Back Attack

Another workout! Just what you wanted! I’m sure you didn’t want to sit on the couch today and read blogs and eat all the marshmallows out of a box of Lucky Charms or anything.

This workout focuses on your back, with some biceps thrown in as a secondary muscle group. Your back consists of the muscles responsible for pulling things. So if you want to climb a tree, or haul a wheelbarrow, or save someone dangling from the edge of a cliff, or have really awesome guns… this is the workout for you.

Exercise 1: Lat pulldown

latpulldown

This exercise is great if you’re trying to work up to being able to do a pullup – something that not many women have on their resumes.

Seat yourself and pull the bar down so that you are locked in. Reach up and grab the bar with a fairly wide grip. Pull down so that your elbows are pulled against your body. The bar should come down and touch your upper chest. When you go back up, let your arms straighten all the way so you get a full range of motion, but DON’T shrug your shoulders – it’ll take the tension off the muscle. This exercise mostly works your lats.

Set 1: Pick a weight where you can do 12-15 reps.

Set 2: Increase the weight, do 10-12 reps.

Set 3: Increase the weight, do 8-10 reps.

Exercise 2: Preacher curl

preachercurl

Time for some bicep action. Seat yourself and extend your arms along the cushion. Your arms don’t need to be exactly parallel; I find that it puts less stress on my elbows if I prop my elbows out a little bit, so that my hands are closer together than my elbows. Gripping the handle (or the bar, if you choose to use free weights), curl it toward yourself so that your elbows bend. As soon as you feel the tension lift, go back down and repeat the motion. This exercise works mostly your biceps, but you may feel your upper back and traps helping a little bit.

Set 1: Pick a weight where you can do 12-15 reps.

Set 2: Increase the weight, do 10-12 reps.

Set 3: Increase the weight, do 8-10 reps.

Exercise 3: Barbell row

barbell row

Go to a rack and grab a barbell, setting it about waist height. Grip the barbell about hip width apart, making sure you are centered in the middle. Use a pronated (or overhand) grip for both hands. Lift the bar off the rack and back up a few steps so you can bend over from the waist. (Your knees should also bend a little bit.) Pull the bar toward your navel until it touches your body, then release it back down, straightening your arms. Repeat this motion. This exercise works your lats and biceps.

Set 1: Pick a weight where you can do 12-15 reps.

Set 2: Increase the weight, do 10-12 reps.

Set 3: Increase the weight, do 8-10 reps.

Exercise 4: 21s

21s

Grab two dumbbells, one in each hand. Beginning with straight arms, do 7 bicep curls, stopping when your forearm is parallel to the floor – so basically, a half rep. Next, do 7 more curls beginning with your forearm parallel to the floor and going all the way up this time. Finally, do 7 full bicep curls, from bottom to top. This is strictly an exercise to pump blood into your guns!

Sets 1-4: Pick a fairly light weight, since you are doing high reps. Whatever weight would be challenging for you at 10 reps, go half that weight.

Exercise 5: Dumbbell row

dumbbell row

Grab one fairly heavy dumbbell and a bench. Kneel with your right knee on the bench and your right hand propping yourself up, so you’re basically in a compromising position. Grip the dumbbell with your left hand, and keep your left foot on the ground. Keep yourself as erect as possible, so that if need be, you could take that right hand off the bench and not fall on your face. Beginning with your left arm straight, pull the dumbbell toward your hip so that your arm bends. Release it back down and repeat.

Set 1: Pick a weight where you can do 12-15 reps.

Set 2: Increase the weight, do 10-12 reps.

Set 3: Increase the weight, do 8-10 reps.

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