baby got back

nope, not booty like the song (which i know you’re now singing in your head, you’re welcome), but your actual back.

strengthening your back is SO important.  not only does having a strong back LOOK fabulous with a open-cut top or dress, bathing suit, etc. but it decreases your chances of every day back pain from sitting at a desk or even with age.  Having a strong back creates great posture (something I need to work on), because no one wants a hunch back.  It also balances you out visually when lifting.

a strong back = a balanced overall appearance

I see people with these jacked arms then they turn around have a soft round back – and that’s never a good look.

first step: sit up straight, stop slouching as you’re reading this.  shoulders back.

if you’re like me, i have awful posture and when i do pull my shoulders back to create good posture it actually gets sore after awhile.  now it’s gotten easier over time, but it’s still exhausting to pull these babies back sometimes.

there’s a funny little muscle (well 2 of them) called Rhomboids that are the base for holding your shoulders back without you having to think about it.  They’re located between your shoulder blades/along side your spine.  So, the stronger those little guys are the easier it is to stop increasing your chances of being the Hunchback of Nostradam (sp??) when you get older.

I did back this morning, but didn’t record anything, only because the exercises I do are literally all over the gym on different equipment, so it’s a little tough.  but i do have 1 ( my favorite ) that i did the other week – it’s right HERE

so here’s just a few of the things i do for back day (which i do 2 times a week)

1. Lat Pulldowns.  you know that machine with the horizontal pole dangling in the air? yeah, that’s it.  I always “climb” with these in my sets.
           example: I’ll start out at 65lbs and do 12 reps
                          rest 20 seconds
                         add 5 more, then 5 more. done.

this photo is wide grip pull down – after my normal grip (not wide) i do wide grip with the same weight layout.

**the key to climbing – you should eventually (after a few weeks) be able to have your START at your heaviest weight – which means you’re getting stronger.  don’t always start at your bottom weight, because that’s not how you test your body and you’ll just plateau because your body will adjust accordingly.

2. I’m not sure the name for it.  but i grab the bench press pole (that really long one) and lay it across my shoulders behind my neck.  and with a straight back and locked knees, i bring my stomach/chest to be horizontal with the ground (like you’re bowing).  focus on your back when coming back up.  I do this 15 times 3 sets.

3. Bent over barbell rows.  I use the 80lb one first, then 90 my last 2 sets

again, focus on your back muscles, try not to utilize your shoulders like your body will automatically want to
**i do these wide grip also**

4. High Row

I put 80 on each side to start off with (our machine at the gym has 2 slots for weights, vs this photo that only has 1)   10 reps (bc i do so heavy) and 3 sets

5. Hyperextensions  –  hold a 45lb flat weight and do these 15 reps 3 sets

6. Seated cable rows.  **make sure you sit up straight, don’t let your back hunch over to pull the weight.  focus on using your middle back muscles to pull the handles towards you**

7. Incline Dumbbell Rows

*make sure to keep elbows in and USE YOUR BACK MUSCLES, not your shoulders or chest*
I use 45lb weights and do 12 reps 3 sets

8. Deadlifts  –be super careful on keeping your back straight on these, or you can hurt yourself

***actually: HERE is a video of my last deadlift session (which I broke my PR, woohoo!)***

9. Cable Palm Rotational Row  —- 12 Reps 3 Sets

10. Chin ups (self explanatory)

Now, again, these are just a few of the back exercises I do.  Each back day I do something different, and usually only 6 “exercises” because you don’t want to use that time to burn calories, you want to focus on strengthening your muscles, that’s why the 30 seconds in between sets is so important for growth.

I used to get into the habit of doing the EXACT same routine every day.  there’s nothing wrong with that, and it’s actually a great place to start out at so you learn all the machines and different workouts, but after time your body adjusts (as mentioned before).  So when you go in for back day, split these in half and only do 5 of them your first time, then the other half the next back day.

I cannot say it enough, FORM FORM FORM.  If it pinches, hurts (not in a good “burn” way) or feels like your pulling something, stop.  don’t do heavy weights the first time you do back, use what youre extremely comfortable with then move up.

ENJOY!!!!!

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