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Five-Minute Back Workout

Posture Perfect: 5-Minute Back Workout

Have five minutes to spare? Take your posture from poor to perfect with this quick back workout. Combining a variety of exercises from yoga to weights, this sequence will not only improve your posture, but it will help your runs, too. Beginners, try doing each exercise for 30 seconds and, when needed, rest in a 30-second Child's Pose. For an advanced version, complete each exercise for a minute, finishing with a long stretch.

Number One: Superman Lifts

  • Lie on your belly, engage your abs, and extend your arms straight out in front of you.
  • Lift your legs, arms, and chest off the floor. Hold for a count of 10 and then slowly release your body back to the floor.
  • Perform as many reps as you can in one minute.

Make this move more challenging by holding a stability ball between your legs.

Number Two: Warrior 3

  • Stand with your feet together. Inhale as you extend your arms out wide in a T position or straight overhead for a more advanced variation.
  • Exhale as you bend forward at your hips, lifting your right leg straight behind you coming into Warrior 3. Draw your navel toward your spine and hold for five breaths. Then come to stand, lower your right leg, and repeat with the left leg lifted for another five breaths.
  • Continue this movement for one minute

Keep reading to see the rest of the workout.
Number Three: Pilates Mat Swimming

  • Begin on your stomach with your arms extended in front of you.
  • Keeping your neck neutral and in line with your spine, lift your feet, arms, and chest from the floor.
  • Begin to "swim" by lifting your opposite arm and leg a little higher, then alternate sides, making a fluttering motion.
  • Continue this movement for one minute.

Number Four: Bent Row

  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand and stand with your feet hips-width distance apart. Keep a slight bend in your knees. Fold your torso forward so your back is almost parallel with the floor and your arms are extended out, in-line with your shoulders. Draw your abs in to protect your lower back.
  • As you exhale, bring your elbows toward your shoulders and close to your side. To get the upper back working, think of sliding your shoulder blades together. As you inhale, slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position. This counts as one rep.
  • With control, perform as many reps as you can in one minute.

Number Five: Marching Bridge

  • Lie on your back with your arms at your sides. Press your heels into the ball side of the BOSU and lift your pelvis up until your knees, pelvis, and shoulders form a straight line.
  • Hold your bridge while you lift your right knee toward your chest, until your hip is at a 90-degree angle. Return the heel to the ball and lift the left knee. Do not let your pelvis sag or your back overarch while lifting and lowering your knees. This completes one rep.
  • Perform as many reps as you can in one minute.

This move can also be done without the BOSU.

Source: Megan Wolfe Photography at J+K Fitness Studio and Jenny Sugar

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