Your BACK consists of some of the largest muscles in your entire body. These muscles are important for doing everything, from something as simple as sitting or standing, to something as complex as dunking a basketball or doing a BACK flip. So we understand that developing a strong, fit and let’s not forget a sexy BACK is certain to be an important part of your fitness program.
BACK exercises can be as numerous and complex as the muscle group itself. So Weight Machines 101 is dedicating this segment to make sure you know which machines work your BACK and how to use them correctly.
Tips for BACK exercises:
- DO NOT Let your shoulders fall forward during a ROW exercise and DO NOT let your shoulders scrunch up to your ears during a LAT exercise. Keep your shoulders in a neutral position with proper poster.
- BACK muscles are often weak or slightly elongated in many people; so you may need to physically and consciously make an effort to keep your shoulder blades slightly contracted (closer together) during your BACK exercises. See the example pictured below for additional reference.
- Flex and tighten your core and ab muscles during this exercise while maintaining proper posture.
- BACK exercises PULL resistance toward your body. As the weight, or resistance, moves away from your body DO NOT relax. This motion is called the negative or eccentric motion. Controlling the entire exercise is not only the safest way to perform the movement, but it will work the muscle group through the complete range of the exercise.
- DO NOT straighten or extend your arms completely during BACK exercises. Keep a slight bend in your elbow when completing each repetition.
- Overusing your biceps or arms is A COMMON MISTAKE during BACK exercises. Since your biceps help perform BACK exercises you might accidentally allow them to dominate the movement. Make sure you feel the exercise properly fatigue your BACK muscles, and not your arms.
Lat Pull Down 1 –
Lat Pull Down 2 –
Seated Row 1 –
Seated Row 2 –
Seated Cable Row 1 –
Seated Cable Row 2 –
Standing Cable Row –
Assisted Pull Up –
Remember, each machine has a placard or sign on it that gives you a description of how to use the equipment and which muscle groups they work. Always read the placards if you are uncertain how to use a machine before using it.
IMPORTANT: If you are not sure how heavy the weight should be for your strength level and fitness goal, start with the lightest weight setting. Perform 2 or 3 reps and then make incremental increases until you find the appropriate weight that is right for you and your fitness goal.
Be sure to come back soon for more great TOP TIPS and the next segment of Weight Machines 101!