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Exercise Your Lower and Upper Back with Back Raises

Fitday Editor

In the quest for toned arms, abs, and chests, the back can easily be forgotten. A strong back improves posture, is essential to overall body strength, and can even help you do more types of ab and chest exercises by providing additional stability and support. The Back Raise is a great, low impact exercise to start working those forgotten muscles.

Step by Step:

1. Lie on your stomach with your face down and your toes touching the floor. Bring your hands directly underneath your shoulders with your palms flat and your elbows squeezed in towards your body. (Image 1)

2. Lift your head and chest so your forehead is three to six inches off the floor. Keep your face down and your feet on the floor. Your hand will remain on the floor. Hold this position. (Image 2)


3. Once you feel strong in #2, add a variation to work your upper back at the same time. Clasp your hands at your finger tips and place your hands on the back of your head. Lift your head and chest while keeping your elbows behind your head. Hold this position. (Image 3 and 4).



Focus first on gaining strength by holding positions #2 and #3. Eventually you can work up to sets of slow, controlled repetitions and be on your way to building up a strong, healthy back!

Photos by: Andie Baker.

Katy Moeggenberg owns, manages, and instructs at both the Blue Ash Shaolin-Do and Anaya Belly Dance in Cincinnati, Ohio. She's a Kung Fu black belt (4th degree), professional dancer and choreographer, runner, and Yogi. She has enabled a variety of goals for her clients to come true-fine tuning professional dancers' routines, honing martial artists' skills for complex competitions, and empowering clients to lose as much as 100 pounds. She performs dance and Kung Fu over 50 times a year across national venues. In addition, her teaching has been featured and sought after at national dance conventions and NFL cheerleader training camps. Learn more about Katy at

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