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7 exercises to tone your back

When putting together a workout plan to condition and tone your body, don’t forget to include exercises for your back. The back is an area often forgotten, but strengthening those muscles can help you maintain good posture and prevent back pain. Bonus: you just may feel more confident in your clothes.

Sharrell Porter, an exercise physiologist at Piedmont Atlanta Fitness Center, shares seven exercises that can help you tone and strengthen your back. Complete three sets of eight to 10 reps each.

1. Bent-over row

Hold a dumbbell with palms facing each other. Bend your knees slightly and bring your torso forward by bending at the waist.

Lift dumbbells to your side, keeping the elbows close to the body. Slowly lower the weight to starting position and repeat.

2. Bent-over fly

Grab dumbbells and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees slightly and bring your torso forward by bending at the waist.

Moving only at the shoulders, raise your arms out to your sides until your arms are parallel to the ground. Lower arms and repeat.

3. Dumbbell y-raise

Hold a dumbbell with palms facing each other. Bend your knees slightly and bring your torso forward by bending at the waist.

Lift the dumbbells as high as you can while forming a Y-shape with your arms and torso. Lower your arms and repeat.

Note: Exercises one through three can be combined for a circuit.

4. Dumbbell shoulder press

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. With dumbbells in hand, push up until they touch at the top. Bring them down and repeat.

5. Plank dumbbell row

Place your hand on dumbbells and set your body in a pushup position. Row one dumbbell off of the floor, pulling your elbow as high as you can while you squeeze your shoulder blade back. Return the dumbbell to the floor and repeat, alternating sides.

6. Superman

Lie straight and face down on a floor mat. Extend your arms in front of you. Simultaneously raise your arms, legs and chest off of the floor and hold for two seconds.

Slowly lower your arms, legs and chest back down to the floor. Repeat.

7. Side plank dumbbell raises

Get into a side plank position with a dumbbell in front of you. Pull the dumbbell up, leading with the elbow, then extend and raise the dumbbell above your body. Lower the dumbbells and repeat.

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