5 Exercises for a Strong Upper Back

5 Exercises for a Strong Upper Back

Use this routine to achieve the perfect V-shaped torso

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The corkscrew

Works All

STRONG UPPER BACK

The cornerstone of your workout is a stretching exercise which will loosen every muscle in your back. When you spend a lot of time in the same position – cursing rush hour traffic from its very epicenter or staring into the depths of your computer screen until the early hours of the morning – your upper back muscles become prone to stiffening, leading to poor posture and back pain. This stiffness will hinder your workouts and leave you suffering afterwards. So it’s time to take your stretching seriously – let’s twist.

Your move On all fours, place your right hand behind your head and brace your core. Rotate your right shoulder and elbow up and away from your left arm, until it points to the ceiling, hold it there for a moment. That’s 1 rep. Do 20. Then switch arms. All your pieces are ready – now comes the hard part

Slide show: Back exercises in 15 minutes a day

Back exercises

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Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor (A). Arch your back so that your pubic bone feels like it’s pointing toward your feet (B). Hold for five seconds and then relax. Flatten your back, pulling your bellybutton toward the floor so that your pubic bone feels like it’s pointing toward your head (C). Hold for five seconds and then relax. Repeat. Start with five repetitions each day and gradually work up to 30.

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  1. Supine Hamstring Stretch

Supine Hamstring Stretch

Lying on your back, bend your right knee into your chest and place a strap or rolled-up towel around the ball of your foot. Straighten your leg toward the ceiling. Press out through both heels. If the lower back feels strained, bend the left knee and place the foot on the ground.Hold for 3-5 minutes and then switch to the left let for 3-5 minutes.

  1. Two-Knee Twist

Two-Knee Twist

Lying on your back, bend your knees into your chest and bring your arms out at a T. As you exhale lower your knees to ground on the right. Keep both shoulders pressing down firmly. If the left shoulder lifts, lower your knees further away from the right arm. Hold for 1-2 minutes each side.

  1. Sphinx

 

Sphinx Yoga

Lying on your stomach, prop yourself up on your forearms. Align your elbows directly under your shoulders. Press firmly through your palms and the tops of your feet. Press your pubic bone forward. You will feel sensations in your lower back, but breathe through it. You are allowing blood flow into the lower back for healing. Hold for 1-3 minutes.

4 A. Pigeon

lying pigeon pose

From all-fours, bring your right knee behind your right wrist with your lower leg at a diagonal toward your left hip. Square off your hips toward the ground. Bend forward. Widen the elbows and place one hand on top of the other as a pillow for your forehead. Hold 2-3 minutes and then switch to the left side for 2-3 minutes.

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If pigeon pose bothers your knees, then do Thread the Needle.

4 B. Thread the Needle

Thread the Needle

Lying on your back, bend both knees with the feet flat on the ground. Bend the right knee like a figure four, with the outer left ankle to the right thigh. Lift the left foot into the air, bringing the left calf parallel to the ground. Thread your right hand between the opening of the legs and interlace your hands behind your left thigh. Hold 2-3 minutes and then repeat on the other side.

  1. Legs Up the Wall

Legs Up the Wall

Scoot your buttocks all the way into the wall and swing your feet up the wall. This pose is excellent for relaxing the muscles of the lower back and drains stagnant fluid from the feet and ankles. Do this pose after a challenging workout and always after traveling by plane.Hold for 5-10 minutes.