My Favorite Back Exercises

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Happy Thursday, y'all! 

My BFF and college roomie bought me a pull up bar in exchange for a workout plan (best deal EVER!) and it came in the mail today, which happened to be BACK DAY! I had a killer back and ab session at the gym today and them came home and played with my new bar :) 

Wide griped pull ups (i can do one lol lol}
With back exercises, it is SO VERY IMPORTANT to have a good mind-muscle connection. You really need to focus on the part of the back you are trying to work and make sure you are feeling the burn in all the right muscles. 

My favorite back exercises:

1. Pull ups! {wide set} at the gym, i stick to the assisted pull up machine because I am able to do more reps this way. I usually incorporate a pyramid scheme (start heavy, high rep, lighter, lower rep, lighter, lower rep, etc.) for 5 reps of 15, 12, 10, 8, 6. Back muscles targeted: lats, middle back. Other: biceps, shoulders.

2. Kettlebell swings. NO THIS IS NOT JUST A LEG EXERCISE! yes, you will utilize your hamstrings and glutes, but you will also be working that stubborn lower back area. Make sure you have your form down, watch some videos and do your research! Back muscle targeted: lower back. Other: hamstrings, glutes.

3. Single arm DB rows. I don't know about y'all, but I feel like a badass doing these. Maybe because I use a 30lb DB, and thats about the heaviest DB I use in any exercise haha I also love these because they work my baby shoulders. Back muscles targeted: Middle back, lats. Other: shoulders, biceps.

4. Smith machine bent over rows. These don't necessarily have to be done on the smith machine, but I find that I can pull more weight on it than with a standard barbell. Back muscles targeted: middle back, lats. Other: shoulders, biceps.

5. Straight-arm lat pulldowns. I just recently added these into my weekly workout routine and love them because I can REALLY feel the burn, because it completely isolates your lats. And I also prefer to stand up throughout most of my workouts so that I keep my heart rate up :) Muscle targeted: lats. 

6. Stiff-legged deadlifts. Nope, deadlifts aren't just a leg workout either! This is a back exercises where it is "so very important" to have good mind-muscle connection. Really focus on your back and not your glutes and hammys as you would when performing a traditional deadlift. Back muscle targeted: lower back, upper back. Other: hamstrings, glutes.

Of course, everyone is different and everyone has different goals, but these are exercises that I find to work best for me and challenge me the most! Hope y'all found this helpful!

I do one ab circuit a week. And that is on back day! In order to have a strong core, you must have strong supporting muscles in your back. It is never good to train one group of muscles every single day, which I see a lot of (with abs) unfortunately! Muscles need REST and time to RECOVER in order to get STRONG. Targeting your ab muscles once a week and hitting them HARD will get you better results. That was random, but I felt it needed to be said :)



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