Beginners Back Exercises for Strengthening your Back Muscles



5 Back-Strengthening Moves You Need After 40

Back pain is sort of like the flu: If you haven't had it, just wait. About 8 in 10 Americans will experience back pain at some point, according to Cleveland Clinic. If you want to be among the lucky few who avoid this trouble, you'll need to be proactive. "As we age, it is not just the 'back fat' or 'bra bulge' that creeps up on us, but also a lack of mobility and weight gain," says licensed master sports nutritionist and function fitness trainer Natalie Jill, creator of Natalie Jill Fitness. "You need to do the right core and back exercises to correct muscle imbalances—which can cause pain—and continue to challenge yourself to keep the fat off." Here are the top back-firming exercises to keep injuries (and weight gain) at bay. (Lose up to 15 pounds WITHOUT dieting with , our 21-day clean-eating meal plan.)

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Punches

Punches
Mitch Mandel

The lower back gets the most attention since it's the area most likely to act up, but keeping your upper back and shoulders strong helps protect your entire back. Toning these areas makes it easier to maintain good posture, taking pressure and strain off your lower back. Throwing punches engages those two spots and strengthens the muscles in a low-impact manner, explains Jill. 

In a standing position, slightly bend your knees and bring your hands up in fists near your face, mimicking a boxer. Throw a punch with your right arm across your body; focus on keeping your arms strong, your back and shoulders engaged, and your body balanced. Return to the starting position and then repeat with your left fist. Do as many punches as you can, maintaining proper form, for 30 seconds.

Bird Dog

bird dog
Mitch Mandel

"This is a great spine stability exercise because it engages your deepest spinal stabilizers," says Brad Davidson, cofounder and performance strategist at Stark, a fully integrated fitness, nutrition, and lifestyle facility in Irvine, CA. 

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On the floor on all fours, make sure your hands and knees are directly below your shoulders and hips. Keep a slight bend in your elbows and make sure your back is flat and straight. Simultaneously extend your left arm out in front and your right leg out behind you. Hold that position for 10 seconds, and then return to the starting position. Repeat with your right arm and left leg. Do 4 to 6 reps per side.

MORE: 7 Weird Reasons You're Gaining Weight

Resistance Band Row

resistance band row
Mitch Mandel

One of the simplest—and most affordable—pieces of home exercise equipment is the resistance band. It fits in a drawer, yet you can do a number of moves with it, including this back strengthening move, says Devin Parrick, a strength and conditioning coach specializing in human performance and rehabilitation and founder of TrainerMetrics.com, an online fitness testing and progress-tracking tool for personal trainers in Santa Barbara, CA. Parrick likes this move because you can target different areas of the back simply by changing the angle at which you pull. 

Anchor the band on a door handle, holding the ends in each hand. Back up until you feel slight tension on the band with your arms straight out in front of you; your feet should be shoulder-width apart, hips back, knees flexed, and core contracted for a stable base. Keeping your upper arms at a right angle to your side, draw your elbows backward as you squeeze your shoulder blades together. Pause, and then slowly allow the resistance band to return to the starting position. Do 3 sets of 8 to 12 reps each.

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Dumbbell Lat Pull-Over

dumbbell lat pull-over
Mitch Mandel

Strengthening your lats—the big muscles under the shoulders on either side of the spine—becomes increasingly important as you age because these muscles are crucial for stabilizing the spine and keeping you mobile, says BeFit trainer and fitness expert Scott Herman. 

You'll need 5- to 10-pound handweights for this move. Lie on your back with your legs bent, your feet together and heels close to your glutes. With a weight in each hand, extend your arms straight over your head, the weights resting on the floor. Now contract your core and, keeping your arms straight, raise the dumbbells up toward the ceiling. As you perform the movement, focus on engaging your lats. As soon as your arms are directly above your chest, pause, and then return to the starting position. Do 3 sets of 8 to 12 reps each. 

MORE: Your 10 Biggest Walking Pains, Solved

Stability Ball Extensions

stability ball extensions
Mitch Mandel

Toning your lower back is tricky, says Eraldo Maglara, NSCA-CPT, in Avalon, NJ. But this move will do the job. 

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To perform this movement, you will need a stability ball. Drape your belly over the ball, with your legs fully extended shoulder-width apart and your head and shoulders down. Place your hands lightly over your ears (not behind your neck, which can create unnecessary stress). Gently raise your head until you're looking straight ahead—only go as far as feels comfortable. Return to the starting position and repeat. Do 3 sets of 8 to 12 reps.






Video: Seated Exercises for Older Adults

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Date: 10.12.2018, 13:12 / Views: 52373