The back muscles are some of the most important muscles to focus on when you are working out.
They are the postural muscles that keep us stood upright and injury free. They’re our base of strength that allow us to do other things. We can never be too strong on the back of our bodies.
Unfortunately, many of us spend too much time sitting down, allowing the opposing muscles to get short and tight. Building a strong back will keep us in good posture. Here are three great exercises to strengthen the back.
Fitball back extensions
This exercise works the muscles on both sides of the spine and when performed on a fitball, also works the core muscles. Lay tummy down on the fitball with toes on the floor. Raise your chest up, hold and slowly lower down again. If you are just starting out, try it with your knees bent on the floor.
Different variations of rows such as bent over, seated, cable and dumbbell rows with various different grips will work all of the muscles of the upper back and strengthen the postural muscles around the shoulder blades.
Focus on pulling the shoulders back and initiating movement from the shoulder blades, rather than from the arms. In all of the different row variations you want to feel the back muscles working. Keep the weights moderate and the reps high.
Pull ups/pull downs
The pull up is a superb exercise for building strength in the back. Mastering your own bodyweight is a great level of strength to reach for anybody.
If you’re not there yet, you can either use an assisted pull up machine if you have access to one, or a lat pull down instead.
As with the rows, keep the weight moderate and aim for high reps. Make sure the back muscles are doing the work by initiating movement from the shoulder blades; pinching them down and back as you pull.