Tag Archives: back exercises

5 Dumbbell Exercises to Shape Your Back

By: Geoff Rubin, Fitness Propelled, CPT/CIFT/TRX II

The use of #dumbbells is a fantastic way to train one’s body. Dumbbells provide us with an ease of use, open options on ranges of motion and a thorough workout. Dumbbell training puts us in positions to use our whole body and not become reliant on machines or circuit training. Using dumbbells engage the exerciser to connect with each exercise and focus on form, positioning and the development of strength. In this blog post, I share 5 dumbbell exercises that are sure to shape your “back”.

Complete 3 sets with 15 repetitions of the 5 exercises listed below with 1:00 minute rest periods between sets.

1) Bent Over Row

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  1. With a dumbbell in each hand (palms facing your torso), bend your knees slightly and bring your torso forward by bending at the waist; as you bend make sure to keep your back straight until it is almost parallel to the floor.  The weights should hang directly in front of you as your arms hang perpendicular to the floor and your torso.
  2. While keeping the torso stationary, lift the dumbbells to your side, keeping the elbows close to the body. At the top contracted position, squeeze the back muscles and hold for a second.
  3. Slowly lower the weight again to the starting position. Repeat.

2) Bent Over Rear Fly’s

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Bent Over  Rear Fly’s

  1. While keeping your back straight and maintaining the natural arch of your back, lean forward. Let the arms hang in front of you perpendicular to the ground. The palms of your hands should be facing each other and your torso should be parallel to the floor.
  2. Keeping your torso forward and stationary, and the arms straight with a slight bend at the elbows, lift the dumbbells straight to the side until both arms are parallel to the floor.
  3. After a one second contraction at the top, slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position. Repeat.

3) Renegade Rows

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  1. Place two dumbbells on the floor about shoulder width apart. Position yourself on your toes and your hands as though you were doing a pushup, with the body straight and extended. Use the handles of the dumbbells to support your upper body. You may need to position your feet wide for support.
  2. Push one dumbbell into the floor and row the other dumbbell, retracting the shoulder blade of the working side as you flex the elbow, pulling it to your side.
  3. Then lower the dumbbell to the floor and begin the dumbbell row in the opposite hand. Repeat.

4) Bent Over Row w/ Palm’s Up

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  1. With a dumbbell in each hand (palms facing away from your torso), bend your knees slightly and bring your torso forward by bending at the waist; as you bend make sure to keep your back straight until it is almost parallel to the floor.  The weights should hang directly in front of you as your arms hang perpendicular to the floor and your torso.
  2. While keeping the torso stationary, lift the dumbbells to your with palms facing away, keeping the elbows close to the body. At the top contracted position, squeeze the back muscles and hold for a second.
  3. Slowly lower the weight again to the starting position. Repeat.

5) Lateral Raises

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  1. With your dumbbells stand with a straight torso and the dumbbells by your side at arms length with the palms of the hand facing you.
  2. While maintaining the torso in a stationary position lift the dumbbells to your side with a slight bend on the elbow and the hands slightly tilted forward. Continue to go up until your arms are parallel to the floor.
  3. Lower the dumbbells back down slowly to the starting position. Repeat

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Sources:

– Bodybuilding.com

5 Body Weight Exercises for a Chiseled Back

By: Geoff Rubin, Fitness Propelled, CPT/CIFT/TRX II

Body weight conditioning #Bodyweightconditioning has always been an excellent way of training ones’ body, it requires little to no equipment and exercise routines can be done at almost any location. Body weight conditioning often restores our commitment to fitness and makes us concentrate on our form throughout each movement pattern. In this blog post, I share 5 body weight excises that will help you chisel out your back.

Complete 3 sets with 15 repetitions of the 5 exercises listed below with 1:30 minute rest periods between sets.

1) Pull-up

pull - up

  • The pull-up is performed with a palms facing forward position.
  • The body is suspended by the arms, gripping something, and pulls up.
  • The wrists remain in neutral (straight, neither flexed nor extended) position, the elbows flex and the shoulder adducts and/or extends to bring the elbows to or sometimes behind the torso.
  • The knees may be bent by choice or if the bar is not high enough. Bending the knees may reduce pendulum-type swinging.
  • Repeat

2) Inverted row

Inverted row

  • Lay flat on your back under a bar, a table or other sturdy surface
  • Grab your bar or bar substitute with your arms fully extended and your palms facing away from you.
  • Keep your body straight and lift yourself up. Slowly return to your starting position. You can make this easier by sitting on your hips or harder by raising your feet on a bench.

3) Pike push-up

Pike push-up

  • Start from a classic pushup position. Keep your legs straight and walk your hands back so you are in a pike position.
  • Your upper body and lower body should be at about a 90 degree angle.
  • Extend the arms overhead so that they are in line with your spine and reaching straight out from the shoulders.
  • Contract the core. Bend the elbows and lower yourself down until your head almost contacts the ground. Press back up.

4) Isometric wide grip pull ups

Isometric wide grip pull up’s

  • Set your hands palms down and facing away from you at a wide grip on the bar.
  • Pull yourself up so that your chin is above the bar and hold the position. Try to hold each repetition for the same amount of time.

5) Superman’s

Superman’s

  • Lay face down with your arms straight ahead of you.
  • In a controlled motion, lift your upper body and legs off the floor.
  • Hold the final position for 5 seconds before slowly returning to the first position.Superman’s

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Sources:

5 TRX Exercises for a Defined Back

By: Geoff Rubin, Fitness Propelled, CPT/CIFT/TRX II

Starting off this article by explaining what exactly is TRX would be critical before attempting its’ exercises. Born in the Navy SEALs, Suspension Training (#TRX) bodyweight exercise develops strength, balance, flexibility and core stability simultaneously.

The TRX Suspension Trainer:

  • Delivers a fast, effective total-body workout
  • Helps build a rock-solid core
  • Increases muscular endurance
  • Benefits people of all fitness levels (pro athletes to seniors)
  • Can be set-up anywhere (gym, home, hotel or outside)

By utilizing your own bodyweight, the TRX Suspension Trainer provides greater performance and functionality than large exercise machines costing thousands of dollars.

Continuing from our previous article posted, we are now checking out a multitude of pieces of equipment and how they can be applied towards creating a #DefinedBack. Check out these 5 exercises below and be sure to incorporate them into your “back” routine.

1) TRX Y Deltoid Fly:

Deltoids - 3Deltoids - 4  Builds strength and stability in the rear and middle parts of the shoulders.

2) TRX T Deltoid Fly

DSC_1051DSC_1053  Builds strength and stability in the rear shoulders and upper back.

 3) TRX L Deltoid Fly

TRX L Deltoid Fly  Strengthens external rotators with some stabilization support from the lats, biceps and forearms.

4) TRX Row

Row - 1Row - 2  Strengthens back muscles dependent on the position of a high or low row. Apply the pendulum theory and stance in order to increase exercise difficulty.

5) TRX Supine Plank

TRX Supine Plank  Increases flexibility in the anterior shoulder and builds strength and stability in the upper body.

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Sources:

https://www.trxtraining.com/suspension-training

 

5 Must Include Upper Back Stretches

By: Geoff Rubin, Fitness Propelled, CPT/CIFT/TRX II

In our previous posts we have taken a look at some incredible #Muscledeveloping “Back Exercises”. Be sure to check them out @ https://fitnesspropelled.wordpress.com/ . This post will address some upper back stretching exercises that are designed to restore flexibility to the joints and muscles of the upper back. Be sure to incorporate a targeted stretching routine to your workout regimen.  Below are five #UpperBackStretches that you will want to include into your flexibility program.

1) Shoulder Blade Squeezes 

Shoulder Blade Squeezes Begin sitting or standing tall with your back straight. Squeeze your shoulder blades together as hard and far as possible pain-free. Hold for 5 seconds and repeat 10 – 15 times.

2) Extension in Sitting 

Extension in Sitting  Begin sitting tall, with your hands behind your neck. Gently arch backwards and look up towards the ceiling until you feel a mild to moderate stretch pain-free. Repeat 10 – 15 times.

3) Rotation in Sitting 

Rotation in Sitting  Begin sitting tall, with your arms across your chest. Keeping your legs still, gently rotate to one side until you feel a mild to moderate stretch pain-free. Repeat 10 – 15 times to each side.

4) Side Bend in Sitting 

Side Bend in Sitting  Begin sitting tall, back straight, hands behind your head or neck. Gently bend to one side, moving your elbow towards your hip until you feel a mild to moderate stretch pain-free. Make sure you do not lean forwards. Repeat 10 – 15 times on each side.

5) Flexion in Sitting

Flexion in Sitting  Begin sitting tall, with your hands behind your neck. Gently bend forwards allowing your elbows to move towards your thighs. Move until you feel a mild to moderate stretch pain-free. Repeat 10 – 15 times.

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Sources:

Upper Back Stretches – Basic Exercises

http://www.physioadvisor.com.au/8110950/upper-back-stretches-upperback-flexibility-exer.htm

Super Bowl of “Back” Exercises

By: Geoff Rubin, Fitness Propelled, CPT/CIFT/TRX II

With an incredible Super Bowl XLIX now behind us, we may now focus on our own epic battle of crowning the “2” most effective back exercises. Our earlier posts set up this discussion, so if you’ve missed them and haven’t commented, check out………

From all of our readers comments it was clear that we narrow this match-up to “2” back exercises, that will compete for the @FitnessPropelled “Best Back Exercise”. The match-up is between the #Deadlift vs #Pull-Up’s.

Deadlifts

01-fitness-motivation-sexy-women-deadlifting The deadlift is a compound movement that works a variety of muscles groups:

  • The grip strength (finger flexors) and the lower back (erector spinae) work isometrically to keep the bar held in the hands and to keep the spine from rounding.
  • The gluteus maximus and hamstrings work to extend the hip joint.
  • The quadriceps work to extend the knee joint.
  • The adductor magnus works to stabilize the legs.

The deadlift activates a large number of individual muscles, in particular the back being:

How to do it:

  1. Make sure that your feet are hip width apart.
  2. Bend at the hip to grip the bar at shoulder width, allowing your shoulder blades to protract.
  3. Lower your hips and bend knees until your shins contact the bar.
  4. Look forward, keep chest up and back arched, and begin driving through the heels to move the weight upward.
  5. After the bar passes the knees, aggressively pull it back, bringing your shoulder blades together as you drive your hips forward into the bar.
  6. Lower the bar by bending at the hips and guiding it to the floor.

Pull-ups

index A pull-up is an upper-body compound pulling exercise. The pull-up is performed with a palms facing forward position.

  • A pull up is a closed-chain bodyweight movement where the body is suspended by the arms, gripping something, and pulls up.
  • The wrists remain in neutral (straight, neither flexed nor extended) position, the elbows flex and the shoulder adducts and/or extends to bring the elbows to or sometimes behind the torso.
  • The knees may be bent by choice or if the bar is not high enough. Bending the knees may reduce pendulum-type swinging.

The pull up engages numerous individual muscles. Again, with a focus on the back the pull up targets

How to do it:

  1. Step up and grasp bar with wide grip palms facing away.
  2. Pull body up until chin is above bar. Lower body until arms and shoulders are fully extended. Repeat.

Which of these two top notch back exercises gets your vote and why? Leave your comment below…..

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Sources:

  • Bodybuilding.com
  • Wikipedia.com

6 “Back” Defining Exercises

back By: Geoff Rubin, Fitness Propelled, CPT/CIFT/TRX II

When looking from behind and we see the structured anatomy of a well-defined back, we cannot help but want to see that individual’s front side holds in store. In order to acquire such features it takes a fitness artist’s touch to cultivate such a sculpted look.

Let’s take a look at the anatomy the #FitnessArtist must sculpt.

  • The lats and trapezius (aka traps) span the largest area, running from the base of the neck all the way down to the hips. They make up the bulk of the back’s muscle mass and generate the most force. The traps are not just the humps on top of your shoulders, they also dominate the inner part of the upper back.
  • The rhomboids, infraspinatus, and teres are smaller muscles that run diagonally across the width of the upper back. Aesthetically, they add definition and distinct cuts behind the scapula (your shoulder blades). They are typically targeted while working the lats and traps (via rows, pull-ups, etc.).
  • The erector spinae runs vertically in columns along the vertebrae and makes up most of the muscle in the lower back. It is a critical element in all-around core strength.

Exercises: (3 sets for 15 repetitions), progression set add weight, reduce rep #.

1) Pull-ups w/ weighted plates

Pull-ups w. weighted platesPrimary Muscles: Lats, posterior deltoids, rhomboids, infraspinatus, elevator scapulae, etc.

  1. Secure weight belt around hips and add desired weight.
  2. Step up and grasp bar with overhand wide grip.
  3. Pull body up until chin is above bar. Lower body until arms and shoulders are fully extended. Repeat.

2) Core ball prone extensions w/ weight plate

Core ball prone extensions w. weight platePrimary Muscles: Erector spinae, iliocostalis, longissimus, spinalis

  1. Prop yourself up on a core ball holding a weight plate with arms crossed to secure the plate.
  2. Without arching your back, slowly bend your torso forward until it forms a 45º angle with your legs.
  3. Squeeze your lower back and raise your body back up to starting position. Repeat.

3) Lat pull downs (narrow, wide, palms facing grips)

Lat pull downsPrimary Muscles: Lats, trapezius, posterior deltoids, middle back, erector spinae

  1. Find a lat pull down machine with interchangeable clips. Place two hand grips on it.
  2. With palms facing one another, lean back 70 degrees and pull down sliding your hands alongside your rib cage, then out wide to 90 degree hinges, then palms facing you narrow pulls. Repeat.

4) Single arm cable rows

Single arm rowsPrimary Muscles: Upper back, trapezius, latissimus dorsi, erector spinae, etc.

  1. Sit on a secured bench and grasp cable stirrup with one hand. Straighten lower back and position knees with slight bend.
  2. Pull cable attachment to side of torso, slightly twisting through waist. Pull shoulder back and push chest forward during contraction. Return until arm is extended and shoulder is stretched forward. Repeat.
  3. Continue with opposite arm.

5) Weight plate lifts

Weight plate liftsPrimary Muscles: Posterior deltoids, upper back

  1. Choose a weight plate and stand with your feet around shoulder width apart.
  2. Hold the weight plate with your palms facing one another at the 3 and 9 o’clock positions. Let the weight plate rest on your thighs. Straighten your back, tense your mid section and pull your shoulders back, taking the weight off your thighs and holding it about 5 inches from your body. This is the starting position.
  3. Keeping a slight bend in your elbows, raise the plate up until your arms are parallel to the floor.
  4. Pause, and then slowly lower the plate back to the starting position. Repeat.

6) Bosu ball loaded push-ups

Bosu ball loaded push-upsPrimary Muscles: Pectoralis major

  1. Lie prone on floor with hands slightly wider than shoulder width placed on the dynamic side of a bosu balance trainer.
  2. Raise body up off floor by extending arms with body straight.
  3. Keeping body straight, lower body to the bosu ball by bending arms to 90 degrees and then hold your weight for 15 seconds. Repeat.

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Sources:

http://www.muscleandstrength.com/

– GoogleImages

6 Result Driven Exercises to Sculpt Your Back

By: Geoff Rubin, Fitness Propelled, CPT/CIFT/TRX II

The back is often forgotten about as a necessary section of the body to train. With a predominant focus on arms and abs, it is quite easy at times to forget about our back musculature. The real question at hand is why you would not dedicate equal time to focus on your back? A sculpted back showcases aesthetics and is also crucial for maintaining proper posture, muscular synergy and a well-developed core.   Not only does a workout program focused on our backs emphasize the points listed above, but back strength is functional. Functional back exercises range from rock climbing, loading heavy objects, and opening the door for your lovely date or marital partner.

Before getting started with our 6 Result Driven Back Exercises, let’s take a look at the anatomy of the back.

  • The lats and trapezius (aka traps) span the largest area, running from the base of the neck all the way down to the hips. They make up the bulk of the back’s muscle mass and generate the most force. The traps are not just the humps on top of your shoulders, they also dominate the inner part of the upper back.
  • The rhomboids, infraspinatus, and teres are smaller muscles that run diagonally across the width of the upper back. Aesthetically, they add definition and distinct cuts behind the scapula (your shoulder blades). They are typically targeted while working the lats and traps (via rows, pull-ups, etc.).
  • The erector spinae runs vertically in columns along the vertebrae and makes up most of the muscle in the lower back. It is a critical element in all-around core strength.

Exercises: (3 sets for 15 repetitions), progression set add weight, reduce rep #.

1) Bent over barbell rows

6 Result Driven Exercises to Sculpt Your Back

Primary Muscles: Trapezius in conjunction with you lats, abdomen and gluteus.

  1. Hold a barbell in front of your body with an overhand grip slightly wider than shoulder width.
  2. Tighten your core, straighten your back, and drop your torso down to 60º.
  3. Powerfully contract your back and biceps, and pull the barbell upwards into the top of your core. Hold for 1 second and return down to a full extension. Repeat.

2) Bent-over one arm dumbbell rows

Bent-over one arm dumbbell rowsPrimary Muscles: Middle back, lats, biceps, shoulders

  1. Place your left knee and left hand firmly anchored on a flat bench. Your left hand should serve as support for your body.
  2. Maintain a tight core and flat back, contract your lats and biceps, and slowly row the dumbbell upwards until it is above your torso.
  3. Hold 1s and slowly lower the dumbbell to a full extension — you should feel a stretch throughout your upper back. Repeat.

3) Renegade dumbbell rows

Renegade dumbbell rowsPrimary Muscles: Lats, deltoids, pectoralis major, rhomboids, infraspinatus

  1. Assume push up position with two dumbbells (neutral grip)
  2. While keeping your core tight and back flat, powerfully row your right arm up until it is slightly above your torso. Do not rotate your body.
  3. Hold the contraction for 1 second, return to the bottom, and repeat for the opposite arm.

4) Military Grip Lat Pull Downs

Military Grip  Lat Pull DownsPrimary Muscles: Lats, trapezius, posterior deltoids, middle back, erector spinae

  1. Find a lat pull down machine with interchangeable clips. Place two hand grips on it.
  2. With palms facing one another, lean back 70 degrees and pull down sliding your hands alongside your rib cage, then repeat.

5) T Bar Rows

T Bar RowsPrimary Muscles: Middle back, rear delts, traps

  1. Place a loaded barbell in between your legs. You can either use a narrow-grip cable attachment and place it under the bar, or directly hold the bar with a stagnated grip.
  2. Drop your torso down to 45°, tighten your core, and maintain strong posture, keep your lower back stiff and do not let it arch.
  3. Contract your lats and traps and pull the bar up into your chest. Hold the contraction for 1 second and slowly release the bar back down to the ground. Repeat

6) Back Extensions

Back Extensions

Primary Muscles: Erector spinae, iliocostalis, longissimus, spinalis

  1. Prop yourself up on a back extension machine with your arms crossed. You can also do this on a stability ball.
  2. Without arching your back, slowly bend your torso forward until it forms a 45º angle with your legs.
  3. Squeeze your lower back and raise your body back up to starting position. Repeat.

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Sources:

  • Bryan DiSanto – 13 Killer Back Exercises To Chisel Out A Defined, V-Shaped, Undulating Back
  • Google Images

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