Strengthen and Tone Your Back

\n\nWhen you go to the gym, it’s relatively simple to target your arm, leg, and ab muscles. However, when it comes to working out and toning your back, things aren’t always quite so easy. Fortunately, if you’re looking to tone your back, there are some workouts you can follow as a means of making it happen.\n\nBefore starting any back exercise, make sure that you incorporate at least a five-minute warm-up into the mix so as to avoid any muscle straining or other injury. Furthermore, when performing a back exercise, always be sure to move in a smooth, fluid motion rather than in jerky motions to ensure proper form and avoid injury.\n

Lower Back Exercises

\nStart with lunge and lifts, which require only a dumbbell and some floor space. For this exercise, all you need to do is start by standing with your feet about shoulder width apart, holding two dumbbells (one in each hand). Then, slowly lunge one leg down to the floor in typical form, holding the dumbbells down towards the floor as you do so. Repeat several reps before switching over to your other leg and you’ll be feeling the burn in those lower back muscles in no time.\n\nWhat about those oblique muscles, which are so often neglected? The twist, squat, and lift exercise can be a great way to give them the workout they need. For this one, all you need is yourself, a clean waste basket, and a five-pound dumbbell. Start by standing straight with your feet shoulder-width apart, then twist to pick up the waste basket filled with the five-pound dumbbell, which should be placed to one side. Pick it up, squat while holding the waste basket, and set it down on the other side. Repeat moving in both directions for a great lower back workout.\n

Upper Back Exercises

\nOf course, you don’t want your upper back muscles to feel left out. Be sure to incorporate some great upper back exercises into your routine, such as roll downs. With roll downs, you’ll need a pair of dumbbells (about five pounds each should be plenty). Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart while holding the dumbbells. Then, roll your entire upper body down towards the ground in a slow, controlled motion. Go as far down as you can before pausing and coming back up in the same controlled motion. Repeat this for several reps and you’ll definitely be feeling the burn in your upper back.\n\nAnother great upper back exercise is that of the reverse fly, which targets your rhomboid muscles and consists of you picking up dumbbells and raising them just above chest level while keeping your back flat.\n

The Superman

\nFor this one, all you have to do is lay flat on your stomach. Then, stretch your arms out over your head and use your back muscles to lift your knees as far off the ground as you can. Hold this position for several seconds before releasing, returning your legs and arms slowly to the ground, and repeating. This one sounds easy, but it’s a lot harder than you’d think and will definitely yield results in no time.\n\nAnother option for toning your back is the bridge. For this one, lay down on the floor on your back, with your knees slightly bent and feet on the ground. Using your abs and back muscles, contract and lift your pelvis up off the ground and into the air. Repeat this for 5-10 reps, using slow and controlled motions for the best results.\n\nAs you can see, toning your back doesn’t have to be rocket science. All you need is a little bit of motivation and some basic equipment to tone those back muscles in no time.