Upper back exercises for women may not only enhance the shape of your neck and shoulders, but provide optimal cervical support as well as reducing the chance of flab appearing above and below your bra strap. A few simple exercises performed on a daily basis offers a variety of benefits, including releasing tension in the neck, arms and shoulders. Perform upper back exercises several times throughout the day if you wish, or work them into your normal exercise routines on a daily basis.
Perform dumbbell rows for a good upper back stretch and exercise. You can place your left knee on a bench or chair or, you can place one foot ahead of the other. For example, place the left foot about 18 inches in front of your right foot, feet shoulder distance apart. Pull in the lower abs and bend forward, placing the left hand on the chair or against your left thigh for support, depending on the position you choose. Grasp the dumbbell, a book or just make a fist with your right hand.
Lift the upper right arm, elbow bent, toward the ceiling. Keep the hand close to your right side. Pretend you're trying to literally wrap the right shoulder blade over the spine. Hold the contraction at the top, then slowly lower. Repeat this four more times and then switch to repeat on the other side.
Grasp dumbbells, books, milk jugs or any weighted object in each hand. Weights should not extend over 10 pounds for beginners. If you don't want to use any added weight, make a fist with each hand. Stand straight, feet about shoulder distance apart, arms hanging down by the sides. Slowly lift the shoulders upward, as if trying to touch the top of your shoulders to your ears. When you've lifted the shoulders as high as you can, hold that position for about 5 to 10 seconds and then slowly lower the shoulders back to the starting position. Repeat this exercise about 10 times.
Forward Back Bend
Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder distance apart, arms at your sides. Slowly bend forward until you're looking at the floor and your back is parallel to the floor. Allow your arms to hang downward. With the palms of the hands facing outward, lift the arms out to your sides until they reach shoulder level. Hold that position for a few seconds and then lower. Repeat this exercise between 5 and 10 times.
- back image by Valentin Mosichev from Fotolia.com
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.