- Exercise & Fitness
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.
HyperextensionClick thumbnail to view full-size
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.
Copyright 2009 by Wesley Cox