The Secret of Beautiful Female Backs
Well-shaped female back muscles can be very sexy. A narrow waist with a gradually broadening back, crowned by two round shoulders make a woman look feminine and awe-inspiringly athletic at the same time. Not mentioning a beautiful body posture. But what is the secret of a sexy back musculature? What makes the training of back muscles difficult is the lack of feedback: while working out, you cannot see your muscles flex, unless the mirrors are arranged in a tricky way or you make pictures of your back. For this reason, it is extremely important that you should feel back exercises correctly and accurately, to locate the muscles that are working during each exercise, determine which exercise works for you and determine the ideal rep counts and weights.
Below, I will recommend you a training plan which will work each part of the back musculature. But first of all, let’s take a look at the major back muscles:
The trapezius muscles: they move the shoulder blades upwards and backwards. Women don’t need to work for the upper part, as the pushing moves and lateral raises give this muscles the tone a woman needs.
Latissimus dorsi: they pull the raised arms downwards. Use a wide grip to work their upper-external parts and a narrow grip for their lower, deeper parts.
Core back muscles: their function is to keep the spine straight, flexing it backwards, and to twist the trunk. The basic function of the back musculature is to stabilize your body posture, and they basically play a role at every move. Because of the location of each muscle, you’ll need several types of exercise to work and develop each part of the back musculature in the largest motion range possible.
Exercises for a complex back workout
- Pull-ups or pull-downs to the neck
- Low pulley seated rows
- Standing wide-grip lat pushdowns
- Barbell rows
1. Pull-ups or pull-downs to the neck:
You can play with grip width at this exercise. The wider you grip, the more you are working the external part of the lats. It is important to choose the load appropriately and to feel your lats work. Hold for 1 or 2 seconds at the lowest point (when the contraction is the strongest) and let the weight back in a controlled manner. If you cannot hold for the required time, you are using too heavy weights and use swings to help you. Keep your back straight and your shoulders relaxed all along. It is a common back workout mistake that the load is too much, so the shoulders help in, which can easily lead to shoulder injuries. Strict form matters much-much more than the amount of the weight.
Do 4 x 12 reps.
2. Low pulley seated rows
This is another exercise only a few can do properly. Most people are just jerking the weight brainlessly, swinging back and forth, and have no clue what they should feel or where to pull the weight at all.
Put your soles on the footrests, lean forward and grab the handle. The starting position should look like this: you are holding the handle with your knees almost stretched and your back straight. From this position, pull your arms backwards using your back muscles. Feel your shoulder blades approaching each other, your chest arching and the handle approaching your belly button. At this point, hold for 1 or 2 seconds; then, let the weight back with your back straight, until your arms are stretched. From this point, let the weight stretch your back muscles and let your shoulders follow your arms forward.
Do 4 x 10-12 reps.
3. Standing wide-grip lat pushdowns
Hang a wide handle on the high pulley. Grip the handle wider than shoulder width and kneel down to some distance from the pulley machine. Many do this exercise standing, but your position is much more stable when you are kneeling. Tilt your trunk slightly forward, arch your chest, straighten up, look ahead and keep your elbows almost stretched. Each part of your body should remain motionless but your arms. Push the handle down without your shoulders helping in. Keep your chest arched throughout the full motion range. Since there is not much load on the lowest point, you do not need to hold this time, but you can let the weight back in a slow and controlled manner. At the next rep, make sure not to use swings: your trunk should not move!
Do 4 x 15 reps.
4. Bent-over barbell rows with reverse grip
Stand in a shoulder-wide stance, tilt your trunk forward between 45 and 90°, and keep your back straight. Slightly bend your knees. Your arms are hanging vertically, and you are holding the bar with reverse grip (palms facing forward). Pull the bar to your belly button, using your back muscles. Keep in mind that your arms are just “tools” to make the bar approach your belly button, but the work is done primarily by the back muscles. Then, stretch out your arms again. Make sure your trunk is not moving meanwhile, and do not straighten up even during more difficult reps. Do not jerk the weight!
Do 4 x 15 reps.
This exercise can be performed both on a horizontal and an incline hyperextension bench. One of these versions must be available in your gym. Hitch your heels and, depending on the amount of load that allows you to do 4 x 20 repetitions, put your hands on your butt (smallest load), in front of your chest or on your nape. You may also put a weight plate on your nape. Set the bench so that it doesn’t interfere with your movement as you are bending forward. In the starting position, your trunk should be in line with your legs and your back straight. Lower your trunk from this position until your trunk reaches a vertical position and your back is slightly bent. Then, lift up your trunk using your core muscles slightly above the starting position. Since the core back muscles are running along the spine, contraction takes place as you are flexing your spine. However, flex your spine only slightly backwards to avoid injury. You should avoid jerking or extreme flexing by all means.
Do 4 x 20 reps.
Developing and maintaining back muscles is not only important for athletes but for everyone. Nowadays, virtually everyone is affected by spinal problems, but especially people with sedentary jobs, who do not exercise. And spinal problems have a great impact on life quality,: they limit movement, and as a result you can move even less, which makes the problem even worse. But you can prevent trouble with regular back workout!
And, last but not least: do not forget about stretching.
- Hold on to a post and bend your back fully.
- Lean forward, interweave your fingers behind your knees and again, bend your back fully.
- Lay down on the ground on your back, swing your legs above your head and put your feet down to the ground behind your head. This stretching exercise is great for your spine and back in every respect.
- In a kneeling position, sit down on your heels, lean forward and stretch as far as you can.
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