One the best ways to get strong, awesome and functional abdominal muscles is to strengthen the equal parts of the back-body which support all the abdominal muscles.
Working our backs are so important to not only support good posture and day-to-day activities, but it will also help as you age; to fight the pull of gravity and the stress and strain it can cause on your vertebrae and spinal column.
These 4 moves are easy moves which you can do at home or at the gym and will really target your back while also getting your arms, shoulders and abs.
Do the following 4 exercises 3X through - 12-20 reps each move (*alternating sides would mean 10 reps on each side for a grand total of 20).
Don’t have dumb bells? Grab soup cans, water bottles or even laundry detergent bottles (which can also be great kettle-bell replacements).
Adding back exercises into your fitness regime will not only help build a strong and stable core, but will also help improve your performance for everything else you do. A strong back means the foundation for a strong body, so get back-body working now!
Grab a pair of dumbbells with an underhand grip (palms facing away from your body), and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend at your hips and knees, and lower your torso until it’s almost parallel to the floor. Your lower back should be naturally arched. Keeping your abs in tight, bend your left elbow and pull the weight to the side of your torso. Slowly lower your left arm as you bend your right elbow and perform a row on the other side. That’s one rep. Continue alternating until you’ve completed 15 reps total.
This dynamic moves targets the muscles in your upper back to help you stand tall and straight, not hunched over. You can perform this exercise using dumbbells (as shown) or with a resistance band or cable machine to really feel your upper-back muscles working.
Grab a pair of dumbbells with an overhand grip (or anchor a resistance band) and stand with your feet together. Brace your abs in tight and extend your arms out in front of your chest, palms facing in. Pull your shoulders down and back and keep them there during the entire movement. Bend your left elbow and pull your arm behind you (as if aiming a bow and arrow). Imagine that you’re squeezing a lemon between your shoulder blades. Extend your left arm and bend and pull your right arm back. That’s one rep. Repeat 15 times total.
You may need to use a lighter weight for this challenging move that works the muscles in your middle and upper back.
Grab a pair of dumbbells and kneel on the floor with your hands below your shoulders, palms facing in, and your knees below your hips. Raise your left arm straight out to the side (your arms should be slightly bent). Focus on squeezing your left shoulder blade in closer to your spine. Hold for 1 count, then slowly lower to the starting position. That’s one rep. Complete 15 reps with your left arm, and then switch to your right arm.
- Source: shape.com