An inability to coordinate pelvic and spinal stabilisation by engaging the lower abdominal muscles correctly is a common cause of lower back pain. Here’s a lower ab exercise to help create pelvic and spinal stabilisation with leg movement, specifically flexion of the hip.

  • Put one hand’s fingertips under your lower back, directly beneath your belly button.

  • Inhale and then draw your belly button in toward your spine and tilt your pelvis to put pressure onto your hand. Don’t lift the tailbone – you just want to exert enough pressure on your fingertips so that you can’t pull your hand out from under your lower back.

  • Then, maintaining the pressure on the fingertips and exhaling, raise one foot off the ground until your thigh is perpendicular to the floor. As the temptation to allow the spine to lift off the fingertips increases, tilt the pelvis further to ensure the hand is still pinned to the floor by the lower back.

  • Place the foot back on the ground and perform the same movement with the other leg.

  • Alternate legs, performing 12-20 repetitions.

  • When it becomes easier to perform this exercise, straighten the lifting leg for an increased challenge.
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