Category: Back Exercises

Entegra Health | Remedial Massage Melbourne

Abdominal Strength (Plank Exercise)

plank exercise

Did you know that a strong core can reduce stress on the joints and assist you to achieve better posture? Strengthening the core is important to effectively stabilise, balance, and provide the body with the necessary support for most every day activities. 

Core strength is also the basis for all co-ordinated and powerful, active movements. 

What Are the Symptoms of Weak Abdominal Muscles?

plank exerciseSigns of weak core muscles include lower back tension due to compensation, pain in the lower back, and/or reduced range of motion in side-side, or reaching actions. If left unchecked, this may progress to acute lumbar tension and/or pain including difficulty with daily tasks such as standing from a sitting position, and/or getting dressed.

Strengthening | Plank Exercise

Strengthening the abdominal muscles is highly important for stabilisation of the hips, lower back and overall posture. A plank is an excellent example of an exercise which effectively strengthens your full body, while targeting core muscles. An additional benefit of increased abdominal support, is increased lower back support and reduced pain.   

Plank Instructions

  1. Find an area where you can extend your whole body length. Using an exercise mat will all also provide enough padding for you to be comfortable on the floor.
  2. Begin on all fours, face down with your forearms and toes on the floor. Your elbows are directly under your shoulders and your forearms are facing forward. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
  3. Engage your abdominal muscles, drawing your navel toward your spine. Keep your torso straight and engaged, and your body in a straight line (a neutral spine) from ears to toes without sagging or bending. 
  4. Ensure your shoulders are down, not creeping up toward your ears. Your heels should be over the balls of your feet.
  5. Hold this position for 10 – 30 seconds. Release to floor.
  6. Over time work up to 30, 45, or 60 seconds, for a maximum of two minutes.

Note: If pain is experienced during these exercises, stop immediately and seek medical advice. 


For further information regarding Remedial Massage, or treatment options, please contact us via email. Access to free online resources including stretch and exercise video resources can also be found on our website.

Entegra Health
Remedial Massage Melbourne

Seated Row Exercise

seated row

At Entegra Health Parkville, a common Remedial Massage complaint regarding the upper thoracic/back area, involves the Rhomboid muscles. The Rhomboids are located deep to the Upper Trapezius muscles and attached to the scapula (shoulder blades).

What Tension Related Problems Can Occur Here? | Seated Row

seated rowTension commonly associated with the Rhomboid muscles is often attributed to poor posture concerns, and upper back pain and discomfort. Common postural concerns include rounded shoulders, contributing to a forward neck (poking forward) position.

Strengthening for Stabilisation | Seated Row

Strengthening of the Rhomboid muscles assists in the prevention of fatigue and over-stretching of the upper thoracic area, reducing pain and discomfort whilst supporting stabilization of the scapula and overall posture. Examples of Rhomboid strengthening exercises include use of a rowing machine, resistance bands/cables, therabands and/or hand held weights for the upper back and shoulder blade muscles.

Seated Resistance Band Rower Instructions

  1. Sit on the floor with your knees slightly bent and grasp the cable attachment handles, or ends of the theraband. Make sure the other end is securely attached to a strong anchor point such as a couch leg; permanent beam or pole.
  1. Position yourself with knees slightly bent, so that you have to reach to grab the handle with outstretched arms, without curling the lower back over.
  1. Target the middle to upper back by keeping your back straight and squeezing your shoulder blades together first as you row, chest out.
  1. Pull the handle back toward the lower abdomen while trying not to use the momentum of the row too much, by moving the torso backward with the arms.
  1. Return the handle forward under tension to full stretch, remembering to keep the back straight, and abdominal muscles engaged, although flexed at the hips.
  1. Repeat the exercise for the desired number of repetitions, aiming for one set of 10 initially, working up to three sets of 10 with increased strength and ability.

If you find the exercise is too easy, you may need to increase the resistance loading by moving further away from the cable/theraband attachment point. If you experience pain or discomfort at any point, it is best to stop and rest to prevent potential injury.


For further information regarding Remedial Massage or other treatment options, please contact us via email. Access to free online resources including stretch and strength exercise video resources can also be found on our website.

Entegra Health
Seated Row
Massage Melbourne