Nobody wants to feel squeezed and uncomfortable in their bra or tank top. If you want to get rid of your back bulge — and show off a sexy, toned back this summer — you’ll have to focus on targeted, shoulder-and-back-sculpting moves.
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A strong back helps you in more ways than simple aesthetics; it can help prevent injury and back pain, especially if you work in an office where you’re sitting in front of a computer all day. It’s also great for everyday movements that involve lifting or carrying, so you’re less likely to throw your back out.
For best results, incorporate back exercises into your regular strength-training routine three to four times a week.
For this complete back and shoulder workout, complete each exercise back to back (pun intended) with little rest in between. Aim for 2 to 3 complete circuits.
1. Side Raises
- Hold a dumbbell in each hand and stand with your feet hip-distance apart.
- Bend at the knees and lean forward with a straight back.
- Your hips should be behind you and your torso parallel to the ground.
- Hold the weights with straight arms in front of you, palms facing forward.
- Keep your arms straight as you lift the weights out to both sides of your body, forming a T with your body and arms.
- Bring weights to shoulder height before lowering them and repeating the move.
- Do 3 sets of 15 reps each.
2. Stability Ball Hyperextension
- Kneel on the floor face-down in front of a stability ball, with your torso lying gently over the ball.
- Place both hands behind your head with your elbows our for stability.
- Keeping your core tight, lift your back off the ball and squeeze your shoulder-blades together.
- Hold at the top for 3 seconds before returning to start.
- Repeat 15 times for 3 sets.
3. Stability Ball Back And Hip Extension
- Begin lying face down over a stability ball with your feet straightened out behind you. Place your hands on the floor in plank position.
- Extend your legs upward by extending you legs, hamstrings and glutes and lower back, as if you were Superman flying through the air.
- Hold at the top for 2 seconds before lowering back down. That’s one rep. Aim to complete 3 sets of 15 reps.
4. Bent-Over Rows
- Stand with a weight in each hand, feet hip distance apart, and hinge from your waist to lean forward with a straight back.
- Keep your knees slightly bent and your hips behind you. Hold the weights in front of you with straight arms.
- Bend your elbows in to bring the weights up to your sides. Hold and slowly bring the weights back down.
- Do 3 sets of 15 reps.
5. Push-Up Side Plank
- Get into push-up position on the toes with your hands just outside of shoulder width.
- Perform a push-up. As you come up, shift your weight on the left side of the body, twist to the side while bringing the right arm up towards the ceiling in a side plank.
- Lower the arm back to the floor for another push-up, then twist to the other side.
- Repeat 3 sets for 10 reps on each side.
6. Standing Shoulder Press
- Standi with your feet shoulder-width apart, with a dumbbell in each hand.
- Without leaning backwards, extend through the elbow to raise the weights together directly above your head.
- Pause, and slowly return the weight to the starting position.
- Complete 3 sets of 15 reps.