People who workout often focuses on arms, abs, and legs but forget about the importance of a strong back. The back muscles are extremely important, used for things we do on a daily basis from lifting to sneezing. For this reason, it is imperative that you use back exercises to strength the muscles, which will help with lifting and moving, but also reduce risk of injury.
With a stronger back, every day activities will be much easier to manage from working to raising children to simply going out to enjoy life. The back is comprised of three major muscle groups to include the following:
Latissimus Dorsi – These muscles are found on the sides of the back, which are used for extension, rotation, and pulling arms in toward the body.
Erector Spinae – Known as the lower back, this actually has three muscles, all running the entire length of the back starting at the neck and going to the buttocks. This group of muscles is used for flexibility and extension for the upper body along with rotation.
Rhomboids – These muscles are made up of minor and major muscles that go between the shoulder blades to help with rotation, retraction, and elevation of the shoulder blades, the very muscles used to maintain proper posture.
For a strong back, you can do back exercises specific for this muscle group three days a week. Of course, someone who is interested in lifting heavy weights needs to do between six and eight repetitions but make sure the workouts are every other day so the muscles can rest. With this, both strength and endurance will be achieved, again without injury.
The key to back exercises is to do the right type of training. Typically, this would include things such as a dumbbell row, rear deltoid row, and seated row, along with reverse flies, pull downs, and back extensions. To achieve the strength wanted, it is important to do a number of different exercises specific to the back. By varying the type of back exercises being done every month, you will find that you continue to see results rather than hit plateaus.
Beginners should start out with one to two exercises that consist of two sets, each with fourteen to sixteen repetitions. For intermediate and advanced people, it is important to choose one to two different exercises, two to three sets, and then repetitions would be anywhere from eight to twelve. The most important thing to remember for back exercises is that the weights should not be so heavy that the targeted repetitions cannot be completed.
Two great exercise options include:
1. Rows – This works on the Latissimus Dorsi while building stronger biceps. Start by tipping forward so the upper body is at a 45-degree angle. Then with the weights down by the side, pull the elbows up even toward the body.
2. Reverse Flies – Sitting on a bench or ball with the back straight, hold a dumbbell in each hand. Then, pull the arms upward together so they are to upper mid-section.