Baby Got Back: Back Workout

A weak back can often lead to bad posture and bad posture will lead to pain and injury. A strong back is great for posture and it looks great! My favorite part on a guy (sorry this is getting personal with you guys here) is a strong and muscular back! I just love it because all the muscles in the back create these lines and bumps in the body when they’re strengthened and it looks like a cool maze. Ok back to business now. A strong back is important for many reasons. It prevents injuries and maintains good posture which in itself prevents injuries. 80% of Americans complain of back problems at some point in their life and it’s often caused by bad posture, sitting in one place for too long, or working in an enclosed space where you don’t move much. An easy way to avoid injury is to workout your back and develop strength. This is the back workout I did today. I’m hoping to burn away my back fat and get that toned muscular look on my back. 

I did 3 sets of each workout for 12-15 reps. Hope you guys like this workout. You will definitely feel it during the workout and the morning after. SORE IS THE NEW SEXY. Get used to it!

1. Wide-Grip Lat Pull Downs: this will workout your lats (your wings, where your armpit fat may be). Start by sitting on the bench and grip the pull-down bar. Breathe in and exhale as you pull down the bar towards your chest. Slowly and controlled release until your arms are extended overhead. This exercise can also be done with a resistance band if you don’t have access to this machine. Grab your resistance band and tie it somewhere overhead (loop it through your closet door, a frame anything.) Have your arms wide overhead and grab each handle in each hand. Breathe in and exhale as you pull the resistance band down until the handles are at your chest level. (Basically you’re replacing the pull-down bar with the resistance band handles.) Breathe in and slowly extend your arms overhead. You might want to do the resistance band version while sitting down on a lower surface to really feel that tension and have it be more effective. You want to make it where the band is pulling up on your hands, so loop the resistance band as many times as you need to increase tension.

2. Bent-Over Barbell Rows: get a barbell and add on as much weight as your comfortable with. Slightly bend the knees and slightly bend over from the waist. Grab the barbell with your palms facing you. Breathe in and exhale as you pull the barbell into your torso while really focusing to engage your upper back by squeezing it to help you pull in the barbell. This can also be done with a resistance band. Step onto the center of the resistance band with both feet and grab the handles with each hand. Assume the same position as above and pull the handles toward your torso as you breathe out and contract your upper back muscles. For more tension, wrap the resistance band around your feet a few times.

3. Behind the Neck Wide-Grip Pull-Down: this is the same movement as the wide-grip lat pulldown but instead you will be doing it behind your neck and pulling it down to your neck. Make sure to really contract your upper back muscles and engage them when pulling the bar or resistance band towards you. As usual exhale when you pull down and inhale as you relax and go back up.

4. Supermans: start by laying on your stomach with your arms extended out in front of your and legs behind you hip width apart. Exhale as you lift your legs and your arms (lift your chest off the ground) up, hold for 5 seconds and relax back down. This is a great exercise for your lower back.

5. Barbell Shrugs: stand up straight and hold a barbell with your arms relaxed. Breathe in then exhale as you shrug towards your ears. In this exercise, your hands should act as a hook for the barbell. Don’t use your arms to pull up the barbell. This is all about your traps (the muscles near your neck that go down to your shoulders.) This exercise can also be done with a resistance band in the same manner. Step onto the center of the resistance band and loop it around your feet to increase tension. Hold the  handles in each hand and shrug towards your ears. You might have to loop the resistance band a few times to really feel your muscles challenged.

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