rying to build that “deep V” look or injury-proof your body, the back workout is always the best strength-based exercise that you must not ignore. Try these 5 exercises to sculpt your back and shoulders as well as prevent further imbalances and injuries during the workout.
REVERSE SNOW ANGELS
Take a look at these Reverse Snow Angels and give them a try at home. This exercise is more challenging than the name implies. It strengthens your muscles and boosts mobility, which will greatly reduce your chances of suffering an injury.
START: Position yourself face down on the ground with arms at your sides and palms facing down. Peel your shoulders and hands a few inches off the ground by pinching your scapula together and engaging your lats and rhomboids in your mid-back.
FINISH: Keeping your head facing down, in a slow, controlled motion, bring your arms up past your shoulders and up to your ears until your thumbs meet directly above your head. Then, bring your arms back to the starting position. The key here is keeping the arms straight and elbows locked through the entire movement to engage your lats and shoulders. Repeat for 3 sets of 5 reps, with 30-60 seconds of rest between sets.
Dolphin Kick is one of the most highly effective and underused strengths and stability-building exercise in your fitness routine. This move works your entire lower body, as well as strengthens and targets your back.
START: Position yourself face down on a bench so that the crease of your hip is at the end of the bench. Your feet should be resting on the ground with your hands firmly engaged on the underside of the bench for support.
FINISH: Straighten out your legs while raising them up while engaging your abdominals, glutes, hips, and spinal erectors in your low back. Your toes should be pointed away from your body and above your head at the top of the movement. Hold this static position for 5 seconds by firmly engaging nearly every muscle in your body, before dropping the feet slightly below the bench and contracting again for 4 additional reps. Repeat for 3 sets of 5 reps, with 30-60 seconds of rest between sets.
The Superman exercise is a simple body-weight movement that you can perform just about anywhere. This exercise primarily targets muscles in the back, but it incorporates a variety of synergists and stabilizer muscles as well.
START: Lie face down with your chin on the ground and eyes at a neutral gaze. Your ankles should be touching with toes pointed under you. Reach your arms straight out above your shoulders so your palms are resting flat on the floor.
FINISH: Engage your back, glutes, and shoulders to pull yourself a few inches off the ground. Your arms and legs should remain fully contracted so that your hands and feet are elevated to the same relative height at the top of the static hold position. Hold this position while fully engaging your body to “fly” like the man of steel. Repeat for 3 reps with a 15-30 second static hold, and 30-60 seconds rest between sets.
Good Morning exercise is one of the best ways to build leg, hip and back strength. This no-equipment version works great for beginners or gym-ers with back problems. If you want to perform a high-intensity move, never go further than 60kg when adding weights to your practice.
START: Stand up straight with your hands on your hips. Your feet should be slightly wider than your hips and firmly planted on the ground. Start the movement by engaging your core, pushing your ribs down and pulling your shoulders slightly back with a neutral neck position.
FINISH: Bend forward at the waist in a slow and controlled manner while keeping your shoulders in line with your hips. Keep your back, glutes, and hamstrings engaged throughout the exercise. Bend forward until you are parallel, or just above parallel to the floor, before bringing yourself back up to the starting position and repeating.
Note: A common error to this exercise is rounding the back, resulting in a loss of the neutral spine position. The form is crucial to this exercise and should be replicated perfectly on each rep to avoid injury and get the most out of the exercise. Repeat for 3 sets of 10-15 reps, with a 30-60 second rest between sets.
NOSE AND TOES AGAINST THE WALL
It may sound difficult, but the handstand against the wall is much simpler than it sounds. Once mastered, this move will thicken and tone up your back, shoulders, triceps, and abs.
START: Get into a push-up position with your feet against the wall.
FINISH: Walk your feet up the wall while keeping your core tight, hips flexed and spine neutral. Place your palms firmly on the ground just outside shoulder width as you begin to inch your hands towards the wall. The top of the position will be reached when your nose and toes touch the wall with firm hand placement on the floor and rigid core for a “hollow body” position. Hold this position for 30 seconds and then safely come down by walking your hands away from the wall and bringing your feet down in a controlled manner. Repeat for 3 reps with 30-60 seconds rest between sets.