Exercise to Look Great Backless

Stephen Holt, Timonium personal trainer

Millions of readers of national fitness magazines including Shape, Women's Health, Fitness. Woman's Day, Family Circle, Runner's World, (and many others) have made their exercise programs both more effective AND more efficient with fitness and nutrition advice from "America's Baby Boomer Expert," Stephen Holt.

So even though I’m forced to do the sexy, provocative “Look Great Backless” Internet thing, you know I’m not a fan of superficial exercises just for looks


This move improves your shoulder health AND makes you look good in your backless tops.

[Of course, you realize there’s no such thing as spot reduction, and that you have no more control over where you lose fat than you did over where you gained it, right?]

But …

You can certainly look better (and even have less shoulder and neck pain – BONUS) in your summertime backless tops and dresses with a little more muscle tone in your mid-back.

Here’s a simple exercise you can do at home or on vacation with just a band. We can this the Band Pull Apart or Band Row.

Here’s How You Do It

First step in the Band Row, grab a band. It doesn’t matter what type. It can be a loop, a straight band (like Theraband), a section of a Superband, or even the Figure “8” loop band you see in the video.

Hold the band out in front of you at chest to shoulder height with your palms facing down. There should be little to no tension in the band here.

Then, keeping your palms down, pull the band apart as you drive your elbows straight(-ish) backward. As I remind my clients, Rule #1 is to keep your shoulders down (DO NOT shrug) at all times. If you have to let your elbows drop in order to follow Rule #1, go ahead and let them drop a little.

We keep the reps in the high-ish range, 12-15,16. If you feel undue tension in your neck and upper traps, be sure to relax completely and let your arms come all the way down to your sides every 3-4 reps, or as needed.


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