Five Important Back Exercises for Women

Former Marines Get New Yorkers In Shape With "Warrior Fitness" Class

With summer in full swing, it’s only a matter of time you’re heading to the beach or pool and sporting a bathing suit. You know what that means: time to amp up on exercising to tone those pertinent body parts! While usually focusing on arms and tummies, women tend to forget about working out their back muscles – a key body part for most women.  Whether you want to exercise your back to be more toned or to strengthen it in order to remain injury-free, here are five important back exercises for women:

1. Lat Pulldowns – This exercise requires a gym machine. Find the lat pulldown machine at your gym, which is a barbell that is suspended by a cable above the seat. Facing the machine, sit down with your quads under the support bar and select a comfortable weight for you to lift. Reaching above your head, grab the bar with your hands a little wider than shoulder-width apart. Pull the bar behind your neck, but try not to strain your neck. Keep your elbows pointed to the side as you lower and raise the bar. Do 15 reps.

2. Hip Bridge – Get on the floor and lie on your back with your feet flat, hip-width apart, knees bent and your arms relaxed. While in position, lift your hips up, squeezing your butt as you lift. Hold for two counts and then lower to starting position slowly. Do 15 reps.

3. Back Extensions – You’ll need an exercise machine found at the gym for this one – the back extension bench. Place your legs and hips on the padded part – the pad should hit your hips at the hipbone – and hang your upper body toward the floor. Using your back muscles and glutes, raise your upper body to form a straight line with your lower body and then lower back down. You will rely on your body weight for this one as a beginner. Do 15 reps. 

4. Superman – Lie facedown on the floor with your arms and legs spread out to form an X shape. Tightening your abs and squeezing your glutes, lift your right arm, left leg and head about three inches off the ground. Hold for three counts and release and lower. Repeat but on the opposite sides: this time, left arm, right leg. Alternate for a total of 10 times.

5. Delt Raise – Using a pair of five pound dumbbells, stand hip-width apart with knees slightly bent. Lower your torso until it is almost parallel with the ground. With palms facing each other, bend your elbows and  lift the weights up until shoulder height. While you lift, focus on lifting using your back muscles, not your arms. Lower back down, and remember to keep your core/abs tightened while lifting and lowering. Do 10 reps.

Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images


Leave a Reply