Toned Back and Improved Posture with Tailor-Made Exercises

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Is the amount of time you spend working on your back the same when you work on your stomach? Well, for most women, it’s an understandable no.

However, am sure you’re aware that sculpting a good back makes you stand taller. This is because training your back targets common weak spots responsible for the unsightly caveman hunch.

Likewise, training one’s back revs up one’s metabolism. Your posterior chain has big muscle groups. The more muscles you train, the  more calories you burn.

So, get a pair of dumbbells and let’s start.


1. Deadlift Upright RowImage result for woman doing Deadlift Upright Row gif

* With feet shoulder-width apart and legs straight, hold the dumbbells in each hand, palms facing body.

* Bend at the waist, letting the dumbbells hang to the floor.

* Use hamstrings and glutes to pull body back to the starting position.

* As you stand, lift the dumbbells by raising elbows until they reach the chest.

* Slide them back down to the waist, and repeat.

* Do for 45 seconds.

To change: On the upright row, do one arm at a time to isolate the shoulder and triceps muscles, or add a heavier weight.


2. Pilates SwimmingImage result for woman doing Pilates Swimming gif

* On your stomach with arms reaching overhead, pull abs away from the floor to protect and lengthen lower back.

* Lift legs, arms, and head off the mat.

* Keeping knees straight, lift entire right leg and left arm a few inches away from the floor.

* As you lower right leg and left arm, lift left leg and right arm away from the mat to complete one rep.

* Continue alternating sides in a slow, controlled way, keeping torso stable, for a total of 45 seconds.


3. Lawnmower PullImage result for woman doing Lawnmower Pull exercise gif 

* Hold a dumbbell in the left hand.

* Put right hand on your hip.

* Squat, bringing the weight toward the floor.

* Exhale.

* Pull abs in as you straighten legs.

* Pull elbow behind you, bringing the weight to the chest.

* Twist torso to the left.

* Bend knees and squat as you return to the starting position.

* Do for 45 seconds then switch sides.


4. Cobra Lat Pulldown Image result for woman doing Cobra Lat Pulldown gif

* Lie facedown, arms and legs extended diagonally in a star position, chin tucked toward chest, and forehead touching the floor.

* Keeping arms and legs extended, lift torso and legs off the floor.

* Pull elbows down toward sides, bringing hands near shoulders.

* Squeeze inner thighs and bring heels together, coming into a lifted half cobra.

* Do for 45 seconds.


5. Bow and Arrow Squat Pull Image result for woman doing Bow and Arrow Squat Pull gif

* With a set of dumbbells, squat and bend torso until chest is nearly parallel to the floor.

* Twist torso to the right, bring the left dumbbell between both feet and pull the right dumbbell close to the right shoulder.

* Do this for 45 seconds.

* Switch sides and repeat.


6. Back Extensions

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* Lie face down on a hyperextension bench, tucking ankles securely under the footpads.

* Adjust the upper pad if possible so upper thighs lie flat across the wide pad, leaving enough room to bend at the waist without any restriction.

* With the body straight, cross arms in front or behind your head.

* Bend forward slowly at the waist as far as you can while keeping back flat.

* Inhale as you do this movement.

* Keep moving forward until you feel a nice stretch on the hamstrings and you can no longer keep going without rounding your back.

* Slowly raise torso back to the starting position as you inhale. Avoid arching your back past a straight line. Do not swing the torso.

* Do for 45 seconds.


7. Bent Over Lateral RaiseImage result for woman doing Bent Over Lateral Raise gif 

* Holding a set of dumbbells, let arms hang down by your sides with palms facing each other.

* Keeping spine flat, bend torso over until chest is nearly parallel with the ground.

* Keeping a slight bend in the elbows, raise arms out to the side until they’re parallel with the ground.

* Pause, and then slowly return the weight back to the starting position.

* Do for 45 seconds.


8. Bird Dogs  Image result for woman doing Bird Dogs gif

* Position yourself on all fours with hands directly under shoulders and knees directly under hips.

* Pull abs in.

* Keeping back and pelvis still and stable, reach right arm forward and left leg back.

* Pause for 3-5 seconds.

* Return to the starting position, placing hand and knee on the floor.

* Do for 45 seconds.


9. Dumbbell Bent Over RowImage result for woman doing Dumbbell Bent Over Row gif 

* Lean forward and bend both knees, keeping a flat back.

* Extend arms so they’re straight.

* Lift the dumbbells straight up to chest level, squeezing shoulder blades. Keep elbows in and pointed up. Don’t arch back.

* Slowly lower the weights back to the starting position.

* Do for 45 seconds.


10. Superman Image result for woman doing Superman exercise gif 

* Lie straight and face down on the floor. Extend arms fully in front.

* Raise arms, legs, and chest off the floor and hold for 2 seconds. Exhale during this movement. When holding the contracted position, you should look like superman when he’s flying.

* Slowly lower arms, legs and chest back down to the starting position while inhaling.

* Do for 45 seconds.