A strong and toned back isn’t just a must-have accessory when you’re rocking a backless dress—it can be one of your body’s most valuable assets.
Your back is involved in everything you do, from running to lugging groceries to picking up your baby, so strengthening it is crucial to improving fitness and preventing injury.
It’s also the key to better posture, which gives you a confident look no matter what you’re wearing or what you’re doing. What’s more, working the muscles from your shoulders to hips can help ease (or stave off) back pain – A study found that adults with chronic backaches felt significantly less pain after a 16-week strength-training program.
The following workout targets your entire upper and lower back, core, hips, and glutes. Do it two or three times a week, on non-consecutive days (three sets of each exercise, working up to 12 reps per set) to improve your posture, prevent aches and pains, and achieve a strong, defined rear view. Get Going. Good Luck.
Find a pull-up bar and assume an overhand shoulder width grip. Bracing through your core, lift yourself up until your chin is over the bar, trying to get as high as possible. Cue yourself to pull your chest to the bar to ensure full height. Descend all the way to full extension as this will engage more of the shoulder stabilizers and muscle mass of the back – this will help in maintaining health in the shoulder girdle.
Note: Do not swing your body up to the bar. It will change the movement pattern and should functionally be considered a different exercise. While useful in other contexts – swing and momentum are inappropriate here.
2. Dumbbell Pushup Row
Grab a pair of weights and get in push-up plank position with your hands grasping the handles of the weights. Lower your body to the floor, pause, then push yourself back up. Once you’re back in the starting plank position, pull the weight in your right hand upward, bending at the elbow. Try to graze your right side when you “row” the dumbbell up, keeping your elbow straight. Pause, then lower the dumbbell back down, and repeat the same movement with your left arm. That’s one repetition. Repeat as many times as possible for 60 seconds.
Start by lying face down and extending your arms out in front of you. Press your shoulder blades together and lift your arms, chest, and legs off the floor. Hold position for 60 seconds, keeping your head up and your arms extended out in front of you.
4. Reverse Fly
Bend your knees and waist again, then spread those wings, extending your arms and squeezing your shoulder blades together. This move is great for your posture as well as your arms, so always make sure your back stays straight.
5. Basic Forearm Plank
Lie face down on floor resting on your forearms. Push off the floor, raising up onto toes and resting on the elbows. Keep your back flat, contracting your abdominal muscles while you hold your body in a straight line from head to toe. Don’t let your butt sag or stick up in the air. Hold in this position for 60 seconds.
6. Single Leg Deadlift
Stand on your right leg with your back straight, chest up and hand against your sides. Place your left foot back so you are balancing on the ball of your foot. Slightly bend your right leg, lifting your left leg straight and your right arm reaching to the ground. Hold, return to the starting position and repeat.
Lie on your stomach with the legs and arms extended. Engage your abdominals so you feel your transverse abdominis contract. Lift your arms and legs off the floor and keep your nose in a hover above the mat. Flutter your arms and legs, moving from the hips and shoulders (not the knees and elbows). Like your swimming. Move in opposite arm/leg pattern. Breath in a pattern as such: inhale-2-3-4, exhale-2-3-4.