Three Weeks To Your Sexiest Back (We Swear!)
By Lara McGlashan | Photography by Paul Buceta
It’s time to break out that backless number for a big night out, but is your rear view up to par? Have no fear! Whip your back into terrific shape with this effective machine-based workout, and in less than three weeks, you’ll be posing for coy, over-the-shoulder photos with the confidence and sass of a 1940s silver screen actress.
BEAUTIFUL BACK BENEFITS
Besides looking great in a backless dress, your flip side is an important part of your physiology. Your back includes several large muscles and many smaller supportive ones – the latissimus dorsi, trapezius, rhomboids, teres major and rear deltoids, to name a few. Together, these muscles help you twist, turn, reach, pull, bend over and stand back up, and are an integral part of walking, running, throwing, rowing, jumping and just about any other activity you can imagine. This workout is designed to hit your entire back from to bottom, side to side to build a balanced and beautiful back.
YOUR BACK-ATTACK PLAN
Unfortunately, sticking with the same old reps, sets and exercises week in and week out won’t get you closer to an attention-commanding back. “When your muscles encounter a stress, they adapt to overcome this stress,” explains Jim Smith, CSCS, co-founder of the Diesel Crew in Elmira, New York. But once they become accustomed to this stress, they will stop adapting, causing a motivation-killing results plateau. Luckily, you have several options to get out of this rut, according to Smith. “Use more weight for a particular exercise, decrease the rest period between sets, change the implement used or perform more repetitions.”
Taking these tweaks into consideration, Oxygen has collected five moves with three different lines of pull – overhead, horizontal and from below. Each exercise angle targets your back in a different way, making for one of the most thorough back routines you will ever do.
Each exercise also has a specifically assigned rep range. “When the load is intense – closer to someone’s one rep max – the potential for strength building is greater,” says Smith. “If the load is moderate, between 50 and 75 per cent of someone’s one rep max and more repetitions are performed, then the potential for an increase in muscle mass is raised.”
The first move in your workout is the mass builder, done with heavy weight and six to eight reps. Next are strength-building pull-down moves with a rep range of eight to 10 and a moderate heavy weight. Last, your finishing move builds shape with high reps and a light to moderate weight range. When lifting heavy, rest 60 to 90 seconds between sets so your muscles have a chance to recover. When you’re fatiguing toward the end, drop your rest time to 30 seconds to maintain your intensity even though you are using less resistance.
TARGET MUSCLES: latissimus dorsi, trapezius
Set-up: Load up the t-bar row with an appropriate weight and adjust the leg height so your upper chest is at the top of the pad. Lay face-down and grab the handles. Lift the bar off the rack – this is your starting position.
Action: Exhale as you slowly pull the weight back up and squeeze your back at the top of the movement. Keep your upper arms close to your torso. Hold momentarily at the top before you slowly inhale and lower the bar back to the start.
TIP: Some machines have more than one set of handles. Try the horizontal handles to put more emphasis on your rear delts.
Wide-Grip Lat Pull Down
TARGET MUSCLES: latissimus dorsi, rhomboids, trapezius
Set-up: Sit at the machine with your feet flat on the floor and the upper padding adjusted to rest snuggly on your thighs. Grab the straight bar with a wider than shoulder-width overhand grip, keeping arms extended with a small arch in your lower back.
Action: Keeping your chest high, pull the bar down toward your collarbone. Hold for one count before slowly returning to the start.
TIP: End your pulling motion with your elbows just below your rib cage, close to your sides.
For the full article and workout, check out the latest issue of Oxygen Australia in all good newsagents, or you can click here to subscribe.
Source Url: http://www.oxygenmag.com.au/Training/tabid/4730/entryid/1664/Three-Weeks-To-Your-Sexiest-Back-We-Swear.aspx