A stronger back and core in 10 minutes a day

If you’re looking for ways to get stronger and more fit in less time, choosing an exercise that multitasks is perfect for you. Finding an exercise that uses just one piece of home equipment is even better…

Once you’ve got a foundation of overall muscles strength and core strength, taking your exercise to the next level can get you more results in less time.

Try this free weight exercise using a weight you’re able to reach fatigue in either 25, 15, 10 or fewer repetitions. Those recommendations are based on whether you’re a beginner, have a little more experience, or are an advanced highly fit exerciser — in addition to your specific goals and status.

Tips for success with this exercise:

  1. Stand with your weight on your heels.
  2. Create a small arch in your lower back. Avoid rounding which places stress on the lower back.
  3. Look down and slightly forward 5-10 feet in front of you. Avoid looking up or directly forward, which strains the neck unnecessarily. If you’re using a video monitor or in a fitness class think about your position in relationship to the instructor or screen.
  4. Pull your shoulders down away from your ears.
  5. Draw your shoulder blades together as if you’re sewing them toward your spine and down toward your hips.
  6. As you pull up, lead with your elbows close to your sides and don’t overdue the range of motion.
  7. Bending forward by hinging at the hips insures that the back muscles and not the shoulders do the work.

If you’re not able to hold a good position you’ll begin to feel strain in the lower back before you reach fatigue in those middle and upper back muscles. Simply put one weight down, place the other hand on a bench or chair to offer a little more stability and give yourself a little more time before you attempt the free standing two-arm version. You’ll get there!

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Debra Atkinson

By Debra Atkinson

Debra Atkinson Is the founder of the Flipping 50 movement and host of the Flipping 50 podcast and TV show available on your iphone, ipad, and Apple TV. She is the author of four books including You Still Got It, Girl! The After 50 Fitness Formula For Women and Navigating Fitness After 50: Your GPS For Choosing Programs and Professionals You Can Trust.

Debra is a contributing blogger on the Huffington Post, ShareCare, Prime Woman, and Livingbetter50. She provides solutions for women approaching 50 or who have already turned the corner on what to eat, how to move, and the mindset for lifestyle change with hormone balance that will make the next years as the best years. Find her resources here.