Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Swim Suit Ready Series: The Back Workout

     Yahoo! The last workout is here! After this I'll post a weekly schedule for you to follow so you get a total body workout throughout the week!
     The first exercise is the dumbbell row. You'll need a set of 5-8 lb. weights for this. Stand with feet about hip width or so apart (the distance isn't too important, as long as you're comfortable). Lean forward, keeping your back straight so that your upper body is close to paralell with the floor. (You may bend your knees and you don't have to be all the way paralell, just close to it.) Let your arms hang down and then draw the weights up towards your chest, bending your elbows as you go. Squeeze your shoulder plades. You'll do this for 12 reps and then follow it with 10 pulses. You'll stay in this position for the next exercise. Perform a rear lateral raise by letting your arms hang down again for the start and then lifting them outward so that you open up your chest to the floor, palms toward the ground, and arms straight. You'll feel this more on the sides of your back than at your shoulder blades. Do this for 12 reps and then follow it with 10 pulses. Stand up to relieve the stress on your lower back, and then head back down for another set of dumbbell rows and rear lateral raises. You'll do both for a total of 3 sets.
     This next set of exercises are going to involve a little more cardio but hey, cardio during a strength workout is a good thing. ;) First, take an exercise band and tie a knot in the middle of the band. Throw the knot over a door and close the door so you have the two ends hanging down. Pull on it with caution at first to make sure it's secure. Next, get down on the floor and set up for push ups. Why push ups? Because it's not just for your chest! Push ups are an awesome core exercise and they do a lot to strengthen your back. Do 12 push ups (on your knees, or toes, it doesn't matter) and then stand back up and hold onto the ends of your exercise band. Stand so that you've got some tension on the band and hold your arms out straight. Keeping your arms straight, pull the band down and touch your fists to the tops of your thighs. This is a lat pulldown. You'll do 12 reps. Alternate the push ups and the lat pulldowns for a total of 3 sets on each exercise.
     The last 2 exercises are performed on the floor. You'll need to lay all the way down on your stomach, arms stretched out above your head. You'll be doing a Floor Y Raise and a Floor I Raise. For the Floor Y Raise, move your arms out so that your arms and body are in the shape of a "y", thumbs pointed up toward the ceiling. Raise and lower your arms for 15 reps, keeping your head down. Bring your arms all the way back up over your head for the I Raise. Raise and lower your arms for 15 reps, keeping your head down. Continue to alternate the Floor Y and Floor I Raises for a total of 3 sets of each exercise.

The Back Workout:
Dumbbell Row - 12 reps followed by 10 pusles
Rear Lateral Raise - 12 reps followed by 10 pulses
Stand for a small break
Repeat Dumbbell Row and Rear Lateral Raise for a total of 3 sets each
Push Ups - 12 reps
Lat Pulldowns - 12 reps
Repeat Push Ups and Lat Pulldowns for a total of 3 sets each
Floor Y Raise - 15 reps
Floor I Raise - 15 reps
Repeat Y and I Raises for a total of 3 sets each

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