I’m sure you’ve all seen those fitness magazines of women sporting their super toned backs, but perhaps you don’t know anything about the specific exercises for a toned back that you should be doing. Even if you don’t want to look like a bodybuilder, having a toned back can not only enhance your posture and strength, but also help your body support itself better during all forms of exercise. Check out my favorite back exercises for a toned back that will leave you fit, toned, and in better shape overall.
1. Pull Ups
I’m not going to lie to you girls; this is one of the hardest exercises for a toned back that you’ll be doing. In fact, I can barely do one or two pull-ups! This not only shows my back needs some serious strength-training, but also shows how little most of us work our backs in this position. Pull-ups are great for getting a toned back, because the exercise emphasizes muscles that we don’t use very often. Pull-ups tone and cinch every single inch of your back, which not only enhances the muscular appeal of your back, but it also increases your total upper body strength.
2. Triceps Extensions
Perhaps you’re not big on lifting weights. I understand that since I’m not one to spend boatloads of time with the weights in the gym myself. One exercise that I always make sure that I do, however, are triceps extensions, where you raise your arms behind your back with weights as you would in dumb bell rows. This exercise is extremely efficient in toning your back, and all the muscles in your arms. I like to get in a squatting position as I hold the weights in my hands, and then row my arms back towards my back. This tones your back and your butt at the same time, which is a total win-win in my book!
This exercise is a lot like a pull-up but different because it works different parts of your back, along with your arms. Since the arms are positioned differently on a barbell to pull yourself up, different muscle groups have to execute the movements. This exercise is great for cinching and toning the lower and upper back on both men and women.
Did you know yoga was one of the best exercises you can do for a toned back? It’s true! Yoga exercises depend on core strength, which tones your back and strengthens it. Yoga won’t give you that ultra ripped look, but will instead naturally tone the muscles in your back, shoulders and your triceps. Plank, upward facing dog and downward facing dog are great exercises for the back, along with side planks and knee-to-nose positions.
5. Dumb Bell Rows
Dumb bell rows, which are usually performed bent over on a bench, are awesome for your back muscles. This exercise tones the arms as well. To do this exercise effectively, be sure that when you raise your arms behind you towards your back, you're not curving your back and hunching over. Keep your back straight in alignment with the bench. This will prevent injury and enhance the toning properties of the exercise.
Push-ups don’t just work your arms, girls, they also work your back! Push-ups are great for toning your back because your total upper body depends on the muscles in your back to support your body. This exercise can also enhance your posture if done effectively.
7. Seated Cable Rows
If you have access to a gym, be sure to do some cable rows in your back-toning workout, using either weights or a machine. If you don’t have access to a gym or machine, but have dumbbells at home, you can still do this exercise on the floor. Just be sure to secure your feet so that when you row your arms back, you don’t topple over with the weights! This exercise uses specific muscles on the sides of the back, along with the upper shoulders, that will tone your back and your arms.
Using different muscles in your back in a variety of ways is key to toning your back. Core-strengthening exercises that are used in pilates and yoga exercises are awesome for your back as well, and I recommend these for everyone, even if you hit the gym each day! Do you have a favorite exercise that tones your back or backside?