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Get your back into gear

The back is often the last part of the body that people think about until they need to try on a bra, wear a strapless dress or get the bikini out. Targeting your back muscles will help you look good any time of year and help you with your overall shape. But more importantly, strengthening these forgotten muscles will help you feel good and reduce those common aches and pains that come from sitting in an office all day.

 

Performing exercises to strengthen your back will reduce chronic neck and shoulder pain, improve your posture. It takes smart full-body training to really burn fat. Focus your strengthening and toning exercises on your back to isolate the trouble spot and really define those muscles—which, when combined with cardio, will give you the results you want.



Turn Up Your Cardio


If you're serious about toning your back muscles, you’re going to have to get serious about cardio. Try new things; tennis, rowing, basketball, squash or a dance class. There are so many fun things to do that will increase your heart rate and get your blood flowing; if you’re having fun and actively making cardio a part of your lifestyle then you’re less likely to keep going.

For even more intense cardio, give high intensity interval training (HIIT) a try, it switches between periods of pushing your body and recovery, you can do this easily on a treadmill. Plus, after exercising, your body can burn more calories than you would after completing a normal steady-paced workout.

 

Back Basics

Hip Bridge

Lie on your back, feet flat and hip-width apart, arms relaxed, and knees bent. Squeeze your butt as you lift your hips, creating a straight line from the knees to the shoulders. Hold for a slow count of two, then lower slowly. Build up to 10 to 12 repetitions.

 

Side Plank

Lie on your right side, in a straight line from head to feet, resting on your forearm. Your elbow should be directly under your shoulder. With your abdominals gently contracted, lift your hips off the floor, maintaining the line. Keep your hips square and your neck in line with your spine. Hold 20 to 40 seconds and lower. Repeat two to three times, alternating sides.

 

Lunge

With your abs gently contracted and hands on hips, take a big step forward with your right foot. Sink down so your right knee is at a 90-degree angle, then push back to the starting position without pausing. Repeat 8 to 12 times, then switch legs and repeat.

 

Watch your form

 

Doing exercises properly will increase their effectiveness and reduce your chance of injury. If you’re not focused on the technique it can set you back and puts you at risk for major injuries. Proper technique is something you always have to be aware of. Having good technique ensures optimal results in the correct muscle group because if you’re not you could be working out a completely different muscle group without realising. When other muscles work to stabilize you during bad technique it eats up your available energy that could be focused on the right muscles. That means more work with less results.

 

#QUICKTIPS

Everyday Superfoods

Superfoods are nutrient-dense, whole foods that have high amounts of micronutrients and other unique compounds that are great for your health and wellbeing. Try adding some of these to your diet this week.

  • Broccoli

  • Mushrooms

  • Blueberries

  • Kiwi Fruit

  • Spinach

  • Sweet Potatoes

  • Avocados

 

Shop your Shape

 

Obviously this isn’t about toning your back, but it can definitely help you feel more comfortable in your own skin. Instead of worrying about the size you're wearing, focus instead on how you feel in the clothes you're wearing. If your back is creeping over your bra strap, it might be time to go up a size in your bra. Unfortunately lots of women don’t take the time to get fitted for their bra size (yes it can change) so they are wearing something that is unflattering plus doing more damage by reducing blood circulation in the area. Plus, if you are wearing something you’re comfortable you feel more confident and less stressed

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