The back is one of the most neglected areas that women tend to work on.
Honestly, it's just not a part that we see everyday so it often goes unnoticed.
Here are 6 perfect exercises to strengthen and tone your lower back and decrease the presence of back fat:
- Lie face down on your stomach with arms and legs extended. Keep your neck in a neutral position.
- Keeping your arms and legs straight (but not locked) and torso stationary, simultaneously lift your arms and legs up toward the ceiling to form an elongated “u” shape with your body — back arches and arms and legs lift several inches off the floor.
- Hold for two to five seconds and lower back down to complete one.
- Grasp a bar using an overhand grip (palms facing down). You may need some wrist wraps if using a significant amount of weight.
- Stand with your torso straight and your legs spaced using a shoulder width or narrower stance. The knees should be slightly bent. This is your starting position.
- Keeping the knees stationary, lower the barbell to over the top of your feet by bending at the hips while keeping your back straight. Keep moving forward as if you were going to pick something from the floor until you feel a stretch on the hamstrings. Inhale as you perform this movement.
- Start bringing your torso up straight again by extending your hips until you are back at the starting position. Exhale as you perform this movement.
- Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.
3. Stability Ball Back Extension
- To begin, lie down on an exercise ball with your torso pressing against the ball and parallel to the floor. The ball of your feet should be pressed against the floor to help keep you balanced. For more of a challenge, place a weighted plate under your chin or behind your neck. This is the starting position.
- Slowly raise your torso up by bending at the waist and lower back. Remember to exhale during this movement.
- Hold the contraction on your lower back for a second and lower your torso back down to the starting position while inhaling.
- Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions prescribed in your program.
4. Knee to Chest
- Start off by lying on the floor.
- Extend one leg straight and pull the other knee to your chest. Hold under the knee joint to protect the kneecap.
- Gently tug that knee toward your nose.
- Switch sides. This stretches the buttocks and lower back of the bent leg and the hip flexor of the straight leg.
- Then hold both knees to your chest.
5. Bent Over Barbell Row
- Bend knees slightly and bend over bar with back straight.
- Grasp bar with wide overhand grip
- Pull bar to upper waist.
- Return until arms are extended and shoulders are stretched downward. Repeat.
6. Hug a Ball Stretch
- Sit down on the floor.
- Straddle an exercise ball by wrapping your arms around the ball and lower your hips toward the floor.
- Hug the ball and adjust your legs so that your feet are flat on the floor.
Image: BodyBuilding.com, Women's Health Magazine