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Practice yoga to tone and strengthen your body, including your back muscles.
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Yoga, combined with cardio exercise and a healthy diet, burns calories and builds muscles, which helps reduce overall fat. To build muscles for a toned back, perform a series of yoga poses that strengthen your upper back, lower back and shoulders. Like any exercise, yoga needs to be practiced regularly to see the benefits. Practice these back-toning asanas three or more times per week.
Bridge pose tones your lower back when practiced regularly. This asana also stretches the chest, neck and spine while rejuvenating tired legs. To perform Bridge pose, lie on your back. Bend your knees and bring your heels as close to the buttocks as possible. Your feet and thighs should be parallel. Lift your buttocks off the floor while reaching your pelvis toward the ceiling. Focus your weight on your feet and shoulders. Grab your heels if possible or clasp your hands together under your buttocks. Align your knees over your heels and push them away from your hips. Stay in this pose for 30 seconds to one minute. Release your hands and come out of Bridge pose by rolling down the spine at a slow pace.
Shoulderstand is an inverted pose that strengthens your core muscles. This asana tones your upper and lower back while stretching the shoulders and neck. To perform Shoulderstand pose, lie on your back. Extend your arms straight alongside you. Lift your feet, legs and hips off the ground. Keep your elbows shoulder-width apart and place your hands on your back for support. Bend your knees to your torso. Slowly straighten your legs and raise them straight up toward the ceiling as you elongate your spine. Point your toes. Rest on your arms and keep your head and neck straight. Hold the pose for 30 seconds and slowly build up to holding the pose for up to five minutes. To come out of the pose, bend your knees to your torso as you slowly roll out of the position.
Downward-Facing Dog Pose
Downward-Facing Dog tones your upper and lower back. This asana also strengthens your arms and legs while stretching your shoulders, hamstrings, calves and arches. To perform this pose, begin in a kneeling position with your hands aligned under your shoulders and your knees aligned under your hips. Focus your weight on the balls of your feet as you lift your hips upwards. Your body should form an inverted вЂњV.вЂќ Your arms and legs should be straight without locking your elbows or knees. Activate your shoulder blades, keep your heels as close to the floor as possible and focus your eyes on your toes. Hold this pose for one to three minutes. Come out of this pose by slowly coming back down onto your hands and knees.
Tips and Warnings
Yoga is considered safe for most people, but talk to your doctor before beginning any new exercise program. When beginning your yoga practice, take classes so a trained instructor can guide you and adjust your poses to prevent injury. Some poses are difficult for beginners, so yoga instructors will provide modifications and will also tell you which poses are safe. Some poses, such as inversions, should not be practiced by pregnant or menstruating women.