Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Baby Got Back

That's right, how many times have we all heard how important it is to strengthen the back muscles? If you train with me, you know that I stress the importance of a strong back. Whether you're working a desk job or standing all of the time like I do, strengthening the back side (including lower back and glutes) is beneficial. I like to include the glutes (or hip extensors) because they act to help the lower back in spinal extension.

Here are some key exercises to include in your routine. Working out your back 2-3 times a week is ideal for the best results. If you haven't spent much time working on your back, then make sure that you start with lower weights and progress slowly. For all exercises, make sure your abdominals stay tight to stabilize so that you can work the muscles properly. Included are recommended weights to get started for men and women. Do 2-3 sets of 12 repetitions.

1) Seated Cable Row (middle back/scapular stabilizers/biceps)
-Women 30-60 lbs
-Men 45-80 lbs

2) Reverse Fly (upper/middle back/scapular stabilizers)
-Women 10-30 lbs
-Men 30-50 lbs

3) Wide Grip Cable Rope Row Standing or Seated
(upper/middle back/scapular stabilizers/biceps)
-Women 40-60 lbs
-Men 55-85 lbs

4) Weight Assisted Pull-Ups (lats/biceps)
-Women and Men start with assistance equal to 2/3 of your
body weight

5) Lat Pulldown (lats/biceps)
-Women 35-60 lbs
-Men 55-90 lbs

6) Back Extension (middle/lower back)
-Do 8-12 reps prone on the floor moving into "Superman"
position with arms to side lifting head and chest off of

7) Hip Extensions on ground or ball (glutes)
-Do 10-15 reps prone on the floor or ball. Leg is bent to 90
degrees at knee and lift heel up toward ceiling using glutes
with a small movement. Both sides should be done