Weight Training Fitness: Back

Gym Work-Out For Back

 

If you have read this far you probably understand the importance of a well balanced workout plan by now.  Working out in the gym can be discouraging sometimes when you don’t know which exercises to do.  That is why I am here, to help.  Working out the back is just as important as working out the chest and arms.  Having a strong back is a true sign that you are working out.  Here we will discuss some exercises to build a strong back.  The back can also be divided into three sections: the lower back, the middle back, and the upper back.

Hyperextension

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The Hyperextension up positionThe Hyperextension down position.  Add weight to increase resistance.
The Hyperextension up position
The Hyperextension up position
The Hyperextension down position.  Add weight to increase resistance.
The Hyperextension down position. Add weight to increase resistance.

The Lower Back

 

To work out the lower back you can do a couple of exercises.  The first one is the hyperextension, the stiff leg barbell good morning, and the stiff legged deadlift.  Each of these exercises must be used with caution.  I recommend using the lightest weight possible as these exercises are meant to tone and strength so you do not want to use heavy weights.  Possibility for injury is greatly increased when lifting with your back.

The Hyperextension

The hyperextension is performed on a platform that supports your upper thighs and holds the back of your feet.  Your upper body is free to bend forward.  Grab a 25 or a 35 pound weight and hold it to your chest.  With the weight held to your chest lean forward so your upper body is almost parallel to the ground, then raise your body back up to the start position.  Once you get back to the start position that is one repetition.  Complete ten repetitions, rest for one minute, and then complete two more sets. 

The Stiff Legged Barbell Good Morning

This exercise involves you putting a barbell on your shoulders then bending down from the waist.  Use just the barbell to start with.  Place the barbell on your shoulders like you would be doing a squat.  From this position, with feet a little more shoulder width apart, lean over from the waist until your upper body is parallel to the ground.  When you come back up that is one repetition.  Complete ten repetitions, rest for one minute, and then complete two more sets.

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The Barbell Good Morning start position.The Barbell Good Morning down position.
The Barbell Good Morning start position.
The Barbell Good Morning start position.
The Barbell Good Morning down position.
The Barbell Good Morning down position.
Click thumbnail to view full-size
The Barbell Stiff legged deadlift start positionThe Barbell Stiff legged deadlift up position
The Barbell Stiff legged deadlift start position
The Barbell Stiff legged deadlift start position
The Barbell Stiff legged deadlift up position
The Barbell Stiff legged deadlift up position

The Stiff Legged Deadlift

 

The Stiff Legged Deadlift

The stiff legged deadlift just like a regular deadlift but this time your legs are kept straight.  You’re going to want to use a light weight again, perhaps two tens or a twenty five pound weight.  Place the barbell on the ground, with keeping your knees straight bend over and grab the bar.  In a controlled manner pick up the bar and bring it to your thighs.  Don’t bend your knees at any point during this exercise.  When the bar is up that is one repetition, complete ten repetitions, rest for one minute, and then complete two more sets.

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The Stiff Legged Barbell Row start position.The Stiff Legged Barbell Row up position.
The Stiff Legged Barbell Row start position.
The Stiff Legged Barbell Row start position.
The Stiff Legged Barbell Row up position.
The Stiff Legged Barbell Row up position.

The Middle Back

 

The middle back is a very simple muscle to workout but the benefits are numerous.  The most common middle back is the row.  There are several variations to the row, they are: the bent over barbell row, the bent over long bar row, and the seated cable row.

The Bent Over Barbell Row

The bent over barbell row is done from a bent over position.  Load a weight onto the barbell that is manageable for you.  Then bending over the bar lift is to your chest, hold it for a one or two count, then lower it back down to the ground.  Do not slam it back down or drop it, gyms hate that.  Once you set the weight back on the ground one repetition is complete.  Complete ten repetitions, rest for one minute, and then complete to more sets.

The Bent Over Long Bar Row

The bent over long bar row is performed either on a special machine or with a standard barbell.  The machine has already anchored the other end of the bar; if you are using a standard barbell just stick it into a corner.  Put a weight plate on one end of the bar, then grab the bar on the end and straddle the bar.  Lean forward so your knees are straight, and then pull the bar towards your chest.  You will want to get the bar as close to your chest as possible.  Lowering the bar back down completes one repetition.  Complete ten repetitions, rest for one minute, and then complete two more sets.

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The Long Bar row start positionThe Long Bar row up position
The Long Bar row start position
The Long Bar row start position
The Long Bar row up position
The Long Bar row up position
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The Seated cable row start positionThe Seated cable row end position
The Seated cable row start position
The Seated cable row start position
The Seated cable row end position
The Seated cable row end position

 

The Seated Cable Row

The seated cable row is done on a cable machine.  Select a weight sufficient enough to provide a good amount of resistance and take a seat.  You’ll have to scoot forward to grab the handles and get the machine going.  Once you grab the handle scoot back until your legs are straight out in front of you, then pull the handles to your chest and slowly return the weight until your arms are fully extended.  Complete ten repetitions, rest for one minute, and then complete two more sets.

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The Seated Lat Pulldown start positionThe Seated Lat Pulldown down position
The Seated Lat Pulldown start position
The Seated Lat Pulldown start position
The Seated Lat Pulldown down position
The Seated Lat Pulldown down position

The Upper Back

 

The upper back is most commonly referred to as the lats.  The lats are the muscle groups that stick out of your sides when flexing.  Some people call them the wings.  Anyway to work out your lats you’re going to do some pull-downs.  The two pull down exercises we will discuss is the seated lat pull down, and the wide arm lat pull down.

The Seated Lat Pull Down

The seated lat pull down is done on a cable machine.  Pick a weight that presents a good challenge for you.  Grab the bar with a close or wide arm grip, wide arm gets the best workout for your lats.  Then simply sit down and pull the bar down to your chest and ease it back up.  Complete ten repetitions, rest for one minute, and then complete two more sets.

The Wide Arm Straight Armed Lat Pull Down

This exercise is done standing and on the same machine as the above.  I would keep the weight you had for the seated lat pull down.  To do this exercise simply pull the bar down to chest level keeping your arms straight and raise it back up while keeping your arms straight.  Complete ten repetitions, rest for one minute, and then complete two more sets.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The Straight Arm Pulldown starting positionThe Straight Arm Pulldown down position
The Straight Arm Pulldown starting position
The Straight Arm Pulldown starting position
The Straight Arm Pulldown down position
The Straight Arm Pulldown down position

Hubchallenge number 13

Hubchallenge number 13
Hubchallenge number 13

Authors Note

There are many other exercises that can be done to work the back muscles; this list of exercises is to form a foundation on which to build on. If you find yourself unsure of how to properly perform an exercise, each gym offers a personal trainer that has been trained and is knowledgeable on all exercises. Use the services that the gyms offer. Before starting any exercise routine get a physical done by a medical doctor if you are over the age of thirty.

Make sure you rotate your joints and stretch your muscles before exercising.

 

Copyright 2009 by Wesley Cox

 

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Comments 5 comments

shamelabboush profile image

shamelabboush 7 years ago

You just encouraged me so much bcz today will be my first day in the gym after a long time of laziness :) nice coincidence... Is that you in the pics?


Hmrjmr1 profile image

Hmrjmr1 7 years ago from Georgia, USA

Keep it up man Good Stuff...


wesleycox profile image

wesleycox 7 years ago from Back in Texas, at least until August 2012 Author

Shamelebboush, I am glad that I could inspire you to work-out and I hope these exercises will give you a starting point on which to form your workout program. Yes that is me in the pictures... you may notice the Superman symbol tattoo on my right arm.

Hmrjmr: Thank you for visiting my hub and commenting


supercibor profile image

supercibor 6 years ago from Dominican Republic

One feels brand new after such work out.


wesleycox profile image

wesleycox 6 years ago from Back in Texas, at least until August 2012 Author

Supercibor: Indeed one does. Thank you for reading my hub.

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