A strong, toned back does more than allow you to look your best in that sexy backless dress. It’s also the way to perfect posture.
Good posture, coming from a strong back, prevents back pain—a problem that affects more than 80 percent of Americans at some point in their lives. These 9 exercises target your entire back and your core to help build a posterior that turns heads.
1. Stiff-Legged Deadlift
Stiff-Legged Deadlift strengthen the muscles that surround your spine.
- Start off standing up straight with your feet shoulder width apart and your arms at your sides with a dumbbell in each hand.
- While keeping your knees still, slowly lower your upper body and the dumbbells towards the floor over your feet.
- Keep moving your body forward until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings then hold for a count.
- Return back to the starting position by extending through your hips until you are at the start.
2. Single-Legged Deadlifts
Reps: 15 per leg
- Stand on one leg with hands by your side and your non-supporting leg out behind you.
- Keep your back straight, shoulders back and core engaged and lean forward from the hips (not the waist) towards the floor until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings.
- Return to the start position and repeat.
3. Dumbbell Bent Over Row
Dumbbell Bent Over Row are an excellent exercise that not only work your back but also your core.
Reps: 15 per arm
- Bend at the hips and lower your torso until it’s nearly parallel to the floor.
- Instead of rowing both dumbbells up at once, lift them one at a time, in an alternating fashion.
4. Pilates Boxing
- Stand with your feet hip-distance apart. Bend your elbows back, keeping your upper arms even with your back, and bring the weights to your upper waist.
- Then bend your knees to come into a half-squat while creasing at your hips so your spine is almost parallel to the floor. Your pelvis, spine, and head should form one long line.
- As you exhale, simultaneously extend your right arm straight out in front of you and the left arm straight behind you. Rotate both wrists so your front palm is down and your back palm is up.
- With control, return to the starting position and repeat on the other side, this completes one rep.
5. Dumbbell Bent Over Reverse Fly
Dumbbell Bent Over Reverse Fly works the muscles in your middle and upper back.
Note: you may need a lighter weight for this move.
- Start off standing up straight with your feet shoulder width apart and holding a dumbbell in each hand at your side.
- Bend down so that your body is parallel with the floor and bring the weights in front of you to about knee level.
- Slowly extend your arms up and out so that the weights are at level with your head and squeeze your shoulders.
- Hold for a count then return back to the starting position.
6. Bird Dog
- Start with on your hands under your shoulders and knees under your hips, while keeping your head, neck, and back straight.
- Raise your right arm and reach it forward until it’s in line with your torso.
- As you bring your arm forward, kick your left leg backwards until it’s straight and in line with your torso, hold for 1 second.
- Slowly bring your arm and leg back to the ground and repeat with the opposite arm and leg.
The Superman is a great core exercise.
- Start by lying on your stomach with face down.
- Raise your shoulders and hold yourself up with your arms extended in front of you.
- Hold for 30 seconds, then return to starting position.
- Start by lying on your stomach with your hands behind your back.
- Then raise your chest and feet off the ground. Hold for 5 seconds.
Check how to stop back pain with these 9 daily habits.
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