Monday, January 18, 2016

Descriptive Back Workout

Hi and Happy MLK Day! Hopefully you are all enjoying a day off of work and taking a moment to do something nice for someone else today :) I'll be plugging away at computer work and meal prep most of the day but I think B and I will take a break this afternoon to catch a movie and maybe do a little shopping (he doesn't know about that part yet!) 

We did start the day with a great back workout that I'm still feeling now as I sit at my desk 3 hours later. I had B take photos of each of the exercises we did so that I can explain proper technique for each one. I know when I was new to the gym and working out I was never quite sure if I was performing the exercises properly and oftentimes that will lead to people not going to the gym at all-- so now there are no excuses for not doing this workout! 

We started with Romanian Deadlifts or Stiff Leg Deadlifts. On these I suggest starting lighter until you get the hang and proper form. The photo above will be your starting position- standing up tall with feet a little wider than shoulder width. To begin the movement, slowly lower the bar down your legs until you're about halfway down your shin (or higher up if you're not able to get that low) then as you begin to bring the weight back to the starting position, engage your hamstrings, glutes and lower back. You're hinging at the waist while keeping your knees ever so slightly bent. The 2 biggest mistakes I see on this exercise is rounded backs and people using too much upper body to stand back up. I always tell my clients that their hands are simply holding the bar but legs and back are doing all the work. 

 I warmed up with just the weight of the bar (45lbs) and then put a 45lb plate on each side for all 4 of my working sets. I did 4 sets of 8-10 reps. 

Next were lat pulldowns. As you see in the photo I use my lifting straps on both deadlifts and lat pulldowns because they really allow you to go heavy without your grip giving out on you before your muscles do. For the pulldowns, grab wide on the bar and start with your arms stretched up and your lats open. As you move the weight down, contract your back first and then follow by pulling your elbows downward. I like to lean back a bit because the angle helps hit my lats a little more. 

I did 4 sets in a pyramid-- 10 reps at 75lbs, 8 reps at 90bs, 6 reps at 105lbs, 5 reps at 105lbs 

Next we hopped over to the seated row and used a wider grip here too. Start with your feet up and knees slightly bent as you grip the bar. Again, contracting your back muscles first, begin pulling the bar toward your lower chest as your elbows drive straight back. As you return to the starting position allow your upper body to hinge forward and stop just before the plates hit, this is where you will perform your next rep. 

I did 4 sets of 10 at 75lbs. 

T bar was next! I did a wide grip here as well and when you start make sure knees are bent and back is totally flat. Pull the bar up toward your chest as you squeeze your shoulder blades together. 

4 sets of 10 with 35lbs added weight. 

We wrapped up on the low row machine-- although I wanted to use the Hammer Strength version of this but someone was on it. Again back straight and chest out grab the handles, contract your back and drive back with the elbows. 

Again 4 sets of 10 with 75lbs. 

After crawling my way out of the gym I came home and made my new favorite post workout meal which is just various frozen fruit (raspberries, blueberries, mango etc.) with MRM Vanilla Whey, and only a tiiiiny big of almond milk so that it stays nice and thick. Then I pour in a bowl and top with a low fat granola and eat with a spoon- so yummy! Oh and don't forget you can use the code "Brittany" on for 40% off your entire order! 

Hope this was helpful and as always let me know if you give it a shot! 

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