Workout 42: Back & Shoulders


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. 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. 

3. Reverse Snow Angel
  1. Position yourself face-down on the floor with arms stretched out in front of you, palms facing the floor, legs closed.
  2. Slowly lift your chest, arms, and legs slightly off of the ground.
  3. Move arms down toward the hips and legs outward, and then return to the original position, as though you’re performing jumping jacks or a snow angel.
  4. Rest limbs on the ground briefly before beginning the next rep.

*Note: If you perform this on a wood or otherwise smooth floor, you can place washcloths under your palms and toes and complete the reps without lifting your limbs off of the floor.

4. 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. 


Shoulders Exercises

1. Y Raises
  1. Stand upright, feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. With a slight bend in your elbows, raise your arms upward and out to the sides, making a “Y” formation until elbows are aligned with each ear. Contract shoulder muscles.
  3. Lower arms, maintaining control to complete one rep. 

2. Towel Snatch
  1. While holding a towel or t-shirt, get into a squat position with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart. 
  2. Hold the towel out in front of your body with your arms fully extended in front of you.
  3. Spread your arms as if you are attempting to rip the towel in half. 
  4. While maintaining the squeeze of trying to rip the towel and keeping your arms straight, raise the towel up above your head and then lower it back down to the starting position. 

3. Doorframe Hold
  1. Stand in a doorway, facing the doorjamb, feet hip-width apart. Bend one elbow at 90°, make a fist, and place your fist on the wall. 
  2. Press into the wall as if you were attempting to push through the wall and into your abdomen. Your shoulder should be engaged, but you shouldn’t move your shoulder at any point during this movement. 
  3. Hold for a count of 5 and release. Repeat on the other arm to complete one rep. 

4. Pike Push Up
  1. Position your body as though you were going to perform a plank, with your body forming a straight line from head, hips, and heels.
  2. Engage your core and begin to lift your hips toward the ceiling. At the same time, walk your hands towards your feet.
  3. Once your torso is nearly perpendicular to the ground, position your hands wider than your shoulders. Shift your weight to your hands and move your feet so you are on your toes.
  4. Gaze toward your toes to keep your head neutral and begin to bend your elbows, lowering your head toward the floor. 
  5. Once you’ve lowered as far as you can, push yourself back up to complete one rep.