Workout 21: Back & Abs

Back Exercises

  1. Grasp the pull bar with a grip wider than your shoulder width.
  2. Take a deep breath and depress the shoulder blades. Drive your elbows straight down to the floor to pull yourself up. Simultaneously try to activate yours lats.
  3. Pull your chin towards the bar until your lats are fully contracted. Slowly lower yourself back to the starting position and repeat. Try to do this motion slowly.
  1. Find a flat bench and place a dumbbell on each side. Start by placing your right knee on top of the bench.
  2. Bend your torso forward from your waist. Your upper body should be parallel to the ground. Place your right hand on the bench, with your palm facing down, above where your knee is positioned. Place your left foot on the ground beside the bench.
  3. Use your left hand to pick up the dumbbell with an overhand grip (your palm should be facing your torso). Keep your arm fully extended and make sure to keep your lower back straight.
  4. Keep your elbow close to your side while you pull the weight straight up towards your chest. As you pull up the weight up, concentrate on squeezing your back muscles and shoulder blades (you should feel a contraction in your back muscles).
  5. Slowly lower the weight straight down with control.
  6. Alternate sides.
  1. Attach a wide bar at your shoulder level on the pulley of the pulldown machine. Grab the bar with an overhand grip with your palms facing downward, and make sure your grip is wider than your shoulder width.
  2. Take a couple steps back and make sure your feet are shoulder width apart. Slightly hinge at the waist so that your torso is leaning forward. Keep your arms fully extended so that theyโ€™re parallel to the ground. Your arms can have a slight bend at the elbow.
  3. Pull the bar down while keeping your arms straight. Continue pulling down until your hands are beside your thighs; you should feel a contraction in your lats.
  4. Reverse this movement while keeping your arms fully straight.
  1. Attach a wide grip handle to the lat pulldown machine. Adjust the knee pad of the machine to fit your height to prevent your lower body from moving while performing this movement.
  2. For a reverse-grip lat pulldown, use an underhand grip and your palms facing your body.
  3. For a close grip, your hands should be positioned shoulder width apart.
  4. Extend both arms up above you while holding the bar. Keep your back upright, create a slight curvature in your lower back, and stick out your chest.
  5. Keep your torso stationary and pull the bar down towards your body by drawing your shoulder blades and upper arms down and back. Squeeze your back muscles during this movement.
  6. Slowly raise the bar in a controlled motion back to the starting position. Your arms should be fully extended and your lats fully stretched.
  1. Load an appropriate weight onto the end of the T-bar.
  2. Stand over the bar so that itโ€™s in between your legs and your chest is resting on the pad. Keep your back flat, and make sure you have a firm grip on each side of the V-grip handle.
  3. Remove the bar from the rest. Keep your chest up, your hips back, and your feet wider than shoulder width apart. Lead the movement with your back, your arms should follow. The focus should not be on the angle of your arms, but on the contraction of your back.
  4. After your back reaches its maximum contraction and your shoulder blades are retracted, slowly let the weight of the bar pull your shoulder blades down to stretch your back.
  5. Let your arms follow naturally until the T-bar is returned to its starting position.

Abs Exercises

Caution: Do not choose a weight that is too heavy. This can result in straining your lower back.
  1. Find a cable station and attach a rope handle to the top pulley. Grasp the rope attachment at each end, and kneel down so your knees are bent at a 90ยฐ angle.
  2. Your arms should be stretched over your head. Your palms should be facing each other when holding the rope and your hands should be placed next to your face.
  3. Slightly flex your hips forward. There should be tension on the cable, and you should feel a stretch in your abs. โ€ฉ
  4. Keep your hips stationary, contract your abs, and crunch your chest towards your hips until your head is between your knees. Your elbows should be approaching the middle of your thighs. After reaching this point, hold the contraction for a second.
  5. Slowly reverse back to the starting position. Keep as much tension in your abs during this whole movement.

2. Leglift

  1. Lie with your back flat on the floor (or on a bench) with your legs extended in front of you.
  2. Place your hands to your sides with your pg down. To keep your hands down for support, you can place them under your glutes.
  3. Keep your legs fully extended and as straight as possible (itโ€™s okay if your knees slightly bend). Hold the contraction at the top for a second.
  4. Slowly lower your legs back down to the starting position.
  1. Lie on your back with your arms and legs stretched out into an โ€œXโ€ position.
  2. In one movement, bring one arm straight up across your body while simultaneously lifting your opposing leg and lifting your head.
  3. Attempt to touch one arm to your opposite ankle, or try to come as close as you can.
  4. Alternate sides.
  1. Place your forearms on the ground with your elbows aligned beneath your shoulders. Keep your arms parallel to your body at about shoulder width distance. (You should be in a push-up position, only on your forearms rather than your hands).
  2. Ground your toes into the floor and squeeze your glutes to stabilize your body. Be careful to not to lock or hyperextend your knees.
  3. Neutralize your neck and spine by looking at a spot on the floor about a foot in front of your hands. Your head should be in line with your back. Contract your abdominals to keep yourself up and prevent your booty from sticking up.
  4. Keep your back flat and hold the position for as long as possible without compromising form.