Too much sitting can weaken your back muscles, impact posture and cause back pain.  

The best way to combat the negative effects of prolonged sitting is to strengthen the muscles that support the back.

This 7-step back strengthening workout will help you build the support muscles you need to encourage proper posture and a healthy spine. Incorporate it into your workout routine and you’ll notice results in no time.

Bird dogs (3 sets of 5 to 10 reps)

  • Begin on all fours with your hands directly under your shoulders, your knees directly under your hips and your back relatively flat
  • Slowly raise your left arm forward as you simultaneously extend your right leg backward
  • Once both your leg and arm are in line with your torso, pause briefly before you begin to lower both limbs back to the starting position
  • Repeat on the other side for one rep

Child’s pose (3 sets of 1 to 3 reps)

  • Begin on your hands and knees, with your knees spread wide apart and your big toes facing towards one another
  • Slowly bring your hips back onto your heels as you lower your chest down towards the floor while comfortably breathing (inhale as you move back and exhale as you rest)
  • Rest your torso between your thighs
  • At this point, your spine should be slightly extended (arched) and your forehead should be resting on the floor with your arms either extended overhead or placed alongside your body
  • Hold the position for three deep slow breaths for one rep

Side bridge (3 sets of 15 to 30 seconds per side)

  • Begin on your left side with your left forearm flat on the floor, elbow directly under your shoulder
  • Bend both knees 90 degrees and either stack both thighs on top of each other or extend top leg pressing the inside edge of the foot onto the floor
  • Engage your core and lift your hips off the floor, forming a straight line from your head to your bottom knee and top foot
  • Hold the lift for 15 to 30 seconds, then lower your hips back down to the starting position for one rep
  • Repeat on the opposite side

Wall angels (3 sets of 5 to 10 reps)

  • Begin standing with your back against a wall, the back of your head and hips resting against the wall and your heels planted slightly away from the wall
  • Arms should be hanging at your side with your palms facing forward
  • Bend your knees slightly to help maintain a subtle pelvic tilt
  • Bend your elbows 90 degrees and press the back of your forearms against the wall
  • Breath in as you slide your arms up the wall as far as you can or until your arms fully extend or hands touch
  • Pause to exhale and inhale as you lower your arms back down to the starting position for one rep

Thoracic spine rotations (3 sets of 3 to 5 reps)

  • Begin standing with your feet hip-width apart or slightly wider
  • Pull your abs in and brace your core
  • Place your right hand on your left shoulder (front) and the back of your left hand on your lower back
  • As you breathe in rotate to the right, pressing into your fingers on your right shoulder and slide the back of your left hand across the low back to the left hip or buttock
  • Breathe in and return your arms to the starting position for one rep
  • Switch hands and repeat on the other side

Standing cat cows (3 sets of 3 to 5 reps)

  • Begin standing with your feet hip-width apart and your knees bent in a high squat position
  • Rest your hands on the top of your thighs and lift your chest to maintain a neutral (straight) spine
  • Begin to round the back by pulling your abs in as you exhale and tilt your pelvis under (posterior tilt) to round your spine into a standing cat
  • Inhale as you lift your chin and gently arch your back by lifting your chest upwards and tilting your pelvis anteriorly (tail bone upward) into a standing cow

Standing side bends (3 sets of 3 to 5 reps)

  • Stand tall with your hands on your hips, feet hip-width or slightly wider apart
  • Pull your abs in and brace gently while squeezing your gluteal muscles (buttocks)
  • As you inhale lift your right arm up overhead and bend at the waist to lean towards the left
  • Exhale and pause, while keeping your hip stable
  • Release and repeat on the other side for one rep