3 Swiss-Ball Workouts to Build a Bigger Back

Work the stabilizing muscles in your shoulders and upper arms to produce solid lat muscles that can handle heavier loads.

Perform one to three sets of 10 to 12 repetitions of each exercise, keeping your leg and butt muscles tight and resting 45 to 60 seconds between sets. Place the ball a few feet in front of a wall so you can rest your feet against it. You need only 2-pound to 5-pound dumbbells.

Beginners, do only the first move before doing lat pulldowns; experienced lifters, do the first two; experts, do all three.


1. SWISS-BALL COBRA
Lie facedown on a Swiss ball and hold a pair of dumbbells with your arms hanging down to the floor, palms facing forward. Raise your arms back until they're in line with your body, and pull your shoulder blades down and together. Hold for 2 to 3 seconds, then lower the weights.

 



2. SWISS-BALL PRONE MILITARY PRESS
Lie facedown on a Swiss ball and hold a pair of dumbbells at your shoulders, palms facing the floor. Press your arms straight forward so they're in line with your head. Pause, then return to the starting position.

 


3. SWISS-BALL ROW COMBINATION
Lie facedown on a Swiss ball and hold a pair of dumbbells (thumbs up) with your arms hanging down and forward at 45-degree angles to the floor. Pull the weights to your chest, then lift them out to your sides. Finally, pull the weights back to the sides of your butt. Return the weights to the starting position. That's one rep.
 


Micheal A. Clark, D.P.T., is the president of the National Academy of Sports Medicine.

 

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