Back Beauty

This article originally appeared in the Honolulu Advertiser in February 2007
Back Beauty (The Honolulu Advertiser) - February 2007

By Paula Rath
Advertiser Staff Writer

Are you ready to slip on that sexy, skin-baring dress for your Valentine's date? Before heading out the door, check yourself in a full-length mirror — front and back, please. If you don't like what your back is revealing, get thee to the gym.

The back is one area that can benefit greatly from strength training. Whether you prefer weights, bands, a stability ball or medicine ball, it requires resistance to develop well-defined back muscles.

We asked personal trainer Angela Yamashita for help with this story. Yamashita, a certified personal trainer, works out of Gold's Gym and with clients in their homes.

The model is Julie Hendricks of Kahala, who has been working with Yamashita for seven months. Hendricks has a 10-month-old baby and began working out vigorously to get back in shape. She now weighs less than she did before her pregnancy.


The following exercises work the upper, middle and lower back, as well as the abdominals and other key muscle groups. Try to do all five exercises in the same session and aim for three times a week.

Repetitions should be dictated by your ability to maintain good form. It's all about quality, not quantity.


Perform all exercises emphasizing good form over repetitions.

Lift your tongue to the roof of your mouth; it helps to stabilize your neck and may eliminate some tension.

Breathe rhythmically and relax; don't hold your breath!

Avoid swinging your legs or arms or using momentum of any kind.


Even the most beautiful back can become a fashion faux pas with bra bulge. If the bra isn't a perfect fit, there can be an unsightly bulge above or below the band. Because 85 percent of women wear the wrong size bra, it's worth checking in a rear-view mirror to make sure you're not one of them.

Reach Paula Rath at