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The Eight Move Workout To Banish Bra Bulge Back Pain And Bad Posture

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A strong, toned back does more than allowing you to look your best. It’s key to perfect posture and preventing back pain—a problem that affects more than 80 percent at some point in their lives. These exercises target your entire backside and your core to help and build a posterior that turns heads.

Most people head into a workout focusing on the areas we consider the most noticeable—butt, stomach, legs, etc. Strong upper-body muscles (and back muscles, specifically) are not the only key for an overall defined look, but they’re your best defense against pain, injury, and poor posture for years to come.

Sure, it can be tempting to do abs workouts or butt exercises on a daily, but don’t forget about another super important body part: your back. Complete 3 sets of 15 reps for each exercise, unless otherwise noted. Use a weight that is heavy enough so that you can perform no more than 15 reps with proper form (8- to 20-pound dumbbells).

Straight-Leg Deadlift:

Strengthen all the muscles that surround your spine, along with your abs, glutes, and hamstrings with this super-efficient exercise.

How to:

  • Grab a pair of dumbbells with an overhand grip, and hold them at arm’s length in front of your thighs.
  • Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent.
  • Without changing the bend in your knees, brace your core and bend at your hips, lowering your torso until it’s almost parallel to the floor.
  • As you lower the weight, keep the dumbbells as close to your body as possible.
  • Pause, then raise your torso back to the starting position.

 

Split Stance Extension:

Target your entire backside and challenge your balance with this bodyweight move.

How to:

  • Stand with your feet together, knees slightly bent, hands behind your head.
  • Shift your weight into your right leg as you step your left foot about 3 feet behind you, only touching your left toes to the floor for balance.
  • Draw your abs in tight and and bend at your hips, lowering your torso until it’s almost parallel to the floor.
  • Slowly return to standing, keeping your back naturally arched throughout the entire movement.
  • Do 8 reps and then switch legs and repeat.

 

Alternating Dumbbell Row:

Alternating arms allows you to work each side of your body separately, which helps bolster muscle imbalances and forces your core to work even harder.

How to:

  • Grab a pair of dumbbells with an underhand grip (palms facing away from your body), and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Bend at your hips and knees, and lower your torso until it’s almost parallel to the floor.
  • Your lower back should be naturally arched.
  • Keeping your abs in tight, bend your left elbow and pull the weight to the side of your torso.
  • Slowly lower your left arm as you bend your right elbow and perform a row on the other side.
  • That’s one rep.
  • Continue alternating until you’ve completed 15 reps total.

 

Bow and Arrow:

This dynamic move targets the muscles in your upper back to help you stand tall and straight, not hunched over. You can perform this exercise using dumbbells (as shown) or with a resistance band or cable machine to really feel your upper-back muscles working.

How to:

  • Grab a pair of dumbbells with an overhand grip (or anchor a resistance band) and stand with your feet together.
  • Brace your abs in tight and extend your arms out in front of your chest, palms facing in.
  • Pull your shoulders down and back and keep them there during the entire movement.
  • Bend your left elbow and pull your arm behind you (as if aiming a bow and arrow).
  • Imagine that you’re squeezing a lemon between your shoulder blades.
  • Extend your left arm and bend and pull your right arm back.
  • That’s one rep.
  • Repeat 15 times total.

 

Kneeling Rear Fly:

You may need to use a lighter weight for this challenging move that works the muscles in your middle and upper back.

How to:

  • Grab a pair of dumbbells and kneel on the floor with your hands below your shoulders, palms facing in, and your knees below your hips.
  • Raise your left arm straight out to the side (your arms should be slightly bent).
  • Focus on squeezing your left shoulder blade closer to your spine.
  • Hold for 1 count, then slowly lower to the starting position.
  • That’s one rep.
  • Complete 15 reps with your left arm, and then switch to your right arm.

 

Opposite Arm and Leg Balance:

This static hold, also known as Bird Dog, tones your entire backside while also engaging your core muscles.

How to:

  • Get down on your hands and knees with your palms flat on the floor and shoulder-width apart.
  • Your knees should be bent 90 degrees.
  • Brace your abs in tight to your spine and raise your right arm and left leg until they’re in line with your body.
  • Hold for 10 counts.
  • Return to the starting position, and repeat on the other side.
  • That’s one rep.
  • Do 3 reps total.

 

Spine Extensions:

Spine extensions can help prevent back pain by counteracting the forward, flexed position in which many people spend most of their time. You may want to lie on a mat or carpet for this exercise.

How to:

  • Lie face down on the floor with your legs straight, toes pointed, and your arms next to your sides, palms down.
  • Contract your glutes and the muscles in your lower back, and raise your shoulders, chest, and arms off the floor.
  • Keep your chin slightly tucked into your chest and rotate your arms so that your thumbs point towards the ceiling, pulling your shoulder blades back and together.
  • Hold for 2-3 counts and slowly lower back to the floor.
  • That’s one rep.
  • Complete 15 reps total.

 

Full-Body Bridge:

This bridge variation engages your entire body, with an extra emphasis on your backside.

How to:

  • Lie faceup with your legs straight and hip-width apart, feet flexed.
  • Bend your arms in by your sides and press your elbows into the ground.
  • Engage your abs, squeeze your shoulder blades down and together, and press down with your arms to lift your hips as high off the floor as you can.
  • Hold for 1 count and then slowly return to the starting position.
  • That’s one rep.
  • Complete 15 reps total.
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