Back It Up
A strong and well-sculpted back is every man’s dream body goal. While the lattisimus dorsi or the ‘lats’ remain the primary focus, the lower back muscle group comprised of the transversospinals and the erector spinae often goes neglected. More so, for the fear of injuring the lower back, people tend to avoid it. The lower half of the torso is where the lumbar region is situated which is responsible for carrying the majority of the bodyweight. And, this makes the lower back pain a common health concern due to constant wear and tear. It is therefore important to focus on this muscle group at least once a week. A strong lower back prevents injuries and also improves performance in the gym and in sports. We list down five most effective workout routines to start off with.
- SEATED CABLE ROW
Start with attaching pulleys or a straight bar to the cable station. Sit on the bench facing it with legs on either side. Position your feet firmly forward on the footrest. Grab the pulley or bar with shoulder-width grip and sit straight. Next, pull the bar towards your upper abdomen and pause for 3 to 4 seconds. Slowly lower your body back to the initial position. Keep the torso straight throughout the exercise. Repeat 15 to 20 times for 4 sets.
PRO TIP: Don’t bend backward or forward while performing the workout.
Lie comfortably on a hyperextension bench with the face down. Make sure the thighs are well rested on each of the pads. Keep the body in a straight position and cross the arms in front of you. Bend slowly at the waist and keep moving forward till you can feel a stretch on the hamstrings. Go back to the usual position by slowly raising up. Repeat it 15 to 20 times for 4 sets.
PRO TIP: Don’t arch back while moving up.
- WIDE GRIP PULL-UP
Stand underneath a pull-up bar, and position your back and spine straight. Grab the bar with each hand to make a wider grip than your body. Thumbs should be pointing towards each other. Arms and torso should form a ‘Y’ shape. Next, pull your body up towards the bar. Pause for 10 seconds and then lower yourself down to the start position. Repeat 10 to12 times for 3 sets.
PRO TIP: You can increase the difficulty level with practice by crossing your feet and holding a dumbbell with it or hang weights with the help of a belt around your abdomen.
- SWISS BALL LEG CURL
Lie down on your back in a neutral position and place your hands by your sides. Raise your legs and place them on the ball in a bridging position. Move the hips upwards and slowly bend your knees to bring the heels close to your butts. Extend the knees and legs back to the floor. Repeat it 15 times for 3 sets.
PRO TIP: Engage your glutes and avoid arching the spine
- STANDING DUMBBELL ROW
Take two dumbbells in each hand and assume a standing position. Maintain a neutral grip. Hinge at your hips and knees, and bend your torso forward to almost parallel with the floor. Take the elbows behind the body while retracting the shoulder blades. Now, pull the dumbbells towards the body till a midline with the elbows. Slowly take the dumbbells back to the starting position. Repeat 12 to 15 times for 3 sets.
PRO TIP: Avoid over stooping to create unnecessary tension in the lower back. Don’t lift too heavy.