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Workout 53: Back & Triceps   


Back Exercises

1. Pull-Up 

  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 your 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.

2. T-Bar Row

  1. Load an appropriate weight onto the end of the T-bar.
  2. Stand over the bar so that it’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.

3. Bent Over Barbell Row

  1. Holding a barbell with a pronated grip (palms facing down), bend your knees slightly and bring your torso forward by bending at the waist. Ensure that you are keeping the back straight until it is almost parallel to the floor. This is your starting position.
  2. Keeping the torso stationary, lift the barbell towards your torso. Keep your elbows close to the body and only use the forearms to hold the weight. At the top contracted position, squeeze the back muscles and hold for a brief pause.
  3. Slowly lower the barbell to the starting position. 
  4. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Do not bounce up and down to get the bar up and down, and do NOT perform this exercise if you have back issues!

4. Straight Arm Rope Pulldown

  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 they’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.

Tricep Exercises


1. Skull Crusher

  1. Lie back on a flat or slightly inclined bench. Using an overhand grip, grasp the innermost grips on the EZ bar. Hold it with your elbows tucked in and your arms perpendicular to the ground.
  2. Keeping your upper arms stationary, lower the bar by unlocking your elbows to a flexed position. Pause once the bar is directly above your forehead.
  3. Reverse the bar back to the starting position by extending your elbows while flexing your tricep.

2. Tricep Kickback

  1. Start with a dumbbell in each hand and your palms facing your torso. 
  2. Keep your back straight, with a slight bend in the knees, and bend forward at the waist. Your torso should be almost parallel to the floor. Make sure to keep your head up. Your upper arms should be close to your torso and parallel to the floor. Your forearms should be pointed towards the floor as you hold the weights. There should be a 90-degree angle formed between your forearm and upper arm. This is your starting position.
  3. Now, while keeping your upper arms stationary, exhale and use your triceps to lift the weights until the arm is fully extended. Focus on moving the forearm.
  4. After a brief pause at the top contraction, inhale and slowly lower the dumbbells back down to the starting position.
  5. Repeat the movement for the prescribed amount of repetitions.

*You can also do this exercise one arm at a time. 

3. Diamond Push-Up

  1. Start by lying on the floor face down with your hands closer than shoulder-width apart. Hold your torso up at arm’s length.
  2. Lower yourself until your chest almost touches the floor.
  3. Using your triceps, press your upper body back up and squeeze your chest.

4. Crossbody Tricep Extension

  1. This is similar to the ordinary single arm tricep extension you’ve been doing, only here you’re extending across your body rather than straight down and back. The crossbody extension focuses on the lateral head while the ordinary tricep extension hits the long head in the back of the arm (although both exercises work the entire tricep!
  2. Lift a cable pulley all the way up and make sure there’s a single arm handle on it. 
  3. Grab the handle, and stand horizontally in relation to the the cable like the picture above. 
  4. Keeping your elbow in place and your wrist still, pull down and out until your tricep is completely flexed, hold for a moment, and slowly go back to the starting position.  
  5. Switch sides when you’ve finished.