If you are looking for a good cardio workout to tone up your back and help increase your cardiovascular health, there are a few good options out there. Many of these exercises do require a gym or a pool membership, but there are a few you can even do in the privacy of your own home. Here are some tips for great cardio drills that will help tone up your back and core:
1) Rowing – While you may associate rowing with upper body strength, the truth of the matter is that it also will help you work all of your core muscles, including the important muscles in the small of your back that help keep you comfortable if you sit all day at work. You can develop your own rowing training schedule or, if you live close to the water, join a rowing team. Try to do a minimum of at least 20 minutes three times a week to really start seeing results.
2) Burpees – These exercises, that require a relatively slow movement from standing to push-up and back to standing again may not seem like the most intensive cardio workout, but they will after you do a series of ten. Burpees are great for your core muscles and that includes your back. Make sure you are using proper form so you are strengthening your back rather than just causing strain. If you are uncertain, speak with a personal trainer who can set you up with a good burpee routine that targets your back muscles.
3) Skiing – Many back cardio exercises are perfect for summer, like swimming and rowing. But if it’s too cold where you are, skiing can be another good option. Skiing requires a strong emphasis on correct posture and form, and you need your back muscles to stay strong to ski successfully. This is a great way to train your back and your cardio year round in the great outdoors.
4) P90X – I did the entire P90X workout years ago, but I still whip out the DVDs now and then because the workouts really are that good. There are some really great back workouts that help you to develop stronger shoulders and also your obliques. You need to be strong all around in your back to really feel and gain from a strong back and this workout is handy for targeting all of those areas.
5) Aikido – Recently I started training Aikido, a martial art that focuses on the movement of the entire body. The combination of rolling and throws is a great way to help build back strength and gain stamina. It may not be the first thing you think of when you hear cardio, but you will certainly notice a positive effect on your other cardio workouts.