Back bulge plagues plenty of women, but targeting key muscles will strengthen and tone your back — while making your posture prettier. Time to put your back into it and get moving with these three exercises.
Dropping to your belly to move through some simple Supermans will tone up and strengthen your lower back:
- Lie face down with arms and legs extended. Keep your neck in a neutral position.
- Keeping your arms and legs straight (but not locked) and torso stationary, simultaneously lift your arms and legs up toward the ceiling to form an elongated "U" shape with your body — back arches and arms and legs several inches off the floor. Squeeze your glutes too.
- Hold for two to five seconds and lower back down to complete one.
- Do three sets of 12.
- Stretch your back with a Child's Pose after each set.
Standing Reverse Fly With Exercise Band
Having good posture can make you look 10 lbs. thinner! Try out this standing reverse fly to improve your posture while working your upper back muscles, plus the back of your shoulders:
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, keeping a slight bend in the knees. With straight arms, hold the exercise band in front of you with your hands slightly lower than your shoulders. Keep your elbows slightly soft to avoid hyperextending the joint.
- On an exhale, pull abs to spine to stabilize your torso as you open your arms out to the sides, focusing on the shoulder blades sliding together. Inhale as you slowly return your arms back to starting position.
- It's easy to arch your spine and push your ribcage forward when opening your arms, so really focus on the abs keeping the spine stable. Do imagine yourself growing taller as you open your arms to reinforce good posture.
- Do three sets of 12 to 15 reps.
Upper Back Lifts
Target the key muscles in your back, and continue to improve your posture with these upper back lifts performed on the stability ball:
- Lay your belly on the ball, spread your legs wide, and plant your toes on the floor.
- Bend your elbows and gently touch your fingertips to the back of your head. Keep your arms strong and resist the urge to rest your hands on your head.
- Take a breath in and, as you exhale, raise your upper torso as much as you can, so your chest comes off the ball. Inhale to slowly lower your torso back to the starting position. Keeping your movements slow allows you to work your abs.
- This counts as one rep. Complete three sets of 12 to 15 reps.