For each exercise, do 3 sets of the recommended number of reps. Take a 1-minute break between each set.
Exercise 1: Your Upper back muscles
Do you know the latissimus dorsi? It’s the large muscle that covers most of your back, from your shoulders to your spine. They help with balance.
- Target muscles: All the back muscles (including the latissimus dorsi), and the smaller muscles around your spine
- Execution: Stand up, legs slightly bent and at hip width. Your chest should be slightly bent forward. Hold the medicine ball in both hands. Your arms should be extended below your shoulders. Keeping your arms extended, raise the medicine ball until your arms are aligned with your upper body. Slowly lower your arms back down. Repeat.
- Safety tips: Remember to control the movement. Do not arch your back and tuck your stomach in.
- Breathing: Breathe in when your arms are lowered and exhale while you’re raising them.
- Reps: 15
Exercise 2: Your Lower back muscles
You’re often using your lower back without realizing it. For example, when you pick up an object from off the ground. It’s a simple everyday move, but you don’t realize the strain it might put on your lower back muscles. Here’s a simple exercise that can help build them up!
- Target muscles: Lower back muscles
- Execution: Lie down on your stomach. Place your hands at the back of your head. Lift your shoulders up while keeping your eyes on the ground. Hold this elevated position for 10 seconds, then lie back down. Repeat.
- Safety tips: Lift only the upper part of your torso (the lower part of your chest should touch the ground at all times). Make sure you tuck in your belly (tight abs will help protect your back).
- Breathing: Breathe in while you’re fully lying down and breathe out while lifting your shoulders.
- Reps: 10
Exercise 3: Your Hips and Glutes
Have you ever heard of the gluteus medius? No? Probably for good reason. They’re some of the most underused muscles. They’re located just below your hips, on the outside. The gluteus medius are used in your everyday life. For example they help with your balance. Here’s how you can make them work a little harder.
- Target muscles: The gluteus medius
- Execution: Lie down on your back, relax your head and neck and extend your arms out with your palms facing up. Then bring your legs together and bend your knees. Rotate your legs to one side (while keeping your upper body lying down). Keep your feet and ankles together. The top leg’s knee should go up and down 20 times. Switch sides and then repeat.
- Breathing: Inhale when you’re in the starting position and exhale when your knee goes up.
- Safety tips: The upper body should be completely still. Be careful not to tilt your hips backwards when your knee is going up and down.
- Reps: 20
Exercise 4: Your core
There are many fitness routines and sports that involve twisting your upper body. To avoid injuries, it’s important to work on those core muscles you need for this type of movement.
- Target muscles: Obliques (abs)
- Execution: Lie on your back and extend your arms on either side of your body. Bend your knees at 90 degrees and bring your ankles up from off the ground. Slowly rock your knees on either side of your body, like a clock back and forth movement. To make the exercise more difficult, try that your knees don’t touch the ground.
- Breathing: Inhale in your starting position. Exhale (and push your stomach out) while your knees are coming back to their central position.
- Safety tips: Make sure you squeeze your abs. Your shoulders should always stay on the ground. Do not arch your back.
- Reps: 10