Sure, abs workouts may be top of your toning to-do list. But when it comes to building a strong core, you don’t want to forget about your back (which is part of your core, FYI). If it’s not as strong as your stomach, it could mess with your alignment by making you lean forward instead of staying upright and cause muscle imbalances, which overtime can lead to injuries.

Since a major reason for sculpting your core (other than visible muscle definition in your midsection, obvs) is to be able to stand taller and properly transfer weight between your upper and lower body, a key to strength training, it’s important to work both sides of your torso.

Back exercises improve posture, strengthen underactive muscles, and even boost your performance in big lifting moves (think: deadlifts and squats). Plus a strong back can help you conquer your daily life so much better: It directly helps with walking, running, and picking up and carrying groceries. A strong overall core also reduces, eliminates, and even prevents lower back pain. What’s more, you don’t need intense equipment or a gym to build your back—all you need is your own bodyweight. Ready to give your back some much-deserved attention? Try my favourite, effective bodyweight back exercises.

Time: 20 minutes

Equipment: None

Good for: Back

Instructions: To create a full bodyweight back workout, choose 5 to 6 moves below. Complete four sets of 12 to 15 reps of each move, rest for a minute, then continue to the next move.

Reverse Snow Angel

How to: Start lying face-down on floor with legs extended straight, forehead resting on a folded mat or towel, and arms by sides lifted in line with hips, palms down. Keeping arms straight and palms facing the floor, bring arms out to the side in a wide arc and overhead, bringing biceps by ears. Reverse the movement to return to start. That’s one rep. Complete four sets of 12 to 15 reps, rest for a minute, then continue to your next move.

READ MORE: The Seated Overhead Press Will Give You Some Crazy Upper Body Strength

Prone Pull

How to: Start lying face-down on floor with legs extended straight, forehead resting on a folded mat or towel, and arms bent with palms flat on floor close to ribs and elbows pointed toward ceiling. Lift palms off the floor, squeezing shoulder blades together, then extend arms straight overhead until biceps are by ears. Bend arms to bring palms back in line with chest. That’s one rep. Complete four sets of 12 to 15 reps, rest for a minute, then continue to your next move.

Spinal Articulation

How to: Start on all fours with shoulders above wrists and knees under hips, toes tucked, gaze at mat just in front of fingers. Slowly arch back and lower belly toward floor while lifting gaze to look straight ahead. Then, in order, point toes to place tops of feet flat on mat, tuck pelvis under, draw navel toward spine, round upper back toward ceiling, and curl chin toward chest. Reverse movement to return to start. That’s one rep. Complete four sets of 12 to 15 reps, rest for a minute, then continue to your next move.

Bird Dog

How to: Start on all fours with shoulders over wrists and knees under hips. Engage abs by drawing navel toward spine, then lift left arm forward and right leg back until they are parallel to the floor. Squeeze right glute, then return to start. Repeat on the other side. That’s one rep. Complete four sets of 12 to 15 reps, rest for a minute, then continue to your next move.

Plank Row

How to: Start in a high plank position with feet wider than shoulders. Keep shoulders and hips level while lifting right hand off floor, bending arm and pulling elbow up until wrist reaches ribs. Pause at the top, then return to start and repeat on opposite side. That’s one rep. Complete four sets of 12 to 15 reps, rest for a minute, then continue to your next move.

Pushup Plus

How to: Start lying on stomach, with legs straight, toes tucked, arms bent, elbows pointed toward ceiling, and palms close to body in line with ribs. Engage abs, then exhale and push the floor away until arms are straight. Next, continue to push palms into the floor, spread shoulder blades wide and lift upper back toward ceiling. Reverse movement to return to start. That’s one rep. Complete four sets of 12 to 15 reps, rest for a minute, then continue to your next move.

Extension Plank

How to: Start in a high plank with shoulders over wrists. Keeping palms planted and arms straight, step feet back as far as you can maintain control and level hips, aiming to bring shoulders behind hands and lower body toward floor. Reverse the movement to return to start. That’s one rep. Complete four sets of 12 to 15 reps, rest for a minute, then continue to your next move.

Crab Walk

How to: Sit on ground at the back of mat with legs bent, feet flexed, and palms flat on floor just behind hips, fingers pointed toward butt. Lift hips one inch off the floor. This is the start position. Step right foot and left hand forward, then left foot and right hand. Continue until heels reach the front of the mat, then reverse the process to return to start. That’s one rep. Complete four sets of 12 to 15 reps, rest for a minute, then continue to your next move.

Seated Reverse Fly

How to: Start seated on a chair with legs bent, feet flat, arms straight and extended down toward floor, elbows by thighs, and torso tilted forward at 45-degree angle. Without moving anything else, lift arms out to sides and up toward ceiling until they come behind body. Pause at the top, then return to start. That’s one rep. Complete four sets of 12 to 15 reps, rest for a minute, then continue to your next move.

READ MORE: This Full-Body Dumbbell Workout Will Make You Feel The Burn In Just 15 Minutes

Good Morning

How to: Start standing with feet under hips and arms bent, fingertips resting behind head, elbows wide. Without changing shape of upper body, hinge at hips and lower torso toward floor until chest is parallel to mat. Then push through feet, squeeze glutes, and reverse the movement to return to start. That’s one rep. Complete four sets of 12 to 15 reps, rest for a minute, then continue to your next move.

Staggered Twisting Deadlift

How to: Stand with feet under hips and arms bent, fingertips resting behind head, elbows wide. Without changing shape of upper body, step left foot back until toes come in line with right heel, keep left heel high, and hinge at hips to lower torso toward floor until chest is parallel to mat. This is the start positon. Stand with left toes in line with right heel, left heel lifted, and fingertips resting behind head. Keeping elbows wide and most weight on right foot, quickly stand, twisting torso to the right, keeping hips facing forward, and squeezing glutes. Return to start. That’s one rep. Complete four sets of 12 to 15 reps per side, rest for a minute, then continue to your next move

Seratus Punch

How to: Start standing with feet under hips, arms extended directly in front of body and shoulder level, hands in fists, palms facing inward. Move fists one inch forward while keeping back straight and not leaning torso forward or folding and waist. Pull arms back to starting position. That’s one rep. Complete four sets of 12 to 15 reps, rest for a minute, then continue to your next move.

This article was originally published on www.womenshealthmag.com 

READ MORE ON: Fitness Fitness Advice Upper Body Workouts Workouts





Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *