With a more sedentary lifestyle and many of us guilty of sitting all day at work, back problems are on the increase and are one of the key reasons for people taking time off work. The good news is that there are plenty of exercises which can help to strengthen your back.
Even if you can’t get to the gym, or have no equipment at home, there are plenty of upper back exercises at home that are easy to carry out and will still help to tone up and strengthen all those muscles.
Here Are a Few Key Upper Back Exercises to Do at Home:
Most of these require no more than a yoga mat to help keep you comfortable, and are a great way to stretch and exercise those all-important back muscles:
- Flying Stretch
For this exercise, lie on a mat on your stomach and stretch your arms out in front of you and have your legs straight behind you. Lift your arms and your legs off the mat at the same time and hold your body in this position for as long as you can. Always look straight ahead. Lower your arms and legs and then repeat the action.
- Alternate Flying Stretch
Lie in the same position as for the flying stretch but this time, raise only your right arm and your left leg off the floor and hold. When you lower them down, raise your left arm and right leg and hold. Repeat this movement as often as you can.
The most traditional exercise for strengthening legs is also great for working the upper and lower back as well as strengthening the spine. Simply bend the knees and lower the hips as low as is comfortable, hold and then return to standing. Repeat the movement.
- Kneeling Alternate Flying Stretch
Instead of lying down, position your body in all fours on a mat and then perform the same moves as the alternative flying stretch. Raise your alternative leg and arm to shoulder height, in turn, and then repeat on the opposite side.
Back Stretches to Borrow From Yoga
- The Cobra Pose
Lie on your stomach on your mat and put your hands facing downwards at shoulder level. Raise your upper body by holding in your stomach and raise your eyes to the ceiling as you lift up. Your chest should be lifting and your back should remain straight.
- The Bridge Pose
Lie on the mat on your back before bending your knees to bring them up, but keeping your feet flat on the floor. Pull in your stomach muscles before raising your pelvis up towards the ceiling to achieve bridge pose.
- The Cat Stretch
Get onto all fours on your mat and pull in your stomach muscles. As you do so, round your back up towards the ceiling like a cat does and feel all your muscles stretching in your spine. Hold this position before lowering back down.
Back Exercises at Home With Dumbbells
While all of the above exercises and stretches can easily be carried out without the need for any equipment, if you really want to bulk up your back muscles and improve your strength dramatically, then adding in dumbbells can take your workout to the next level.
So if you have a set of dumbbells at home, check out these back exercises at home with dumbbells which you can slot into your regular exercise routine:
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- The Dumbbell Squat
Take a dumbbell in each hand and bend your knees to bring yourself into a squat. Lift the dumbbells up straight above your head and then hold them, before lowering them down again. Repeat this exercise.
- The Kneeling Arm
You will need a bench or chair for this exercise. Place one knee and the corresponding hand onto the chair and pick up the dumbbell with your opposite hand. Raise the dumbbell up above your head, by moving only your arm. Hold it, and then lower, before repeating. Then swap sides and repeat again.
- The Dumbbell Lift
This movement exercises your back but also many other muscle groups as well. Standing up, take a dumbbell within each hand. Then bend your knees and lower both of the dumbbells straight down to the floor. Hold the position. Raise back up slowly. Then repeat the movement.
- The Foot Bend
Place a dumb bell in front of one of your feet, on the floor. Start off in a standing position. You’re your knees slightly and bend down to hold the dumbbell with the opposite hand. Pick it up and gradually raise back up to standing. Repeat this exercise and then swap sides.
Getting a stronger back doesn’t have to mean hours spent down at the gym. If you follow these routines you can boost your back muscles easily from home.