BEGINNER BACK DAY WORKOUT

 

We quickly covered the foundational chest exercises last week, so this week we're going to take a look at improving the strength and stability in the opposing muscle group of the back.

Your back is one of the most important muscle groups to build up strength in, and is an area where many people are chronically weak. Weakness in the back often shows up in the form of poor posture which is aggravated by things like carrying a bag on one shoulder or prolonged sitting where we tend to hunch our shoulders forward to type or write. To begin correcting this, we're going to work on retracting the shoulder blades back and down into a better position and pulling the shoulders and upper body into proper alignment. 

The first exercise in this session is designed to be adjustable for any level of trainer. To make the inverted rows easier, just raise the height of the bar up (this works really well if done in the smith machine) so you're standing more upright and if want to make it harder, move it lower down so you're more horizontal. You can then use an underhand grip which is shown in the video or could try out an overhand grip which is slightly harder. This exercise in particular is fantastic if you want to master chin-ups eventually, and remember we all start somewhere!

While completing the remaining exercises, make sure you're keeping a straight spine by elevating the chest and pulling the shoulders back while bracing your core. During the seated row this is important when first picking weights up from the rack or re-racking them, because to do so you may need to lean forward (hinge) slightly from the hips. Remember, with the seated row you need to lift the weights into the starting position before starting your reps as shown in the video.

For a quick demo of each exercise see the video above or just ask in the gym! Let us know what you think and if you want more workouts like this.

The workout is:

WARM-UP:
Rowing machine, x 500m (easy pace)

3 rounds of:
Inverted row, x 5-10 reps
Rest 60 seconds

3 rounds of:
Seated row, x 10 reps
Rest 60 seconds

3 rounds of:
Lat pull down, x 8-12 reps
Rest 60 seconds

3 rounds of:
EZ bar bicep curls, x 12 reps
Rest 60 seconds

COOL-DOWN:
Elliptical machine, 5 mins, level 5+
(focusing on pushing/pulling with the arms)