As it gets closer and closer to summer most people head to the gym to focus on areas of the body like their abs, chest, and butt. But here is a little secret for you… a strong upper-body are not only the key for an overall defined look, but they’re your best defense against a poor posture, pain, and injury for years to come. Today, we are going to focus more specifically on the back. The back is one of the areas of the body that gets neglected, but in fact, is one of my favorite muscle groups to train.
The trick to this exercise is to do it slow and controlled. The weights you will be using for this exercise are fairly light. Since the weights are so light, you ‘should’ be able to do a lot of these if you were going at a normal pace. To actually challenge yourself, performing delt raises at a slow and controlled rate will actually challenge your deltoid muscles more, making this exercise most effective performed in that way. Try a pace of 3 seconds up, a 2 second hold at the top and then 1 second back down.
This move does focus on your glutes, hamstrings, and inner thighs, it is also a great exercise for the low back too. A big buzzword for this area of the body that the superman exercise focuses on is called the posterior chain. This is also an exercise, where you want to do a higher volume of repetitions to feel the effects, like aiming for at least 20 reps per set.
Bent Over Barbell Row
This exercise is one that can really add strength and size to your back. (If you aren’t trying to lift a ton of weight, then you don’t have to worry about it building size.) A big benefit to this exercise is that it is a great exercise to help build strength for other exercises, like a deadlift. If you don’t have a strong grip or strong back then you won’t be able to perform a deadlift as effectively as you wish.
Single Arm Row
Any rowing type exercise is always going to target the back. This is because pulling exercises are exercises that typically target the back side of the body. A well-executed dumbbell row builds a strong back, a well executed single arm row builds a strong back equally throughout its muscles. Additionally, the exercise strengthens your shoulders, upper arms, and core. These benefits will help you perform many everyday activities with greater ease, less discomfort and help to overcome imbalances in the body.
Single Arm Reverse Flies
Like a single arm row on the bench, instead of bending your arms and bringing your elbow towards the ceiling you will keep your arm straight as you lift the weight out to the side towards the ceiling.
This exercise is four exercises in one. The idea behind this exercise is to target the small muscles in the upper back. The name of the exercise is jibberish but the letters represent the shapes you will make with your arms. To perform this exercise, you will need a set of light dumbbells. Bending over at the waist, allow your arms to hang towards the ground under your chest. Using the muscles in your upper back you will raise the weights up towards in the ceiling to form the letter T, letter I, letter Y, and letter W. All the exercises are performed with straight arms except for the Ws. For the Ws, you will keep your elbow tucked into your sides while squeezing your upper back muscles to bring the weights up to back height.