Sometimes the back is an overlooked area when it comes to toning. We can't blame you! It isn't exactly like you can see your back. BUT, toning your back can do wonders for your shape. In fact, celebrity trainer, Jennifer Cohen, says that strengthening your back and shoulders can give you the "V-shape" that can make you look "10 to 15 pounds thinner." This is good news but it probably requires a lot of equipment, right? Nope. These body weight exercises, compiled by POPSUGAR, can help your strengthen and tone in the comfort of your own home!
- Stand on your left leg with your right leg behind and right toes resting on the floor. Bend both knees slightly and place your hands behind your head allowing your elbows to open wide.
- Pull your abs toward your spine and keep your back straight as you hinge forward from your hips until your torso is almost parallel to the floor.
- With a flat back, press through your left heel and return to standing. As you do this, twist your torso (shoulders included!) to the left over your front left leg. Be sure to keep your pelvis and hips still and facing forward. This completes one rep.
- Stand with all your weight in your right foot, abs engaged and chest lifted.
- Reach your torso forward as you lift your left leg behind you. Reach your arms out to the sides for balance as your torso and leg come parallel to the floor.
- Hold this position for a moment, and reach through your left heel to engage the back of the left leg.
- Moving smoothly, lower your right leg toward the floor as you return to standing upright, resting the left foot lightly on the ground. This completes one rep.
Twisted Bird Dog
- Get on all fours, with your knees under your hips and your hands under your shoulders. Remember to keep abs engaged and keep your back flat.
- As you extend your right leg out straight, open up your left shoulder for an oblique and back twist.
- Round your back and head to connect your left elbow with your right leg under your body. Extend your right hand and left leg back out for one complete rep.
- Lie on your back with your hands by your side, with your heels about 12 inches from your pelvis. Press your heels into the floor to come into a bridge position with a neutral spine.
- Press your right heel into the floor, and keeping your knee bent, raise your left leg until your hip is a 90 degrees. Lower your left leg down, pressing through your glutes so your pelvis doesn't drift to the floor along with the leg. This completes one rep.
Seated Trunk Twist
- Begin sitting on the floor with your legs stretched out in front of you; lengthen your spine to keep your back straight.
- Pulling your navel in tight, twist from right to left, lightly touching both hands from side to side to complete one rep.
- Lie on your belly with your legs together. Lace your fingers behind your back with straight arms.
- As you inhale, lift your legs, head, upper body, and arms up and off the floor.
- Stay for five breaths, and then release back down to the starting position. This completes one rep.
Pilates Mat Swimming
- Begin on your stomach with your arms extended in front of you.
- Keeping your neck neutral and in line with your spine, lift your feet, arms, and chest from the floor.
- Begin to "swim" by lifting your opposite arm and leg a little higher, then alternate sides, making a fluttering motion.
- Continue this movement for one minute.