back day

Workout Wednesday: Back Day! 7 Great Back Muscle Exercises

Why on earth would you possibly need to spend time strengthening your back? I’m so glad you asked!

Our back muscles do so much for us. They help us maintain good posture. They provide us with stability and help us maintain balance. Ever have a sick toddler that wants you to do nothing but carry them around all day? A strong back will allow you to do so without tiring out. Having a back full of muscle even allows you to carry heavier loads (like your child as they continue to grow bigger).

The main muscles of the back include the latissimus dorsi (aka the lats),  rhomboids, trapezius, and erector spinae. These muscles provide our body with power. They also play a role in our movement of the shoulders, arms, and hips. In addition to this, they keep our body upright and provide some stability to our hips and lower back. Because of the essential role that the back muscles play, strengthening these specific muscles is an absolute necessity!

If aesthetics are your priority, strengthening your back will also provide you with a trimmer waist line and set the stage for the hourglass figure.

If you’re more interested in the scientific aspect of balanced muscles throughout the whole body, there is a counterpart to every muscle contained in the body. For example, the quadriceps and the hamstrings, biceps and triceps, upper back with chest, and the lower back is the counterpart for the abdominals. This being the case if you want to create a six pack, you need to work your lower back to provide the strength needed to perform abdominal exercises. If you don’t have the lower back strength, it can be difficult to properly perform leg raises, planks, crunches, etc. The back provides the means and support to do the movements which strengthen the abs and core muscles. Likewise, for substantial chest muscle strength, it is requisite that we work our upper back muscles.

Functionally, those who sit down for hours on end might be facing back pain and untrained posture. Especially if you are hunched over a computer as part of your work. Training your back muscles on a regular basis is the way to fight off poor posture and subsequent back pain. Strong back muscles are essential and directly correlated to good posture.

Enough talk. Let’s workout!

For this week’s workout, you’ll need a Yoga Ball, some dumbbells, a mini band and a long band, and make sure you have a door anchor! Perform the following seven exercises with 10-12 repetitions and 3-4 sets. Rest for 30-60 seconds between sets.

As you perform each exercise, really focus on pulling back until you can feel the muscles actively engaging. Keep your core muscles tight throughout.

The exercises:

Yoga Ball Reverse Leg Raise:

Supermans:

Kneeling Dumbbell Single Arm Row: (10-12 repetitions on each side)

Bent Over Reverse Fly:

Bent Over Row:

Mini Band Lat Pull Down:

Long Band Face Pull:

That’s it for today! If you like what you see, make sure to like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel for more work outs! Happy workout!

Looking for other workout ideas? Check out these posts here!


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Core Workout

Workout Wednesday: Abs and Core

I remember back when I was pregnant and I struggled with simple, every day, things like climbing up the stairs and getting in and out of our tall bed. Man, that was rough! That was because my core strength was completely shot as I grew babies in my belly. After having babies, it took months of solid effort to rebuild the core strength so that my functional fitness was up to par.

Did you know that you use your core muscle for EVERYTHING from moving between sitting to standing, climbing up the stairs, lifting up your babies or your groceries? As you strengthen your core muscles, you’ll have a greater capacity for all of your fitness endeavors, whether it’s to lift weights in the gym or train for a marathon. Even if having a six pack isn’t a goal of yours, you’ll thank yourself for putting in the time and effort to have a strong core.

You guys, I did something big this week!

Big for me anyway. I took baby steps to let go of a fixed mindset about refusing to be in front of a camera! I’m embracing the idea of getting over my stage fright to be in my own exercise demonstration videos (Letting go of fixed mindsets is always a good idea as it provides us with the opportunity to grow and become a better version of ourself).

YouTube Channel, core workout

So each of the exercise videos, below, are brought to you by yours truly (And my dear girlfriend behind the camera!)! I also have a YouTube channel now! I’m going to go ahead a say it… if you like what you see, go ahead and like and subscribe to my channel (insert winky face here)!

This week’s workout:

This core workout requires the use of a single weight (you can use a dumbbell, kettlebell, medicine ball, gallon of milk, etc). You’ll also need a yoga ball. Here’s one that you can pick up from Amazon for under $20! If you don’t have a yoga mat, here’s one you can also pick up on Amazon. The last thing you will need is a weight bench, plyometric box, piano bench, or stair.

For the workout, you have eight exercises. I’m going to give you two options for how to perform this workout:

  1. A high intensity interval training (HIIT) circuit. Perform each exercise in consecutive order for 45-60 seconds. Rest 15 seconds before moving on to the next exercise on the list. Perform the whole circuit 1-4 times for a complete workout.
  2. Perform 3-4 sets of 12 repetitions of each individual exercise. This type of workout focuses on one exercise at a time, and allows for more rest breaks.

Your Core Exercises:

A-Frame Russian Twist:

Plank-Ups:

Plank Jacks:

Leg Raise With Hip Twist: (Rotate your hips every time your legs are up. Rotate right, middle, and left).

Side Plank Hip Dips: (On feet or knees)

Yoga ball Ab Switch:

Yoga ball knee tucks:

Bench V-ups: (Can be performed on the floor, too)

And there you have it, a full core workout! Come back tomorrow for my week 9 weigh in results!

Talk to you soon!

Want more exercise ideas? Check out this workout plan with mini-bands.


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core workout