Next up:  back exercises.  These exercises will target the major muscle groups of the back including latissimus dorsi, trapezius and erector spinae.  A strong back can improve posture and minimize back pain.

I know this can be a busy time of year, but it’s all the more reason to stay committed to your fitness program.

  • You’ll have more energy to get everything done.
  • You’ll sleep better and wake up more rested and refreshed.
  • You’ll be more resilient to stress.
  • You can prevent holiday weight gain.

Give yourself 10 minutes.  You don’t even have to change your clothes – grab your dumbbells, ball, band, and get to it!

Next month’s segment with be ABDOMINALS AND CORE – you’re not going to want to miss this one!  Tune in Thursday, December 31st.

TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL WORKOUT:

  • Always do a warm-up of cardiovascular activity OR a set of 15 repetitions using a very light weight for each muscle group before doing your intense resistance training.
  • Perform 8-12 repetitions of each exercise, doing 1-2 sets with no more than 60 seconds of rest between each set.
  • Make sure you are using a challenging weight or body position.  Your last 2 repetitions should be extremely challenging to complete with good form.
  • Work each muscle group 2 times per week.
  • Do no work the same muscle group two consecutive days in a row.  Allow 1-3 days of recovery.
  • ALWAYS stretch at the end of every workout.
  • To the change the intensity of the band exercises, simply bring your hands closer to the anchor point.

BACK EXERCISES

Seated Row with Band:  Sit on the floor with legs straight out in front of you.  Lay the band across your shins, wrap each end outside around your feet and pull through the center of your feet.  Sit up tall and keeping your elbows close to your sides, pull the band back and squeeze your shoulder blades together.  For increased resistance, move your hands down the band closer to your feet.

seated row 1

 

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Reverse Dumbbell Flyes:  Start with your belly on the ball and dumbbells in each hand.  Extend your arms straight out to the sides with the dumbbells lifted a couple of inches off the floor.  Keeping the arms straight, lift the dumbbells to approximately shoulder height.

reverse flye 1

 

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Low Back on the Ball:  Begin with your belly and hips on the ball, hands behind the back.  Engage the muscles in your back and lift the chest and shoulders to the point where your spine is in a straight line.  For more resistance you can place your hands behind the head, and for even more difficulty you can reach the arms forward ala Superman.

low back 1

 

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Lat Pulldown with Band:  Begin in a standing position.  Wrap the ends of the band around your hands and bring your arms up over the head.  Pull the arms down and out to the sides, hands at shoulder height.  Keep the arms long and extended.  For increased resistance you can place both hands closer together on the band.

lat pull 1

 

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