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Workout 32: Back & Biceps

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. 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. 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.


Bicep Exercises

1. Seated Dumbbell Curl 

  1. Sit on a bench with a back support and place your feet shoulder-width apart. Take a deep breath before beginning. Sit up straight with a dumbbell in each hand at arm's length. Keep your elbows close to your torso and rotate the palms of your hands until they are facing inward.
  2. Curl the weights while contracting your biceps so that your palms are facing backwards. Continue to raise the dumbbells until your biceps are fully contracted and the dumbbells are at shoulder-level. Try to hold the contracted position for a brief pause as you squeeze your biceps. Make sure to keep your upper arms and elbows stationary through the movement; your forearms should be the only part moving during this exercise.
  3. Slowly begin to lower the dumbbells back to the starting position. 

2. Zottman Curl

  1. Stand upright with a dumbbell in each of your hands at arm's length. Your elbows should be tucked in close to your torso. Make sure your palms are facing your body before beginning the movement.
  2. Contract your biceps as you curl the dumbbells upward; only your forearms should be moving. As you curl up, rotate your wrists so that your palms are facing upward, like in an underhand grip. Continue this movement until the dumbbells are at your shoulder-level.
  3. Try to hold the contracted position for a second while sweeping your biceps. Then, in the contracted position, rotate your wrists again until you your palms are facing down, like in an overhand grip.
  4. With this overhand grip, slowly lower the dumbbells back down.
  5. As the dumbbells approach your thighs, rotate your wrists to return to your original grip with your palms facing inward towards your body.

 

3. Dumbbell Hammer Curl 

  1. Stand upright with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your arms extended along your sides. Your elbows should be tucked in close to your torso and your palms should be facing your torso.
  2. Keep your upper arm stationary as you contract your biceps and curl the dumbbells directly upward. Continue to raise the dumbbells until your biceps are fully contracted and the dumbbell is at shoulder-level. Focus on only moving your forearm.
  3. After a brief pause, slowly begin to lower the dumbbells back down to the starting position.

4. Concentration Curl

  1. Sit at the end of a bench and place one dumbbell in front of you between your legs. Keep your legs spread apart, your knees bent, your back straight, and your feet on the ground.
  2. Use your right arm to pick up the dumbbell. Place the back of your arm against the inside of your same-sided thigh.
  3. Begin with the the palm of your hand facing away from your thigh. Keep your arm extended and the dumbbell slightly above the ground. 
  4. Make sure that your upper arm remains stationary as you contract your biceps and curl the dumbbell toward your opposite-sided pec. Continue the movement until the dumbbell is at shoulder-level. Remember, only the forearms should move.