Exercises for your back
When thinking about which body parts should we work out at the gym, doing back workouts is not our top priority. We usually go for our legs, hips, butt, abs and core exercises.
We’re here to tell you that back strength is as very important as lower body and core strength when it comes to women’s fitness! Remember, exercising your back does not mean having big arms or bulky shoulders.
Doing strength training for your back muscles should never be overlooked in your workout program since the back is one of the largest muscle groups in your body and it helps with weight management and offers several benefits.
Importance of exercising the back
Think about it, our back is always in play with our daily activities at home or at work. We usually spend our time in front of our desks, carrying around our children, lifting the groceries, clean the house, do the laundry, prepare meals and so on. We would not be able to do these tasks efficiently if we don’t have a strong back.
Strengthening our back offers a few benefits namely:
- It improves our overall posture and prevents back pain and can counter long hours of sitting on slouching in front of our desks when working.
- It helps take care of your spine which is surrounded by muscles that are vital to keeping it in place and free from injury.
- It contributes to a stronger upper body and core to be able perform daily tasks and chores.
- Improved body composition (muscle mass and bone density) can help with fat loss and improved metabolism.
Exercises for your back
The next time you are planning on your workout program, give some love to your back too. Here are some back specific exercises that you can include:
Dumbbell bent over row
- Stand with legs slightly bent, grasping the dumbbells with an overhand grip, hands slightly wider than shoulder width apart.
- Keeping the back straight, lean forward from the waist 45 degrees, so the dumbbells are at knee level. Pull the dumbbells upwards toward the chest, with your shoulders travelling behind you. Squeeze the shoulder blades together for a moment, before slowly returning the dumbbells to their starting position.
- You can either use dumbbells or a barbell. Place the weights in front of you with legs comfortably hip width apart, back straight, shoulders relaxed.
- Hinge at the hips as you bend your knees while lowering your torso until it is almost parallel with the floor and your arms are hanging in front of your knees or shins depending on your flexibility. Be careful not to round your back.
- Reverse the move by pushing your hips forward, squeezing your glutes, and pushing through the heels of your feet. Repeat for a few reps.
Note: Beginners should focus just on the movement pattern with a very light weight or no weight at all.
- Lie down on your stomach and engage your abs by drawing your belly button toward your spine. Straighten your legs and stretch out your arms over your head.
- Slowly raise your arms and legs off the floor while arching your back. Hold then lower back down. Repeat.
- Stand holding a dumbbell in each hand, feet shoulder-width apart. Hinge at the hips until your upper body is parallel with the floor. Keep a slight bend in your knees.
- Let the weights hang in front of you, palms facing each other. Avoid arching your back or slumping over.
- Squeezing your shoulder blades, raise each arm out to each side. With control lower the weights back to starting position and repeat.