OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND!
In fitness, this expression is definitely true. Walk into any gym and what are you likely to see? People training their chest, biceps, quads (front of your legs) and abs. Do you see a pattern here? These are all muscles on the front of your body. There is an entire rear part of your body that is extremely important not only for aesthetics (Check out that Steve Reeves photo from the 1940s) but for function. It is absolutely essential to give equal or perhaps more time to the rear muscles of the body since in many cases, they're bigger. Triceps are much larger than biceps and the Lats are much larger than your chest. However heavy leg and back work is difficult which explains why most people don't want to do it. Believe me, a good back is very very rare! So what are some of the best ways to build those rear muscles? Here is my list of some of the best ones.
Chinups or Machine Pulldowns
Bentover Rows (Barbell or Dumbbells)
High Pulls (Barbell or Dumbbells)
1 Arm Versions of Bentover Rows and High Pulls
Seated Cable Rows
Elbows High Cable Rows
Elbows High Bentover Rows
Bentover Lateral Raises
Prone Lateral Raises on a Bench (In the old days they used to call these Window Bench Flyes)
Romanian Deadlifts (Legs are bent more than the traditional stiff legged version and is safer for your lower back)
Leg Curls using a stability ball
Leg Curls on a machine
Parallel Bar Dips
Close Grip Pushups
Bench Dips (Hands on the edge of a bench)
Close Grip Bench Press
Reverse Grip Bench Press
Lying Tricep Extensions
These are my favourite exercises to get the job done! There are of course many more exercises, but it has always been my philosophy to have quality over quantity. Learn to master and internalize a relatively small number of movements to really get the benefits. There is no point in doing a different exercise every time you workout. Also these exercises are compound or metabolic meaning they work many muscles all with one movement, in some cases just about ALL your muscles! So whether you use a split workout or a full body workout, make sure to include these movements. It's tough work but the results are well worth it!
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