Health > Keeping Fit > Get A Stronger
GET A STRONGER, SEXIER, BACK IN SEVEN EASY STEPS
As we age, a lifetime of bad posture and too much sitting catches up eight us, weakening some muscles while causing others to tighten. Performing the following exercises two to three times a week will train the muscles that surround your back to build a natural corset, stabilizing the spine. Warm up first with 10 minutes of brisk walking, cycling or light jogging, and perform the exercise slowly with control.
1. WALL PEEL (Stretches the trapezius)
Sit with your back against a wall, legs extended in front of you. Drop your chin to your chest, slowly ”peeling” your upper back away from the wall. Continue until you feel your shoulder blades leave the wall. Next, reverse the action, pressing the vertebra against the wall one at time until your head is comfortably back in the starting position. Repeat five times.
2. LATERAL CURL (Oblique)
Lie on your left side with a rolled towel under your waist and your left elbow bent and supporting your weight. Bring your left foot back and both hands to your head so that your fingertips lightly touch your ears. Press the inside of your right foot against the floor for balance as you lift your upper body, crunching your oblique, bringing your rib cage closer to your pelvis. Hold for five seconds. Do eight repetitions, then change sides.
3. BACK EXTENSION (Upper and middle back)
Lie facedown, with your elbows bent and fingertips lightly touching your ear. Slowly lift your chest and shoulders approximately six inches off the floor. Hold for five seconds, breathing naturally. Do eight repetitions.
4. LOWER-TRUNK ROTATION (middle and lower back)
Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Slowly raise your knees so they are directly over your hips, at a 90-degree angle. Bring your knees as far to your right side as feels comfortable. Hold for 10 seconds. Slowly bring knees up and repeat on the other side. Do eight repetitions.
5. LOW BACK ISOLATES (lower back)
Lie on your back with your spine and shoulders flat on the floor. With knees bent and feet flat on the ground, shoulder width apart, place your hands behind your head. Keeping your upper back to the floor, contract the muscles in your lower back and butt, lifting your hips off the floor for five to 10 seconds. Then return to starting position. Do eight repetitions.
On yours hands and knees, keeping your abs tight, slowly extend your left arm out in front and your right leg back until your arm, head, spine and leg from a straight line. Hold for five seconds, then change sides. Do 10 repetitions.
7. PRONE LEG LIFT
Lie on your stomach with your elbows bent so your forearms press against the floor. Contracting your right buttock and keeping your leg straight, lift your right leg approximately 12 inches off the floor. Hold for one count, then return to starting position. Do eight repetitions, then switch legs.