Hanako Lowry

Source: TheGuardian