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5-Minute Fitness: Pilates for Posture

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Strengthen the back of the body to reposition rounded shoulders and ease lower back pain. This move powers up the posterior chain — the often-neglected muscles that run from the soles of your feet, along either side of your spine, and finish at the base of your skull, says fitness instructor Liz LeFrois of AcaciaTV.

Back Extension

1 Lie face down, arms at sides, palms facing up, legs hip-width apart.
2 Tighten abdominal muscles and pull shoulder blades together.
3 Lengthen neck and stretch legs.
4 Lift upper body and legs, as shown at left. (Those with any lower back issues: Keep legs on ground.)
5 Hold for count of three. Lower body to ground. Reps: Gradually work up to 3 sets of 10 daily.

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