A strong back is a pain-free back. To shore up all the muscles along your spine, try these moves from Geri Ainbinder, head trainer at Synergy Fitness in Baldwin, New York. Work up to three sets of each.
- Lie facedown on floor with your arms and legs spread to form an X. Keeping your abs tight, squeeze your glutes and lift your right arm, left leg, and your head 3 inches.
- Hold for 3 counts, then release. Repeat on the opposite side, raising your left arm, right leg, and head.
- Continue alternating for a total of 8 to 10 times.
Intermediate: Good Mornings
- Standing with feet shoulder-width apart, rest a body bar across your shoulders and take hold of either side with palms facing forward. Keeping knees slightly bent and torso straight, slowly bend from your hips until your upper body is parallel to the floor.
- Hold for 3 counts.
- Return to start and repeat for a total of 8 to 10 times.
Advanced: Single-Leg Row
- Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding a 5-pound dumbbell in each hand. Bend forward from the hips. At the same time, lift right leg behind you, bringing it parallel to the floor, keeping foot flexed.
- Remaining in that position, draw left elbow up to perform a row.
- Repeat for a total of 8 to 10 times, then switch sides.