Strength Training: Build Back Power, Stability, and Arm Strength


Build Back Power, Stability, and Arm Strength

Successful strength training starts with a regular program of lifting and resistance that target muscle groups around the body in a balanced way. The arms, legs, back, abs and shoulders should all receive focused attention from athletes who are trying to build strength, size, athletic performance, and a chiseled body line. But some of these areas are simply more important to the success of a strength training program than others.



Back Exercises and Strength Training

The core, upper arms, and back are made up of large muscle groups that control a wide range of motion and have the power to drive the heart rate up quickly. These muscles also serve as anchor points that stabilize motion in other areas of the body. So when the muscles of the back and core are strong, smaller muscle groups gain strength and definition with greater speed and efficiency.

With a regular program of back exercises, the back becomes powerful, strong, and stable, and the spine becomes well-supported. And there are no exercises or movements that body can execute without reliance on a healthy and well-positioned spine. In the body of a highly trained and perfectly conditioned athlete, the muscles around the spine tend to tighten and constrict as any motion begins, even in the hands and feet. This happens even when the athlete sleeps, and this automatic, involuntary tightening reinforces the spinal alignment that contributes to the success of ongoing strength training workouts.

Back Exercises and Weight Loss

Back exercises can also contribute disproportionate success to a weight loss program. Some of the muscles in the upper arms and back are small, but when these muscles work together, they burn high amounts of energy and demand a steady stream of oxygen and nutrients supplied by the blood. As soon as these muscle groups are engaged, the heart rate begins to rise. Within a few minutes or seconds (depending on the condition of the athlete), intense back exercises can elevate the heart rate into the fat burning zone. This is the rate at which metabolic processes shift and the body begins to rely on the breakdown of stored fat for energy. This change usually occurs when the heart rises to 40-65 percent of its maximum speed.

When the muscles are challenged by intense back exercises like those demonstrated in the video below, the heart rate climbs, fat melts away, the spine becomes better supported, and all other strength training workouts become more efficient and effective.

Back Exercises: Rows

Athletes should begin this set of back exercises by attaching the KB Duo to an anchor point above the exercise area and adjusting the straps so they hang about 12 inches above the floor. Athletes should hold a handle of the bands in each hand and stand facing the anchor point. Then they should walk their feet forward until they are lying almost but not quite directly under the anchor point, leaning backwards and allowing the bands to support their body weight. For an easier set of back exercises, the body position will be more upright. To increase the difficulty, the body can be lowered to the floor. In either case, the back and the entire body line should be straight.

Once in position, athletes will bend at the elbows and lift their body weight up toward the anchor point. The success of this workout will depend on the athlete’s ability to keep his or her back straight while lifting up and lowering the body back toward the floor. The pressure of these back exercises should be felt in the upper back and shoulder blades. Athletes should keep the tension concentrated in the correct area by keeping the shoulders rolled back the arms high during these back exercises.

Athletes should repeat this set of back exercises for ten reps before moving quickly into the next set without a rest period in between.

Back Exercises: Reverse Flies

The second set of back exercises with transition fluidly from the first set. As athletes complete the first ten reps, they should walk their feet backwards until they are standing nearly but not quite upright. Athletes can then pull the body into a perfectly upright position by keeping the elbows straight and drawing the arms out to the sides. As with the previous set of back exercises, the success of this move will depend on the alignment of the body position. If the body is straight and the move is executed correctly, athletes will feel the pressure of these back exercises in the shoulder blades, the upper back, the lower back and the chest.

Athletes should complete ten reps of the first set of back exercises followed by ten reps of the second set. Both of these sets should be followed by a rest period of about 60 seconds. During the rest period, athletes should shake the arms to encourage blood flow and stretch the muscles of the biceps, triceps and back. This can be done by leaning against a wall and opening the chest, or doing tricep flexes like the trainers in the video.

Back Exercises: Final Notes

To achieve their strength training, weight loss, and general fitness goals, athletes should complete ten reps of each back exercise move, followed by a 60 second break period, in three complete rotations. This set of back exercises offers a simple but complete back workout that can be done almost anywhere. As they add this superset to a workout routine, athletes should keep safety in mind and watch out for slippery floors. At the highest level of difficultly the body will be nearly parallel with the floor during the rows, and a workout partner can help by providing an anchor for the feet. And of course the anchor point for the KB Duo should be well- chosen and secure.

For additional questions about this set of back exercises, building power and strength in the back, weight loss and conditioning, or general strength training, contact the experts at Kbands


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