Most people head into a workout focusing on the areas we consider the most noticeable — butt, stomach, legs, etc. However, many fitness experts agree that strong upper body muscles (and back muscles, specifically) are incredibly important if you’re seeking a sculpted look. In addition, working out your back helps against pain, injury, and poor posture for years to come. That’s why I’d like to share 5 simple back exercises you can do at home.
Remember when practicing back exercises form is everything. The last thing you would want to do is damage your back from practicing the wrong way. That’s why I’ve included instructions along with a video showing proper form for each move. To start, try…
Okay, so it looks a little funny and you might feel awkward. However, you might find this to be your favorite exercise based on how good your back feels afterward. This is a great exercise to engage your abs and strengthen your back. To begin, lay down on a mat or flat surface with your arms outstretched. Now lift out like Superman and lift your hands and legs 4-5 inches off the ground. Hold for 5 seconds, and then return your hand and feet to the starting position. Rest, and then repeat.
To watch it done properly, go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6PJMT2y8GQ
Reverse Snow Angels
After completing Superman, stay face down to transition to this next exercise that works your upper back. Remember when you used to make snow angels as a kid? Start by lying facedown on a mat or comfortable surface with your forehead hovering above the floor. (Keep your face off the floor – you don’t want a red mark.) Now, keep your arms straight as you wave them back and forth above your head and then back to your side. For your first time, Invictus Fitness blog recommends doing three sets of reverse snow angels for 20 reps each. Take a 2-minute break in between reps.
Watch it done correctly here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKT4p2FiUYY
Fitness trainer and blogger Krista Stryker calls Bridges the “best exercise you’re currently not doing” as it eases back pain and strengthens your lower back. The first time I did this exercise I felt tremendous relief in my lower back and I think you’ll like it. Start on your back with your arms by your side. Your knees should be bent and your feet flat on the floor. Slowly raise your hips off the floor, contracting your glutes and your hamstrings as you go. Hold 3-5 seconds and then repeat 10 times.
View it correctly here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-5nJtvt7la0
Plank With Lateral Arm Raise
Don’t feel too bad if you stumble a few times as I did on this workout. Be persistent as this is a great exercise that will also improve your balance and exercise your abs. Start in a straight-arm plank (a form that resembles an extended push up) with hands below and in line with your shoulders. Make sure to keep your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart. Now, keeping your hips as still as possible, lift one arm up to shoulder height. Move your arm back to plank and then do the other arm, repeating the form for up to 10 reps per side.
Watch this (but don’t worry about weights): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bUD31qax3lU
Our final exercise will have you off the floor and standing up straight with your hands on your hips. To start, bend forward at the waist in a slow and controlled manner while keeping your shoulders in line with your hips. Then lift back up, but make sure not to bend your back and to keep it straight at all times. The form is crucial to this exercise. Repeat for 3 sets of 10-15 reps.
Here’s how it’s done: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sinpFajtRPw
Did these exercises work for you? Was there a back exercise that you recommend? I’d love to hear your thoughts at email@example.com. If you’re looking for more exercises that require no equipment, I encourage you to check out this post.