Have you thought about your posture lately?
All day long we hunch forward as we work, care for our children, and do chores around the house. All that slouching can lead to achy neck, shoulder and back muscles. It also makes for a bad first impression. Luckily it doesn’t take long to improve your posture.
The best way to stand up straighter is to strengthen your core and back muscles, as they are what hold your torso up. Designate a few minutes each day for these strengthening exercises, and you’ll see results right away.
In this post I’ll focus on 3 easy back-strengthening exercises. Look for a post about core exercises next!
- The Superman
Clark Kent has nothing on a busy mom. So think of yourself as the house superhero while you do this first exercise designed to strengthen the lower back and gluteus muscles.
Grab a kitchen towel and lie on your stomach with your neck in a neutral position and your arms and legs extended. Without locking them, keep your limbs straight and your midsection still.
Now it’s time for liftoff. Raise your arms and legs toward the ceiling. Your body may take on a slight horseshoe shape, but it doesn’t need to be dramatic. As long as your back is arched and your limbs are a few inches off the floor, you’re doing it right.
As you hold the pose, tug on the towel with both hands as if you’re trying to rip it in half. Pulse for 30 seconds, then lower yourself back onto the floor. Do 3 sets.
- Back to the Wall
Dishes and deadlines are piling up. The kids are screaming for your attention. When mom has her back to the wall, she doesn’t lose her cool. Take a deep breath and try this exercise targeting the back and triceps.
Find some clear wall space in your house and stand against it with your back touching the wall. Place your feet on the floor a few inches from the bottom of the wall and shoulder width apart. With your arms bent at a 90-degree angle, press your elbows into the wall. Really push, as if you’re trying to launch yourself across the room. You should feel this in your back and triceps.
Hold it for 30 seconds and do 3 sets.
- Row, Row, Row Your Boat
Just like the beloved children’s song, this exercise is sure to become a favorite. It’s a little more complicated than the first 2, but its rewards are many. Grab a small, 5-10 lb. weight — a soup can will do if you don’t have a dumbbell — and get ready to end your workout with a bang.
Start with a lunge. Your right foot should be in front, bend the knee at a 90-degree angle. Stretch your left foot back as far as is comfortable with your knee slightly bent and your left heel raised. Place your right hand on your right knee and hold the weight in your left hand. Lean your torso slightly forward but keep your back straight. This will be reversed when you switch sides and leg positions.
Now begin a downward row with the weight-bearing arm. Raise the weight from shin-level to waist level 15 times on each side. As you “row,” tighten your back muscles. Do 2 sets on each side for a total of 4 sets.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Strengthen your back and improve your posture with these 3 #exercises > ” quote=”Strengthen your back and improve your posture with these 3 #exercises > “]
Ali Lawrence loves to write about health, fitness and travel. Follow her on Twitter @Ali_MarCom and connect with her for more great posts like this!