How to Get a Sexy Back
Having a sexy back takes work but it is achievable! Improving your posture will immediately make your back look longer, straighter, and more toned. You can further boost your back’s appearance by doing exercises that strengthen and tone your chest, shoulders, and back muscles. Lastly, know how to take care of the skin on your back so that it has a healthy glow.
- Test your posture. This test will help gauge how good your standing posture is:
- Stand with your heels 2 to 4 inches away from a wall, and with your head, shoulder blades, and buttocks touching the wall.
- Reach one hand back and, placing your palm flat against he wall, slide your hand behind your lower back curve.
- The space between your lower back and the wall should measure roughly one hand’s thickness.
- If there’s too much space, tightening your abs will help flatten the curve in your back. If there’s not enough space, gently arch your back until you can fit your hand between your back and the wall.
- Stop slouching. Computer work, lab and research-heavy jobs, and inactive lifestyles can weaken your back, chest and arm muscles, and cause you to slouch. Slouching can make you look saggy, tired, and heavier than you are.
Improving your posture will instantly boost the appearance of your back. It will also pull in your stomach and make you look taller and slimmer.
- Know what good standing posture looks like. Follow this checklist to ensure that you have good standing posture:
- Keep your shoulders back and relaxed. Don’t force them back to the point that you’re uncomfortable.
- Pull in your stomach. Again, there is no need to be forceful here. Just gently pull in your stomach muscles (you’ll likely feel the lower part suck in and the upper part tense a little).
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
- Ensure that your weight is evenly balanced between both feet. (You can shift side to side and back and forth a bit to get a sense of how your weight distributes itself on your feet.)
- Allow your arms and hands to hang naturally at your sides.
- Keep your knees relaxed, with a gentle bend in them.
- Ensure that your head is balanced on your neck. Your head shouldn’t be tilted in any direction. Your neck should feel like it connects in a long, straight line with your spine, as if a string is attached to the top of your head and is gently pulling you upward.
- Know what good seated posture looks like. Follow this checklist when you’re seated to ensure that you have good posture:
- Your feet should rest flat on the floor when you’re seated so that your knees are level with your hips. If this isn’t possible, get a foot rest.
- Sit back in your chair so that the chair supports your lower back. If the chair doesn’t touch your lower back, use a pillow or rolled-up towel behind your lower back.
- Raise your head toward the ceiling, and slightly tuck in your chin.
- Your upper back and neck should be straight but comfortable.
- Your shoulders should be relaxed. Make sure they’re not slouching, climbing up towards your ears, or pulled backwards.
- Ensure that your work environment isn’t contributing to your poor posture. It’s particularly common to experience postural issues when working at jobs that require you to sit at a desk. Having a proper setup can improve your posture, and prevent pain and injuries.
- Your desk should be set up so that it’s as easy for you to sit as tall as possible while you work.
- Your screen should be at eye level and you shouldn’t have to turn or lean forward to see it.
- Your chair should support your lower back, and keep your hips and knees on level with one another.
- Your elbows should be kept at 90 degrees and close to your sides while working, so ensure that your keyboard does not sit higher up on your desk or too far away.
- Take regular breaks. If mucTake regular breaks. If much of your day is spent hunched over books or a computer, it’s necessary to take regular breaks get up and move around, and stretch. Ideally you should stretch and/or get out of your chair every 20 to 40 minutes.
If you can’t take breaks every 20 to 40 minutes, at the very least remember to do some gentle stretches while sitting, and/or to change your position in your chair.
- Fix your posture while you are at your desk. Improve your neck posture if you are used to looking at a computer screen. Extend your neck backwards, like you are trying to touch it to a wall, hold for 3 seconds and return it.
Repeat 10 times, doing several sets throughout the day.
This exercise will improve your neck muscles so that you’re less likely to slope forward when you stand. It will also remind you to keep your back straight while you work.
- Correct your posture with a wall exercise. Stand against a wall with your heels 2 to 4 inches away from the wall. Pull your shoulder blades together and touch them to the wall. Then, tip your chin down slightly and touch the back of your head to the wall.
Ensure that your back isn’t over-arched and your shoulders aren’t lifted toward your ears.
Hold the position for several minutes until it feels comfortable.
Return to the wall 2 to 3 times a day to check that you are keeping the correct posture.
- Do shoulder squeezes to stop slouching. These are helpful if your arms tend to fall forward. Simply squeeze your shoulder blades together and hold them for 3 seconds. Release and repeat 10 times.
Perform several sets throughout the day. You can do this at your desk, on the couch, while you’re on the phone — really while you’re doing anything.
- Strengthen your core. Having a strong core will help improve your posture. Try doing yoga or pilates a few times a week. This will help build your core muscles and also strengthen and tone the rest of your muscles.
- Do back, chest, and shoulder exercises 3 times a week. This section lists some popular exercises for getting a sexy back by strengthening your back, shoulders, and chest.
You’ll need dumbbells (5 to 10 lb for women, 10 to 20 lb for men), a workout mat, and running shoes.
- Do the cobra pose. This is a popular yoga pose that stretches and strengthens the chest, shoulders, and upper and lower back:
- Lie face down on the mat, with your elbows bent and hugged in at your sides, and your hands palm down, in line with or underneath your shoulders. Your legs should be stretched straight back, with the tops of your feet flat against the floor.
- As you inhale, slowly straighten your arms to list your chest off the floor. As you do this press the tops of your feet and thighs, and your pelvic bone into the floor.
- While your chest is lifted your tailbone should draw down towards your pelvic bone, and your stomach should be firm. Your buttocks should be firm but not flexed to the point that they are hard.
- Draw your shoulders away from your ears so that your shoulder blades melt down your back. You should feel a lift through your sternum, without your front ribs pushing forward. Think of the back bend as being distributed evenly along your whole spine.
- Hold this pose for 15 to 30 seconds. If you feel comfortable with it, you can lift your legs up as well. For an added punch, you can lift your arms off the floor and hold them straight out in front of you, moving into a superman pose.
- Exhale as you return to your starting position (lying face down on the mat), then repeat 9 more times (for 10 reps total).
- Tone your upper back with shoulder shrugs. Grab a dumbbell in each hand and stand with good posture. Your feet should be hip-width apart. Throughout this exercise your arms should hang naturally at your sides.
Lift your shoulders towards your ears, as though you are shrugging. Hold for 3 seconds, and then slowly lower them back down.
Repeat with 2 sets of 10 repetit