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Simple Exercise for the Back

Strengthen your entire back with this one simple move. The first variation, in which your legs are on the floor, targets the upper and mid-back muscles. The second variation kicks up the intensity by also training your buttocks and legs.
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Lie face down on a level, padded surface. Straighten your legs behind you with your toes down and your inner ankles facing each other. Place the palms of your hands flat on the floor near your rib cage, elbows bent and tucked in close to your body. Inhale, contract your upper back muscles to raise your chest, shoulders and head off the floor. Pause for three breaths.

Exhale while you keep your upper back raised. Inhale again, but this time extend your arms back, reaching your fingertips toward your feet. Now raise your legs off the floor. Keep your knees straight and your feet close together. Hold this position for three breaths, release and rest face-down on the floor for 15 seconds. Repeat two or three times.


Source:
Los Angeles Times

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Sitting into the Back Stretch

Here’s a nice stretch for your middle and lower back that fits easily into your workday. Just move your chair away from the desk and give it a try whenever your back feels tight or stiff. This move is also a great way to release tension in your neck and shoulders.

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STEP-1.

Sit all the way to the back of a sturdy chair (not a rolling one). Place your feet shoulder-width apart with your ankles below your knees, feet flat on the floor. Bend forward at the hips, bringing your chest and ribcage in between your inner thighs. Reach your arms in front of you, with your hands on the floor, looking down between your feet. Pause and feel the stretch in your middle and lower back.

STEP-2.
Once you feel comfortable with the stretch, reach your hands behind your feet and grasp the front legs of the chair. Aim the crown of your head forward away from the chair as you engage your upper back muscles and slide your shoulders down away from your ears. Pull your torso closer to the floor to feel a deeper stretch. Hold for three to six complete breaths, release your hands and slowly sit upright to come out of the stretch.

Source: Los Angeles Times

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Using a Chair Can Help Abdominal Crunches

Have you ever thought of using a folding chair when performing abdominal crunches? Try it. You’ll find that it’s a comfortable way to focus on contracting your abs without feeling pressure on your back.

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STEP-1. Place an open-back chair or bench on a flat, padded surface and lie down in front of it. Place your lower legs on the seat of the chair with your feet hanging off the back end of the seat. Scoot in so your hips are close to the chair. Place your hands behind your head with your elbows pointed out to the sides. Inhale, allowing your abdomen and rib cage to rise slightly.

STEP-2. On an exhale, push your back firmly against the floor as you contract your abdominal muscles to raise your chest, shoulders and head off the floor. Pause for two seconds with the front of your ribs and navel pressed toward the floor. Remember to rest your head in your hands so your neck and shoulders can stay relaxed. Lower and repeat 15 to 20 reps. Rest 20 seconds and repeat another set.

Source: Los Angeles Times

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Dumbbells Aid in Tricep-Toning

Adding core stability to this arm exercise will shape and tone the muscles in your midsection as well as the backs of your upper arms, called the triceps.

1. Hold a 5- to 10-pound dumbbell in each hand and lie on a full-length round roller. Place your hips and head on the roller (you can use a yoga block under your head if necessary). Put your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart, toes and knees facing forward. Straighten your arms above your chest and press the ends of the dumbbells together.

2. Inhale, slowly lower the dumbbells until they’re just above your forehead, pausing with your wrists at shoulder height. Then exhale, contracting the backs of your upper arms to reverse directions and move the dumbbells up to the start position. Do not “lock out” at the elbows. Hold for two seconds at the top of the lift and repeat until you have done 12 reps. Rest for 20 seconds and repeat for a total of three sets.

Source : Los Angeles Times

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Strengthen the Upper Back

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To strengthen the muscles in your upper back and rear delts (those muscles in the back of your shoulders), try this simple move. It’s ideal after hours of sitting in front of a computer or driving. Pulling your elbows behind you engages your upper back, which helps relieve tension in your chest, neck and upper trapezius muscles.

1. Place the center of a resistance band or stretch tubing under your right foot. Grasp the ends of the band in each hand. Bend your right knee and lean your torso forward with your arms hanging below your shoulders. Keep your abdominals pulled in to support your spine.

2. On an exhale, point your elbows back and gradually stretch the band as you move your hands toward your hip bones. Be sure to keep the tops of your shoulders pressed down away from your ears. Pause for two seconds with your hands near your hips. Lower to the start position and repeat 12 to 16 times.

Source : Los Angeles Times

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