Most beginners who are new to exercising drastically underestimate the importance of training their backs. What most beginners don’t know is that it is absolutely crucial that you train every muscle in your body adequately so as not to create any muscle imbalances which can lead to injury, joint pain and even back pain.
Most beginners dismiss training their backs because they don’t know the importance of having a strong, developed back. A strong back gives you good posture and will prevent you from slouching. Developing and strengthening the muscles in your back helps provide support for your pelvis and your spine, which makes the movements you do in your daily life more stable. This can include anything from running a 5-kilometer race to moving heavy furniture to even carrying groceries.
It is also important to remember that you won’t lose back fat unless you are on a calorie deficit. You can’t spot reduce fat. Here you will find seven exercises that will help build your back coupled with a healthy and balanced diet. Use these seven back exercises in your workout regimen combined with a workout program for the rest of the muscles in your body, and you’ll be shaped for success in no time. These are also simple to do, but also be sure to incorporate more complex compound exercises in your workouts to further develop your back and the rest of your body. Don’t try any of these until you consult with a professional first.
1. Good Morning/Hip Hinge: This exercise can be used with or without a barbell. Try it with your own body weight first, and then as you progress, add more weight as you see fit.
To perform this exercise, stand up straight and tall. If you are not using a weight, place your hands on your hips or behind your head.
Keep your back tight and your shoulder blades squeezed together. Start by bending at your hips, slowly moving them back as you bend over parallel to the floor, and then bring yourself up to the starting position. Note: to avoid injury, make sure you do not round your back during this movement.
Not only does this exercise work your lower back and the length of your entire spine, but it also works your glutes and your hamstrings, making for a great compound exercise!
2. The Superman: The Superman helps strengthen and develop both your upper and your lower back muscles. It can also alleviate back pain you may have due to weak muscles and even works out your glutes and hamstrings.
To start this exercise, grab a mat and lie face down on it. Extend your arms fully so that they are in front of you.
Raise your arms, chest, and legs off the floor at the same time and hold this position for about two to five seconds. Squeeze your lower back to really feel the burn. Repeat this until you are fatigued, or do it in a set of repetitions you are comfortable with.
Slowly lower your arms, chest, and legs back into your starting position and repeat. Remember, you should look like superman while you’re doing it!
3. The Reverse Snow Angel: This exercise will not only workout your trapezius and lower back, but it will also hit your hamstrings, abs, glutes, adductors and more.
To perform this exercise, grab a mat and lie face down on it. Stretch your arms down towards your sides with your palms facing the floor.
Stretch out your legs so that the toes and tops of your feet are touching the floor. Slightly lift your arms and your chest, and move your arms out and past your shoulders until your thumbs touch.
Bring your arms back to the starting position (make sure that your arms are straight at all times), and repeat.
4. Cobra Yoga Pose: This beginner yoga pose will help stabilize and stretch the muscles in your chest, shoulders, and abdominals. Stretching can help increase and enhance muscle growth, and can even help elongate your muscles and increase your body’s range of motion.
To complete the cobra yoga pose, grab an exercise mat and lie facedown on the floor. Stretch out your legs directly behind you. Be sure to keep the tops of your feets on the floor.
Using your hands to help with your positioning and balance, contract your back muscles to lift your body upward. Press your legs and feet against the ground and inhale.
Hold this position for 15-30 seconds, and come back to your starting position. Repeat.
5. The Pullup: A pull-up works several muscles in your back, shoulders, and arms. It is a difficult exercise to do if you’re a beginner, so start small.
Grasp a firm bar roughly shoulder length apart. Keep your arms straight. Allow your entire body to hang down from the bar.
Next, pull your entire body upward so that your chest is almost touching the bar. Your chin should go over the bar. Keep your body straight and tighten your core so that your body doesn’t swing.
Once your chin goes over the bar, lower yourself into your initial starting position and repeat. Keep at it and progressively increase your repetitions every workout and you’ll improve in no time.
6. Side Bends: Side bends mainly work your obliques and your abdominals, but they also work out your erector spinae. This exercise can be completed with our without dumbbells.
To perform a side bend, stand perfectly straight. Your feet can either be together or shoulder-width apart. Hold your shoulders back and your chest high with your hands down towards your sides.
Bend to the side using your waist and reach down with your right hand as far as you possibly can without actually moving or swinging your hips. Squeeze your abs and keep your hand close to your body.
Come back to the top position and continue until you reach your desired number of reps. Once one side is done, continue the movement on your other side, alternating until your reach your number of desired sets.
7. Push-ups: Push-ups are a great full body movement which helps strengthen your core as well as your chest, arms, shoulders, triceps and back.
To perform a push-up, lie on your stomach on the floor. Get in a plank position by placing your hands slightly wider than your shoulders and use your toes to prop yourself up.
Push through the palms of your hands and extend your arms. Keep your core tight, your shoulder blades down and your back straight. Make sure that your whole body is completely aligned.
Bend your elbows and begin to slowly lower yourself towards the floor. When your arms are parallel to the floor, push through your palms and return to the starting position. You can do it in sets of three.