BUILD A BACK THAT'S STRONG & HEALTHY
Updated: Mar 20
hey ladies! I know a lot of us are always lookin' for exercises and/or workouts to make a certain part of our body look better, if not our whole body. and although there's absolutely NOTHING wrong with that, I like to go for exercises that aren't just going to make me LOOK better, but will make me FEEL better too.
fitness is about way more than just body image. it's about building our bodies up in a way that it can support us, keep us healthy, and moving in life so we can have the strength and resilience to tackle whatever tasks we have before us.
with that, we ask a lot of our back and shoulders on a daily basis. from carrying kids, a backpack, or heavy grocery bags to participating in racquet sports, swimming, or yoga. even down to when we slouch on the couch or at our desks. so here are a few of my favorite exercises to help not only make my upper body look good in a backless dress, but to better my posture, keep me healthy in the gym and on my yoga mat, and make those grocery bags feel light. LOL!
don't shy away from pull-ups if you think you're not strong enough to do them! these are great for giving you more bang for your buck in regards to building strength; working almost every muscle in your upper body, including your core.
hang from the bar with your palms away from you, shoulder distance apart. tighten your core and activate through your lats (think putting your shoulder blades in your back pockets) to pull yourself up. DON'T kick your legs to help you get up. try to get your chin over the bar and make sure you lower yourself all the way down until your elbows are straight. If you can't do them without assistance, just add a resistance band to the bar to give you support throughout the movement.
complete 4 sets of 6 reps.
bent over rows:
just like the pull-up, this exercise targets a lot of muscles in your upper body making it super functional for activities in daily life. pick a pair of dumbbells that's going to challenge you. hinge at your hips until your chest is parallel to the ground. make sure your back is flat, knees slightly bent, and glutes are engaged! squeeze your shoulder blades together and lift the dumbbells until your elbows are past your body and dumbbells are by your rib cage. lower your arms with control.
complete 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps
band pull aparts:
these are awesome for improving your posture and stabilizing your shoulders. hold a light resistance band out in front of you with straight arms that are shoulder distance apart, or a little wider. squeeze your shoulder blades back FIRST then pull the band apart until your arms are making a T shape across your body. keep tension on your shoulder blades throughout the entire movement. these are meant to be done under control with constant tension so don't pick a band that's going to cause you to strain and break form.
complete 3 sets of 10-12 reps.
band or cable Ys:
another shoulder stabilizer, this exercise helps any time you have to push or pull anything. stand with your feet hip distance apart, knees slightly bent. squeeze your shoulder blades together and with straight arms, pull the bands or cables into a Y shape. return your arms to the starting point with control, keeping your shoulder blades active through the whole movement. just like the band pull aparts, these should be done with light bands or cables.
complete 3 sets of 12-15 reps.
now although these don't target your upper back, they are a great lower back and glute builder so I thought it was essential to include these for well rounded strength. hook your ankles in a GHD or back extension device with your toes facing straight down to the ground (if you want to target your glutes even more you can rotate your legs so that your feet are pointing outward). you want the pad set up so that when you hinge forward, you're hinging from your hips and can keep your back flat throughout the entire movement. keeping your core tight, hinge at your hips until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings and then squeeze your glutes to lift yourself back up.
complete 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps.
all of these can be completed as individual sets or as a circuit with minimal rest if you want to kick up the burn!
thanks so much for reading today and I hope these exercises give you a back that maintains your poise in life while you show it off in an open back top!😍
feel free to hit me up if you have any questions.💕