How to get a toned back

how to get a toned back
A woman's back is one of the sexiest parts of her body. But often when we're exercising we don't give our backs much attention.

How to get a toned back

Some people have naturally beautiful, toned backs. For others, it isn't as simple as that, so we've found out the top exercises that will help give you a back to be proud of.

These toning exercises should help create a beautifully toned back - what's more, they're super simple to do!

Toning
1. The bird
  • Stand up with your feet shoulder width apart and your back flat, leaning 45° forward.
  • With your arms pointing towards the floor, take a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing each other. Keep your head back and look towards the floor.
  • Raise each arm to the side of your body. Stop when they are parallel to the floor. Breathe in to raise and out to lower.
Programme
Beginners: 3 sets of 10 repetitions with 1 minute rest.
Intermediate: 4 sets of 12 reps with 1 min rest.
Advanced: 5 sets of 12 reps with 1 min rest.
2. Front raises with inclined chest
  • Stand with your feet shoulder width apart with your back straight, leaning 45° forward with your arms pointing towards the floor.
  • Have a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing outwards, head back, eyes down.
  • Raise your arms in front of you and keep the dumbbells shoulder width apart. Stop when your arms are in line with your back. Breathe in to raise your arms and out to lower.
Programme
Beginners: 3 sets of 10 reps with 1 min rest.
Intermediate: 4 sets of 12 reps with 1 min rest.
Advanced: 4 sets of 12 reps with 1 min rest.
3. Lumbar extensions
  • Lie on your stomach, arms bent with your hands under your forehead.
  • Lift the top of your body and your legs 10 to 15cm maximum off the floor.
  • Hold this position for 10 seconds and then go down. Breathe in to lift and out to lower.
Programme
Beginners: 3 sets of 10 reps with 30 seconds rest.
Intermediate: 4 sets of 10 reps with 30 seconds rest.
Advanced: 4 sets of 10 reps with 30 seconds rest.
4. Rower
  • Sit with your legs half bent, feet shoulder width apart and back straight, stretch an elastic exercise band around the soles of your feet and grip one end in each hand.
  • Pull your shoulders, arms, elbows and hands backwards, filling your chest with as much air as possible. Imagine that you are trying to make your shoulder blades meet.
  • Breathe in as you pull back and breathe out as you return to the starting position.
Programme
Beginners: 3 sets of 10 reps with 1 min rest.
Intermediate: 4 sets of 12 reps with 1 min rest.
Advanced: 4 sets of 15 reps with 1 min rest.
Stretching
1. Spinal twist
  • Lie on your back with your right arm crossed over your body to the left and your right leg crossed over your body to the left at a 90° angle.
  • Move your legs one way and turn your head the other way.
Programme
3 sets of 30 seconds, alternating sides.
2. Spinal roll
  • Lie on your back, arms alongside your body, legs bent, thighs on your chest.
  • Slowly roll forward towards your legs, spreading your knees slightly to make room for your head.
Programme
3 sets of 30 seconds with 30 seconds rest.
3. Dorsal stretch
  • Stand upright, feet twice the width of your shoulders apart, legs slightly bent. Place your right hand on your right thigh, keeping your left hand hanging to your side.
  • Raise your left arm in a circular movement over your head and finish with it at a right angle over your right hand side.
  • Raise your left shoulder as high as possible to feel the left part of your back stretch.
Programme
3 sets of 30 seconds with 30 seconds rest.
Published by editorial staff Health and Fitness
12 Nov 2012
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