Strengthen Your Back, Arms and Core

Fact: Those who exercise daily live longer and have healthier, active lives.  Not only do exercise and nutrition help you lose weight and look great, they help reduce stress, promote heart health, lower blood pressure and reduce the chance of stroke.

These exercises will burn extra calories, stabilize the core for balance and even help strengthen the back, arms and core.

1. Classic Crunches

  • Anchor back onto floor.  Bend knees and point toes to activate muscles.
  • Tuck chin into neck, and slowly lift shoulders off floor.  Keeping a 90-degree bend in knees, lift knees over hips, and lift shoulders as far as you can toward knees.  If you feel pressure or discomfort in back, release feet back to floor.
  • Release and repeat 10 to 20 repetitions. As your core strengthens, you will be able to increase repetitions.
    1a
    1b

2. Non-Impact Back Extension

  • Come down to floor onto stomach.  Ground hips to floor.
  • Lengthen arms out away from sides of body with thumbs facing upward.
  • Squeeze gluteus to protect lower back, and lift ribs off floor.
  • Hold for 20 seconds, then release.  Repeat back extensions for 10 to 20 repetitions.
    2a
    2b

Stability Ball Extended Pike 

  • Relax down to floor onto back.  Hold a stability ball extended over the head.
  • Tuck chin in, and lift ball up while lifting extended legs.  Bend knees and keep back anchored to floor if you feel pressure.  Allow ball and legs to come together, hold at top, and slowly return to start position.  *If this move is too difficult, begin with crunches and back extension and build up to this move.
    3a
    3b