Back exercises should be a necessary part of your workout routine. Whether you are working out for better posture, strength, injury prevention, or just to look great, the back is often overlooked in the gym. My favorite body part to work, other then my lower body is my back. Backs are usually spoken of when they are injured or weak. I speak of mine because I love to feel how strong it is. There are more exercises for back than any other body part that I can think of. The back encompasses a lot of territory. It’s muscles support the spine, connect the head to the neck, and go all the way down to your glutes. The back has some of the largest muscles in the body, therefore, there are many options when training it.
From sitting to standing, the back can become a strong and fun part of your training regimen. Fun because most backs can get strong quite quickly, and there are many options when training. Strong because the muscles are bigger than other body parts, and can bear a lot of stress. Stress in the right way can make the difference between a strong, powerful, great looking back, or a back that is weak and prone to injury. Let’s plan for a strong back. A back that supports our spine. Keeps our head upright. Prevents us from being injured while engaging in daily activities like bending and twisting, lifting and reaching. A back that takes us with great posture through a long, vital life.
With good form, and focus, you can add quite a bit of weight to most back exercises once you are cleared to work out by your doctor. Make sure to warm up with a bit of cardio, followed by some joint mobility work. Make each set have a “warm-up” set that is the lightest in resistance or weight. Progress to more weight after you can complete about 8 reps of each set. Give your body time to rest between sets, and then between workouts. Never work the same muscles, the next day when working out intensely. Give the body the rest it needs to build and repair muscle tissue.Use good judgement when choosing the amount you will lift. Focus, keep abs tight, and engage legs and glutes to support the spine.
Here is a list of back exercises that you can use together, or separately on “Back Day”
Wide Grip Pull Ups
Close Grip Pull Ups
Standing Bent over Barbell Rows w/ Reverse Grip
Seated Cable Rows
Alternating Seated Cable Rows
Bent over Dumbbell Rows
Standing Cable Press Downs
Seated Lat Pulldowns Wide Grip
Seated Lat Pulldowns Close Grip
Seated Lat Pulldowns Reverse Grip
Seated One Arm D Handle Pulldown
Renegade Rows with Dumbbells
Renegade Rows with Kettlebells
Standing Rope Rows
Standing Bent over Kettlebell Rows
Stiff Legged Deadlifts
Trap Bar Deadlifts
Best bang for the buck? Every one of these exercises will engage your core. Stay focused on keeping your abs engaged, and your chin up to protect your lower spine and back muscles. Working the muscles in your back on purpose, will prevent injury and weakness later on from an accident. Pulling movements are also great for the muscles in the chest that spend too much time shortening from desk jobs and movements in front of the body. The exercises using the back will also lengthen the muscles in the front of the chest, pulling the body into better alignment and making the posture more upright.
Make your back strong. Prevent injury and carry yourself into old age with strength! Plan on tomorrow being “Back Day”. Remember, bigger muscles, burn more calories!
In Health and Strength,
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