Sweat it out
Getting a great back is not a one-day job. Fitness expert Zareen Watson says, “Prior to the festival, one should increase protein and complex carbohydrates intake and cut out on sweets and fatty food. Include cardio in your routine. Try exercises such as dumbell rows, cable mid rows, overhead presses and work on sculpting your upper body. One needs to work on shoulders too, to give an overall good shape to the back. For women, pull-downs work too.”
Guide for dumbell rows
> Take support of a bench for this exercise by kneeling one leg on it with the support of your palm and one leg resting on the floor.
> Now pick up a dumbell and pull it towards your chest till it touches it. Slowly bring it back down and repeat.
> Alternate with the other hand.
> Be conscious of your posture and do not force your torso up or rotate it while lifting the dumbell and maintain a linear horizontal position of the torso.
> Don’t jerk your shoulder.
Stretch it out
For those of you who hate pumping iron, yoga offers several beneficial asanas to help your back. Every pose in yoga engages the back. “Yoga is the only practice which releases the back from stiffness and ensures its health by making it both strong as well as flexible. To work the back from different angles you need to include forward bends, back bends and side twists. For tone-up backbends like the cobra, bow, locust, wheel, camel, cat poses are particularly useful. So,your practice should include these poses in a fixed sequence and you must learn to hold them longer with regular practice to really enjoy back health,” says Shameem Akthar of Yoga Kuteer, yoga expert and author.
Guide to Kandharasana
USP: It strengthens the core of the body that gives postural support. It firms the entire back, spine, hips and legs, helps breathing and aids weight loss.
> Lie on your back, legs folded at the knees as shown, feet flat on the ground, close to the hips. Grasp your ankles with either hand. If it’s not possible for those who are stiff, then palms flat on the ground would do as well.
> Inhale, raise your hips up. Exhale, drop it down. Do it five to ten times with breath awareness in a dynamic way.
>The higher you raise your hips with each attempt, the better the back muscles work. The chin would then automatically lock between collarbones. After a few weeks, you could increase the duration in the final pose, by holding it for a count of five or 10, breathing normally throughout. To tone up, you need to be able to stay up in the final pose, with normal breathing, for a count of 30 to 60 (half a minute to one minute).
TLC for your back
One might pamper their hands and legs with great-smelling creams but the back which isn’t let out in the open regularly doesn’t get too much R&R.
“One is usually troubled by acne marks and dry rough skin on the back. Several people opt for skin polishing treatments (such as microdermabrasion) to reduce scars and have a clear back. But a lot can be achieved with exercise and good diet. One can try using body scrubs that are available by various brands two or three times a week. Avoid too much of scrubbing with a loofah or a sponge and use body washes that are rich in moisturisers for a bath,” says Dr Madhuri Agarwal, consultant dermatologist. One should also apply sunscreen on the upper half of the back which is exposed to the sun.
Guide for homemade, natural packs
>Mix honey with sugar and gently apply on your entire back. The sugar will help with exfoliation and honey will work as a natural moisturiser.
> Mix oat powder with raw milk and apply on the back. Oats will help gently remove the dead skin and raw milk will help lighten
Dress it up
There are a lot more ways to show of your backs than just backless cholis. Designer Arpita Mehta lists a few interesting options.
Guide to style right
> One can go fully backless by wearing a choli with a sheer or net fabric back. In this way you are showing your skin but are covered too.
> Invert your backless choli. Wear one that is shut on the top and wide / open at the bottom.
> Try creating cut-work patterns for the back. So your skin shows through the panels but it looks modest.
> The back always develops flab on the sides. So, if you wish to cover it, wear a deep back that is not very wide, such that it covers side creases and shows off the skin in the centre.
> If you don’t have dumbells for exercising try waterbottles or frozen vegetable in packets as weights.
> Keep your scalp clean. Dandruff can lead to eruptions on your back too.
> The tautness of your abdomen is directly linked to how well your back can support your body.