To increase mobility and strength of the lumbar spine and hips. Also by exerting a compressive force at the back of the discs you may encourage any posterior protruding disc to move more anteriorly.
Lie face down on a flat surface with legs straight. If possible keep the top of your feet flat against the floor. Place the palms of both hands flat on the ground just in front of each shoulder with elbows tucked against the torso. A flat pillow may be placed under your chest.
Slowly and in a controlled manner push the torso upwards using both hands until both elbows are straightened. If you have poor flexibility or over a certain age push only high enough to keep elbows and forearms on the floor. At end of range hold the position for 20 seconds whilst breathing slowly and deeply. Return to starting position, relax and repeat
If you have a neck problem do not extend your neck. If you actively engage your back muscles when pushing up then you are also strengthening your spinal muscles.
Do not perform this exercise without advice from your osteopath.