7 back exercises for women

The backside is considered one of the sexiest parts of the body — but we're not talking about your bum. Your back and shoulders might be getting a lot more attention now that summer is in full swing with its open-back dress and bralette fashions. Besides the fashion trends, having a strong back will do your whole body a lot of good.
Having a strong back means you'll stand up straighter — which automatically makes you look like you lost a few pounds — and work out the rest of your body better. Whether you're doing intense weight training or you're working on your yoga, having a sturdy back ensures you can work out properly. We've compiled seven of the best back exercises to help you achieve the strong, sexy back you desire.
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1. Dumbbell raises 
Incredible for posture and getting you backless-dress-ready, this dumbbell exercise by Shape's celebrity trainer will put your back on track. 
Stand behind a raised inclined bench or chair, with one arm on the bench and the other holding a dumbbell. Bend your bench arm and rest your head right on top of it, leaning your torso forward. With your back flat, your knees slightly bent and your dumbbell arm held straight, raise the dumbbell toward the ceiling with your thumb pointing up. Hold it for a few seconds, then gently guide it back down. 
2. Arm rotations 
This move suggested by Fitness Magazine will tighten and strengthen your shoulder and back muscles to give you that sleek back you desire. 
Grab a pair of dumbbells that aren't too heavy and spread your feet shoulder width apart. Bend your elbows, turning your arms upward so your palms face the ceiling. Now, rotate your arms in toward your sides. Do 10 reps three times.
3. Dumbbell lifts + squat 
This exercise not only works out your back and shoulders, it also gets your legs moving, your heart pounding and your core sweating. Balancing the dumbbells in your arms as you dip down to a squat is the best kind of burn.
She Knows says you start out with a dumbbell in each hand, one arm raised above your head and the other hanging at your side. With your upper body still in this position, squat down, hold it for a couple of seconds, and then control your move back up to the standing position. Switch arms and repeat. 
4. Body lowering using bar 
This move might look like it's all about working your chest, but Shape explains that it tightens your shoulder muscles and helps chisel your upper back. 
Take a bar and set it at about chest height securely on a squat rack. Grab the bar with both hands, palms facing away from your body and your feet angled below the bar so that you're leaning back at an angle. Keep your body tight, back flat, chin tucked down and arms extended, and then pull your chest toward the bar with your arms. Carefully, and with control, lower your body back down to the original position with your arms stretched out. Take a quick pause, and repeat.
5. The "W" workout
This exercise targets your back, chest, triceps and biceps to get your entire upper body in shape.
Fitness Magazine says you should start out by holding some light weights in each hand, and then cross your hands in front of each other at shoulder level. Pull your arms back into a W shape and press your arms upward. Hold for a second, return back into the W position and then back to the crossed arms. Switch so the opposite arm is on top, and do 30 reps.
6. Floor pullovers 
This exercise gives you a full upper-body workout and works your often neglected lats, which are the muscles along your bra line. You should press your back right into the ground when doing this one to protect your lower back from injury, as well as work your core.
She Knows explains that you start out on your back with your knees up, light weights in each hand, and arms stretched straight and overhead. Then, lower your arms backward straight behind your head so your arms are in line with the rest of your body. Pull your arms back up to the original position, and do 15 reps. 
7. Cross jacks
These get your heart racing and get your back in great shape. You can't forget about a little cardio, so the cross jack is a great exercise that gives you the best of both worlds. 
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Fitness Magazine says this simple exercise starts out like a regular jumping jack, but you cross your arms and legs when you come back down from the jump. This works out your cardiovascular system, all while pumping up your shoulder and back muscles. 
Resources She Knows, Shape, and Fitness Magazine
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