Who doesn’t want a great back? It balances out your chest, fills a t-shirt and helps you to lift more. Yes, it does, a strong back is essential for moving weight in the front and for squatting. Here are three ways to build a strong back that you might not have tried.
Chinese Barbell Rows
They’re used by the Chinese Olympic lifting team, some of the best lifters in the world. Need we say more?
How to perform Chinese barbell rows
- Set a bench to an incline high enough so that you can extend your arms and not touch the floor (raise the bench on weight plates if necessary)
- Place a weighted barbell underneath the bench
- Lie on the bench on your stomach and grab the barbell
- Use your lats to pull the bar towards the underside of the bench
- Do 4 sets of 8 reps at a challenging weight
Often it’s the little moves that make the biggest difference, and back extensions are a killer if you do them correctly. Insert them in between sets, or make a mini workout from them at the end
How to perform back extensions
- Lie on your belly and place your fingers by your temples
- Squeeze your glutes and core
- Using only your back muscles, lift your chest off the floor
- Do 5 sets of 15 reps, resting 30 seconds in between
But burpees are a conditioning movement! True, they’ll also give your a solid and functional back to use in your lifting. With a proper burpee, you’ll work your entire back and move it in ways a regular push-up just can’t.
How to perform burpees
- Begin standing, then drop into a push-up position, chest and thighs on the ground
- Elbows should be tucked in, hands underneath shoulders
- Jump your feet up to meet your hands, landing slightly wide
- Jump and touch your hands overhead
- Do as many as you can in 20 seconds, rest 10 seconds, repeat for 8 rounds
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