Summer is all about showing skin, but if strapless dresses and tank tops don't enthuse you, here are three ways to stand taller and tone back and shoulder muscles to look your best in any outfit. Incorporate these moves into your daily routine to see results before you know it.
Lying Overhead Reach
- Lie on your stomach with your toes touching your mat and heels facing the ceiling. Lift your chest up as high as possible, using your lower back muscles to lift.
- Place your arms straight at your side with your palms facing down. In one fluid motion, move your arms from your side to over your head, extended straight with hands touching in front of your head. Make sure you keep your chest and head up while your arms reach overhead.
- Return hands back to starting position to complete one rep. Do 15-20 reps.
- See how to do the lying overhead reach here.
Work your posterior muscles, like your hamstrings, butt, and upper back, to stand tall and look toned. You'll need a set of dumbbells to do this move.
- Start by grabbing a set of five- to eight-pound dumbbells and standing with your feet hip-width apart, holding the dumbbells by your side. Lift one leg back and tip your torso forward so you are balancing on the opposite leg.
- Once your body is parallel to the floor, your arms should be straight, facing the floor. Move your arms in a rowing motion by bending your elbows and pulling them back, pushing your shoulder blades together.
- Complete the row by extending your arms back down to the floor. Come back to standing position.
- Do two to three sets of 10 on each leg.
The act of moving up and down in this plank variation will help sculpt your arms and shoulders.
- Come into a plank position with your arms and legs straight; hands should be underneath your shoulders and your feet hips-width distance apart. Engage your core and keep your back neutral — keep your navel drawn in so you don't create a curve in your lower back.
- Keeping your torso parallel to the floor, lower your right forearm to the mat and then the left, coming into elbow plank (resting on your forearms). Then step your right hand back onto the mat, and then the left, pushing yourself back up to plank position. Try to avoid swaying the torso from side to side.
- Repeat for a total of 10 reps, and then reverse the direction for another 10 reps. See the up-down plank in action in our video.