Workout 21: Back & Abs


Back Exercises

1. Simulated Pull Up

 

  1. Grab a towel or t-shirt, hold it in both hands, and stand in a squat position.
  2. Hold the towel out in front of you with your arms extended, and pull on both sides of the t-shirt or towel as hard, as you can as if you were trying to rip it.
  3. As you continue to try to rip the towel or t-shirt, slowly bring your elbows backwards as if you were trying to squeeze your shoulder blades together. 
  4. When your hands get as close to your chest as possible, slowly return to the starting position and repeat until the set is complete. Remember to KEEP trying to rip the towel throughout the entire exercise. 
2. Doorway Row
  1. Stand on the outside of an open doorway, facing the doorway.
  2. Grip the doorjamb with each hand, palms facing outward.
  3. With feet together and knees slightly bent, slowly lean your upper body back, away from the doorjamb, until your arms are straight. Your arm & back muscles should be supporting the weight of your upper body.
  4. Using these same muscles, pull yourself up toward the door, ensuring that your shoulder  blades are pulling toward one another. This is one rep. 
3. Superman
  1. Lie face down on the ground, toes pointed, ankles touching the ground, arms extended forward, like Superman in flight, palms down, touching the ground.
  2. Pull your arms and legs off the ground by engaging your glutes, shoulders, core, and back. They should raise up 2-3 inches.
  3. Ensure that your arms are also fully contracted. 
  4. Hold this position for 10-20 seconds, or until failure.
  5. Slowly lower your arms and legs back to the starting position. Repeat for prescribed number of reps. 

 

4. Scapular Push Up
  1. Position yourself as though you were going to perform a plank, hands directly beneath shoulders, arms straight, feet hip-width apart, balancing on toes.
  2. Exhale. Pull your shoulder blades apart. This movement will cause your upper back to rise slightly toward the ceiling.
  3. Ensure that your core is engaged and arms are still straight, inhale. Bring your shoulder blades back toward each other. 

*Note: This can be done on the knees instead of toes.

5. Good Morning
  1. With feet hip-width apart, stand upright, knees slightly bent, and place your hands at the back of your head, elbows opened wide.
  2. Engage your abdominal muscles by pulling them into your spine. Keeping your spine neutral and pressing your rear backward, bend forward at the hips and continue doing so until your back is nearly parallel to the floor.
  3. Slowly return to standing, engaging your core and squeezing your glutes at the top of the movement. Continue for the prescribed number of repetitions. 

Abs Exercises

1. Leg Lift

 

  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 palms facing 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 (it’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. 

2. Russian Twist

  1. Lie down on the floor placing your feet either under something that will not move or by having a partner hold them. Your legs should be bent at the knees.
  2. Elevate your upper body so that it creates an imaginary V-shape with your thighs. Your arms should be fully extended in front of you perpendicular to your torso and with the hands clasped. This is the starting position.
  3. Twist your torso to the right side until your arms are parallel with the floor while breathing out.
  4. Hold the contraction for a second and move back to the starting position while breathing out. Now move to the opposite side performing the same techniques you applied to the right side.
  5. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions. 

3. Starfish Crunch

 

  1. Lie on your back with your arms and legs stretched out into an 'X' 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. 

4. Bicycle Crunch
  1. Lie flat with your lower back pressed to the ground. Place your hands behind your head slightly above your neck. Lift your shoulders into a crunch position.
  2. Raise yours legs so that your thighs are perpendicular to the ground and your shins parallel to the ground.
  3. Simultaneously, slowly go through a cycle pedal motion kicking forward with the right leg while pulling in the knee of the left leg. 
  4. Bring your right elbow close to your left knee by crunching to the side. Then crunch to the opposite side as you cycle your legs and bring your left elbow closer to your right knee.
  5. Alternate sides. 

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