Do try this at home: Abdominal curls

Stomach for action: banish beer belly and pizza podginess with this exercise, but remember not to bash your head on the way down.
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Why do it?

To strengthen and tone the trunk area.


Lie flat on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Stabilise your lower back by tightening the pelvic floor, and then use your abdominal muscles to curl up at the waist and lift the shoulders from the floor. Keep your head in line with your body at all times – if you find this difficult, try to imagine you have got an orange wedged between your chin and your chest. Your pelvis and legs should not move while you lift the shoulders. Pause briefly at the top of the movement and then lower slowly, without ever letting your head drop back to the floor.


A strong abdominal area is crucial for all activities and particularly important for protecting the lower back.