By : Rebecca Vaxon
The back is one of the most crucial muscle groups on our body, governing everything from posture to how much weight we can lift safely. Unfortunately, however, it can be neglected by workouts in favor of more cosmetically concerned routines for muscle groups like the arms and stomach. The back is far more important, however, and disregarding back exercises can court trouble, especially as you get older or if you’re sitting at a desk all day. We’re going to look at some back exercises to ensure you get a toned and supple back that will make you feel as good as you’ll look.
Put your knee on a bench while holding a dumbbell in your other hand. Place your free hand on the bench straightened with your elbow locked. Pull up on your upper back muscles, curling your arm at the top of the move. Hold the weight at the top for a few seconds, then slowly lower back to the starting position. Saw sides between sets.
Get on all fours with your hands straight below your shoulders. Keep your back neutral. Pull in your stomach and stabilize your hips. Next, slowly draw your right arm out ahead of you. While you doing this push your left leg out behind you. Make sure both limbs are stretched out and steady, and keep that position for three seconds. Gradually drop back into the starting position. Alternate sides between reps.
Lie down flat with your arms straight ahead of you. Keep your feet shoulder length width apart. Keep your torso neutral and stare straight in front of you. Making sure your trunk is close to the floor, raise your arms and legs as you look up. Maintain the position for three seconds, then slowly lower your limbs back to the floor.
One of the best back exercises, pull ups can be hard to do to completion but you can build yourself up to them over time. Grasp the bar with an overhand grip with your hands shoulder width apart. Engage your back muscles and pull yourself up. Hold the position for two seconds then slowly lower yourself back down. Tuck your legs up in a stomach crunch for an added workout. If the exercise is too hard at first, pull yourself up as far as you can go and hold for four seconds. Repeat, and with time you’ll find yourself able to pull up further into the move.
Bent Over Rows
Holding a dumbbell in each hand down by your side, slightly bend your knees while making your hips protrude behind. You want to keep your spine straight and your abs braced. Without going too flat, bend your elbows whilst keeping them to your body, to pull the dumbbells out to your sides. Pause for two seconds then return to the starting position.
Lateral Pull Down
This requires a lat pulldown machine, but you can find one of these in pretty much any gym you are likely to find yourself in. Start by going in front of it. Lightly sit on the seat and grasp the bar with an overhand grip. Try to make your grip a little broader than your shoulder width. Whilst seated, keep the bar above yourself with your arms stretched out. Keep your knees beneath the pad to keep yourself stabilized. Whilst keeping a neutral back with minimal archings, pull your shoulder blades down and into each other. Maintain a high chest during all of this. Your elbows should be down by your sides and slightly pointing outwards. Hold at the bottom of your move so you can feel the strain on your latissimi dorsi muscles. Begin to go back slowly to your beginning position, enjoying a full stretch along your back muscles.=
Take a weight and stand yourself behind an incline bench calibrated to at least sixty degrees. Put your other arm on top, with the forearm placed on top of the pad. Push your feet a little further from the bench. Assume the position with your foot nearest your bench arm, a little ahead of your alternate foot. Rest your head down, allowing your trunk to go forward, and let your dumbbell arm droop down towards the floor. Keep your back straight and slightly bend knees. Start the motion by first drawing your shoulder up from the floor towards the hips. Once your arm is very straight, lift your arm up to the ceiling. Remember to keep the correct stance. Then, slowly get your arm back into the initial position. Alternate sides between sets.