The back muscles are so important for our entire body because it is the area that holds our vertebral column, provides support and alignment for the upper skeletal system, and helps the bones that protect our internal organs.
There are certain exercises that women can do to not only add definition to their back muscles, but to improve their posture, strength and endurance. One of the most challenging exercises for women to do is the pull-up. Below are a few exercises that can provide the framework to build enough strength to do those exercises.
Whenever you work your back muscles, you are also exercising secondary muscles such as your biceps and forearms. As a rule of thumb, you never want to do these muscles groups first because they will fatigue when trying to do main back exercises.
Here are three exercises that you can do to build a stronger back:
Lat Pull-Downs (Underhand Grip)
Exercises upper and mid-back; places a good amount of stress on the lower lastissimus dorsi, biceps and muscles
What you want to do is grab the bar with an underhand grip, sit down and then pull the bar down between your chin and upper chest. You want to have a full range of motion (ROM) in order to strengthen the muscles throughout the movement. If you only go half-way, then you will only be strong at that angle, so complete the entire motion. Make sure you do not jerk the weight. Be sure to maintain proper form.
Do three sets X 20 reps. Use a moderate weight.
Single Dumbbell Row With Weights
Exercises the mid-back, biceps and forearm muscles
Choose a weight that is not too light, but will provide somewhat of a challenge when you are getting the last few repetitions. When you pick up the weight with your right hand, make sure your left foot is forward and your right foot is back. Your left hand should be on some kind of support and you should be slightly bending forward, putting most of your weight on your left leg and left arm/hand. When you are ready, pull the weight with your right elbow close to your rib cage and then bring it down (do the opposite for the other side). The movement is like pulling a lawn mower cord or picking up an item out of a grocery cart.
Do three sets X 20 reps. Use a moderate weight
Do this on your stomach while on the floor. We don't want to neglect the lower back.
When you are on your stomach, lift your right arm and left leg up for one second and then lift your left arm and right leg up for one second. When you've got the brain connection correct, speed it up and go faster as if you are pretending to swim.
Do three sets X 30 repetitions (per side) - so it is one/one, two/two, three/three and so forth...
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Kisar Dhillon is a professional fitness trainer living in Orange County, California. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Kinesiology, Post Baccalaureate Studies in Exercise Physiology and a Masters in Business Administration. He has more than 16 years in the health & fitness industry and is currently the owner of 1-2-1 Fitness, LLC.