Workout 38: Back & Triceps

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. 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.

 

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.


 

Triceps Exercises

 

1. 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, as pictured. 

2. Overhead Dumbbell Extension

  1. Stand upright with a single dumbbell held by both hands. Your feet should be positioned about shoulder-width apart. Use both hands to lift the dumbbell over your head until both arms are fully extended.
  2. To start, your palms are supporting the weight of the dumbbell with your thumbs wrapping around it. Your palms should be facing upward, maintaining an overlapped grip.
  3. Keep your upper arms close to your head and perpendicular to the ground with your elbows by your ears. Lower the dumbbell in a semicircular motion behind your head so that your forearms touch (or almost touch) your biceps. Your forearms should be the only part moving.
  4. Use your triceps to lower the dumbbell back to the starting position.

3. Dumbbell Skull Crusher 

This is just like doing a normal ‘skull crusher’, only you’re using dumbbells rather than an EZ bar or straight bar. With dumbbells, you sacrifice the amount of weight you can use because there’s less stability, but anytime there’s less stability, there’s more core strength involved, and the pressure on the muscle should be a little bit more dramatic. 

  1. Get either a flat or incline bench or other flat surface ready, and lie on your back holding two dumbbells. Raise your arms so they’re perpendicular to your body.
  2. Make sure your wrists are straight and your hand isn’t bending over your wrist towards your body. Using your triceps, only extend your elbows up towards the ceiling. Avoid allowing your upper arms to move back and forth from their position as you raise and lower the weight. 
  3. As you power the weight back up, stop just short of full extension so that you're unable to rest in the top position, which keeps tension on the muscle throughout the range of motion.
  4. Keep your elbows in tight as much as possible and avoid elbow flare to ensure the triceps do the bulk of the work. Allowing your elbows to flare out reduces the triceps' workload.

 

4. 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.

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