Brace muscles along spine

This is a safe and effective way to strengthen the muscles in your back that run parallel to your spine. Start with just a small range of motion and make sure your feet are touching the floor. This will help isolate and train those underworked areas of your back.

-- Karen Voight

1 Lie face down on a flat padded surface or mat. Straighten your legs behind you with your toes facing the floor, your inner ankles facing each other. Place the palms of your hands on a round, full-length foam roller. Raise your elbows off the floor, pointing them to the sides.

2 Squeezing your shoulder blades together, lightly press down on the roller as you roll it away and arch your upper back. Pause with your chest and shoulders off the floor. While your hips and legs remain on the floor, roll the roller back toward you and lie down. Rest and repeat 8 to 12 times.



Voight is the creator of a line of fitness DVDs, including “Sleek Essentials.”