ways to get a sexy back

Achiselled, sculpted back ranks high on a woman's wishlist. When you wear a sexy blouse that exposes your back, you need to ensure that it looks toned and in shape.

The workout for most Indian women comprises areas like arms, thighs and 'mirror muscles'. But for a stellar reflection, shape up those in your rearview too. Well-toned back muscles not only look stunning in a low-back dress, it makes you look slimmer without losing a gram. So, what really is the secret to a fab sexy back? Here's a DIY guide to toning your back and skimming off that extra flab for a perfect sculpted look worth the envy of many women.

Watch your diet
Let's not get away from the fact that the food you eat plays a vital role in defining your mid-section. Incorporate a diet that is healthy, well balanced and low in fat. Eat nutritious and wholesome foods instead of packaged, refined foods. Fibrous foods are must-haves. Fibre fills your tummy and helps you lose weight. Good choices are veggies, fruits, whole grain cereals, unpolished rice and whole grain bread. A healthy well-balanced diet should include carbohydrates, proteins, fats and plenty of water. Carbohydrates (fruits, vegetables) must form 60 per cent of your diet; proteins (milk, eggs) 15 per cent and fats (oil, butter) 25 per cent.

Workout is a must
Unless you burn fat, your toned back will remain hidden. Yoga and pilates are excellent ways to improve flexibility and sculpt your back. Your back exercises target the long, flat muscles between and below your shoulder blades. Constantly challenge your back by varying your workouts which will give you better and quick results.

Forget me not
Savour your food: If you eat slowly, you'll savour your food and relish your meal. Eating slowly not only helps to digest better, but also prevents overeating. Think before you drink: When you drink alcohol, know you are consuming empty calories. If you wish to drink occasionally, compensate it with an extra hour of training.

Hydrate yourself: Drink at least eight glasses of water a day. Also eat high water content foods that will help you lose weight. Watermelon, oranges, pineapples, tomatoes, and cucumber are good options.

Cycle your way to a toned back
Try to get enough cardio activity to burn approximately 900-1200 calories a week. Pick from these less taxing calorie guides:

Cycling is a great exercise for toning the lower body. You burn 350 calories an hour.

Run :
Pick up pace, feel the power in movement. A great exercise. You burn 400 calories an hour.

Simply walk:
Just put on your walking shoes and walk anywhere, anytime, as and when convenient.You burn 300 calories an hour.

Walk uphill:
This increases walking intensity and shapes the legs and hips.You burn 400 calories an hour.

Challenge your muscles in water. A safe, low-impact exercise that works the whole body. You burn 400 calories an hour.

The right posture:
Proper posture is important as it lengthens your back, helping your torso to look lean and slender. Don't slouch; sit and stand with your head high and your stomach in. While you walk, hold your chin up and point your feet forward.

Did you know?
- A large belly pulls the spine forward and out of alignment, increasing the risk of back strain.
- Smoking decreases blood circulation to the tissues of the back.

Go the yoga way
A toned back is not just to make a fashion statement, it denotes toned health, muscular aesthetics and physical strength. Try these asanas to boost stamina, de-stress and tone your body marvelously.

(Squat pose):
Stand straight, arms in front at shoulder level. Feet should be half a foot apart. Inhale. Exhaling lower hips, keep the back straight. Do not tilt forward. Hold for a few seconds.

(Mountain pose):
This pose is universally called the inverted "V" pose. Go on all fours, palms under shoulders, legs bent at knees. Inhale. Exhaling, lift the hips up, knees off the ground. Push into the heels, and apply pressure from the shoulders. Breathe and hold looking at the stomach, for as long as you're comfortable. Repeat a few times.

Dhanurasana (bow pose):
Rest on stomach, chin on ground. Fold both legs at knees, reaching hands behind to grasp either ankle. Inhale, lift thighs, chest and chin off the ground. Continue breathing, firming the hold on your ankles, arching your spine and looking up such that your neck feels a powerful stretch. Initially, do thrice. Later, hold the pose for a minute.

Nirrlamba dhanurasana (unsupported bow pose):
Lie on stomach with chin and palms flat on the ground as shown. Fold legs at the knees. Inhale. Now lift chin, chest, palms and thighs off the ground. Hold this pose as long as possible, breathing normally throughout.

Let's shape it up!
Camel pose
Sit on your knees; raise and arch your back backwards and rest your palms on your feet. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat thrice.

Cobra pose
Lie on your stomach with arms resting by the side. Bend the elbows and place palms below the shoulders. Raise arms, back, chest and neck of the floor. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat 5 times.

Pilates swimming
Lie on your stomach on the mat. Raise your left hand and right leg, keeping them straight. Slowly return to starting position. Now, raise your right hand and left leg. Repeat 10 times.

Bent-over row
Sit on the edge of a chair. Now, lean slightly forward from the hips. Keep your back, neck and head aligned. Hold weights or water bottles in your palms. Slowly lift your hands up, bending at your elbows and then slowly lower them down. Repeat 10 times.

The bridge
Lie on your back with feet on the floor, and your knees bent, shoulder-width apart. Raise your back and squeeze your hips as you lift up. Slowly return to starting position. Repeat 10 times.

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