Workout 51: Back

Back Exercises

1. Pull-Up

  1. Securely set the pin on the desired weight. Unlike other machines, theheavier the weight you use, theeasier this exercise will be (as the weight really serves as an assist, not resistance).
  2. Stand on the platform, and grab the wide pull-up handles above your head. You can also do this on your knees.
  3. Keep your abs engaged, spine neutral, and shoulders pressed down and back.
  4. Pull yourself up as far as possible, making sure to keep your abs are engaged and your shoulders are pressed down and back. Simultaneously try to activate yours lats. 
  5. Slowly release yourself downwards until your arms are almost straight. 
  6. Repeat for the desired amount of reps.

2. Bent Over Dumbbell Row

  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 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.

3. Seated Close Grip Cable Row

Caution: Avoid swinging your torso back and forth. This can result in a lower back injury.

  1. Attach a V-bar to the low pulley on a seated row machine. When gripping the V-bar, your palms should be facing each other.
  2. Sit down on the machine and place your feet on the front platform with your knees slightly bent.
  3. Grab the V-bar handles, lean over, and keep your back upright with your shoulders back. Your back should be slightly arched with your chest sticking out. As you hold the bar in front of you, you should you should notice a stretch in your lats.
  4. Keep your torso stationary and your elbows tucked in as you pull the handles back towards your torso. You should be squeezing your back muscles and holding that contraction for a second.
  5. Slowly return the weight to starting position by releasing your shoulder blades back down.

4. Straight Arm 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.

5. Single Arm Smith Machine Row

  1. Set the smith machine bar low. Bend over so your back is at a 90 degree angle and lift the bar out of its place so that your arm is hanging down freely while holding the bar.
  2. Remaining with your back at a 90 degree angle, pull the bar up, driving your elbow to the ceiling. Keep your elbow tucked into your side as you pull.  
  3. Slowly let the bar back down and repeat.

6. Rear Delt Cable Fly

  1. Adjust the pulleys to the appropriate height and adjust the weight. The pulleys should be above your head.
  2. Grab the left pulley with your right hand and the right pulley with your left hand, crossing them in front of you. This will be your starting position.
  3. Initiate the movement by moving your arms back and outward, keeping your arms straight as you execute the movement.
  4. Pause at the end of the motion before returning the handles to the start position.

7. Inverted Row

  1. Lie on the floor underneath the bar (which should be set just above where you can reach from the ground). You should be as close to parallel to the ground as possible!
  2. Grab the bar with an overhand grip (palms facing AWAY from you).
  3. Contract your abs, and try to keep your body a completely straight line. Your ears, shoulders, hips legs, and feet should all be in a straight line.
  4. Pull yourself up to the bar until your chest touches the bar.
  5. Lower yourself back down.

*If this is difficult for you, place the bar higher on the smith machine, and stand a little bit  more vertically. 

8. Renegade Row

  1. Place two dumbbells on the floor about shoulder-width apart. Start in the top position of pushup position with your hands on the weights. Make sure your back is straight and in line with your legs, as if there were a rod going through your whole body.
  2. Row one weight up towards the side of your body while balancing on your other hand and feet. Hold for one second at the top and return the weight slowly to the start position to repeat on the other side.
  3. Keep your body in straight line from your shoulders to your ankles as you row the weight. Be sure to finish the movement by pulling the dumbbell all the way to your ribs.Don't let your shoulders slouch. Be sure to bring your shoulder blades together.

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