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Due to the techniques that are being propagated by most health clubs and gyms, we have got into the habit of taking care of the body in parts. We never look at it as a whole, hence, we often talk about chest exercises, abdominal exercises, arm exercises, thigh exercises, etc. However, it is now time to look at it as an integrated system and also concentrate on the very support of the body. The torso is that part which supports the body. The spine and abdomen are the parts which make up the torso. Although people do speak about it, it is not a good idea to differentiate these exercises for upper and lower torso.

Exercises for Strengthening the Torso

Torso exercises use multiple muscle groups and are, hence, more effective than other isolated exercises. However, they should not be confused with compound exercises.

Dips
This exercise strengthens and tones the arms, the abdominal muscles as well as the shoulders.
  • Sit on the edge of a chair and place your hands next to your thighs.
  • Balance with your arms, as you move in front of the chair with your legs straight at the knees.
  • Bend your elbows and lower your body by a few inches, but keep your shoulders down and elbows parallel to one another at an angle of 90 degrees.
  • Push back to the starting position to repeat the exercise.
Bird Dog
This is an exercise which strengthens the spine, gluteal muscles, hamstrings and also the shoulders.
  • Sit on all fours, but make sure your shoulders are placed above the wrists and your back is in a straight line.
  • Raise your left arm ahead of you to a horizontal position, and at the same time, extend your right leg also in a horizontal position.
  • Hold in this position for 20 to 30 seconds and repeat the exercise 3 to 5 times on both the sides.
Plank
If you are looking for an exercise to strengthen your spine, then this is the exercise which you will want to incorporate in your schedule.
  • Stand straight and extend your hands up.
  • Bend down to place your hands in front of you.
  • Jump back without moving your hands.
  • Slowly start extending your legs so that you balance all your weight on all fours.
  • Hold in the position for 10 to 15 seconds and release, to repeat the exercise 5 to 7 times.
Oblique Crunch
Oblique crunches work the abdominal muscles and obliques and stretch the spine. This exercise is also called torso twist exercise.
  • Lie on your back and bend your knees.
  • Support your neck with your hands but ensure you do not pull your neck when you are doing the exercise.
  • Now extend your right leg in front of you in the air and try to touch the right elbow to the left knee.
  • Then slowly bend the right leg and bring it towards the chest and extend the left leg.
  • Then try to touch the left elbow to the right knee.
  • Without releasing the position, repeat this exercise 10 times on either side.
V Sit-Up
As much as this exercise works the abdominal muscles, it also stretches the spine, hands and the legs.
  • Lie on your back with your hands extended above your head and toes pointing in the opposite direction as that of the hands.
  • Slowly lift up both the legs and also hands, chest and shoulders off the ground.
  • Try to reach your hands to your foot or your ankles and hold the position for a few seconds.
  • Slowly unwind and repeat the exercise 10 times.
These exercises can be done without any equipment. However, there are also many pieces of equipment available which you can make use of to exercise your torso. Equipment such as torso exercise machine, exercise ball, dumbbells and barbels can prove to be helpful while performing these exercises. Just a word of advice - in case you feel any sort of cramps anywhere in the body when you are doing these exercises, stop immediately and talk to your trainer before you proceed further.