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Building a strong back is very important for a number of reasons.

»» Improve your posture - Improved posture will give you a more confident appearance, it will enhance your
oxygen flow through your body which will reduce fatigue and tiredness throughout your day.

»» Reduce or combat back pain - A strong back will reduce back pain during daily activities whether you have a
sedentary job sitting at an office desk or if you are on your feet throughout the day

»» Improve your ability in your chosen sport and make your daily activities easier - Your back is one of your largest muscle groups. Strong back muscles give you a greater foundation to excel in your chosen sport and will allow
you to breeze through your daily activities and chores.

»» Having a nice strong, wide back has the added benefit of making your waist look smaller. BONUS!

Two Arm Dumbbell Reverse Flye

Target muscles: Main muscle group being used is the upper back and rear deltoids (shoulder).

Set-up: Set an adjustable bench at a slight incline. Holding a dumbbell in each hand, lie on your stomach with your chest against the bench and your feet in a stable position on the floor. Position your hands so your palms are facing your torso and dumbbells are almost touching under the  bench. This is your starting position

[A]. Action: From the starting position, breathe out and raise your arms up to the side until your elbows are at shoulder height and your arms are roughly parallel to the floor. Squeeze and contract your back and rear delts ( shoulders) and hold the contraction at the top of the movement for a second. Then breathe in while slowly lowering the dumbbells back to the starting position. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions [B].

Sarah's Tip: Keep your arms extended with elbows slightly bent throughout the movement. Hold your core tight and remember to breathe.

Variations:You can perform this exercise with just one arm ( single arm Dumbbell Reverse Fly). You can also complete the same movement with your palms facing back as opposed to facing your torso.

Set 1 – 15 reps ( warm up )
Set 2 – 12 reps
Set 3 – 10 reps
Set 4 – 8 reps


Single Arm Dumbbell Row

Target muscles: Middle back other muscles used are biceps, lats and shoulders

Set-up: Using a flat bench place a dumbbell on the ground next to the bench. Put your right knee on the bench with your lower leg and foot resting flat on the bench. Bend your torso forward from the waist until your upper body is parallel to the floor. Place your hand on the bench in line with your shoulder for support. Pick up the dumbbell from the floor and hold the dumbbell with your arm outstretching towards the floor and at right angles to your torso. Keep your lower back straight and head up. The palm of the hand should be facing your torso. This is your starting position [A].

Action: From the starting position, breathe out and pull the dumbbell up to the side of your chest. Keeping your upper arm close to your side, your elbow pointed up and keeping your torso stationary. Now breathe in and lower the dumbbell straight down to the starting position. Repeat the movement for the recommended amount of repetitions. Switch sides and repeat again with the other arm [B].

Sarah's Tip: Concentrate on squeezing your back muscles at the top of each rep. Also try to focus on pulling up with your back muscles and not your arms or shoulders. Your upper torso should remain stationary and only your arms should move.

Variations: You can substitute this exercise with one-arm rows using the cable row machine or using adjustable cables.

Set 1 – 15 reps ( warm up )
Set 2 – 12 reps
Set 3 – 10 reps
Set 4 – 8 reps


This is a segment from Oxygen Magazine Australia issue 76. To purchase your copy, email admin@fitmedia.com.au or subscribe online.

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