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Thrive at Home: 4 workout moves to strengthen your back

Annette Fiscelli (above) works out at On Your Mark Coaching + Training. | Photos by Al Podgorski/Sun-Times

Whether you sit at a desk for most of your workday or do something more physical, keeping your back strong is critical to posture and avoiding back pain.

The support of your abs and back in a strong core can prevent pain caused by a misaligned spine, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Annette Fiscelli, trainer and co-owner at On Your Mark Coaching + Training in Bucktown and the West Loop, suggests these four exercises you can do at home to strengthen your back and core while improving your posture.

“The more aligned your spine is, the stronger and more efficiently you can train your core to get stronger,” Fiscelli tells Thrive. “If you are all hunched over then it is hard to get into certain core moves without feeling muscles in the wrong places.”

1. Bent Over Row

“For the first exercise you’ll need one set of dumbbells. You will stand on both feet, hip-width apart and bend forward at your hips at a 45 degree angle, reaching the dumbbells in front of your knees. From here you will pull the dumbbells, initiating from the shoulder blades, and release them back down. This targets the upper back shoulder blade area.”

2. T

“The next exercise requires no equipment. You will lay on the floor face down with your arms straight out to your sides, forming a T-shape. You will lift your arms up off the floor by pulling your shoulder blades together and then release them back down. This helps with upper back strengthening and postural muscles. It’s great if you sit slumped over a computer all day.”

3. Reverse Fly

“The next exercise requires a resistance band or a light dumbbells. Standing with your feet hip-width apart and your arms extended out in front of you chest height, you will pull your arms back in line with your body and then return them in front of you chest level. This strengthens the back of your shoulder head and upper and middle back.”

4. Y

“The next exercise requires no equipment. Once again, you will lay face down on the floor with your arms extended up by your ears. You’ll be forming a Y formation with your arms. From here you will lift your arms off the floor 1 to 2 inches and then set them back down on the floor. This strengthens the middle of your spine and also helps with standing up straight and postural muscles.

Look for more guest posts in the coming weeks from trainers and fitness bloggers as part of our new series, Thrive at Home.