When you work on improving strength in your back, you increase your muscle health all throughout your body. Strong back muscles enable you to maintain great posture and put more effort into every workout as your strength grows. You can work a few key exercises into your exercise sessions to precisely target your upper and lower back. Here are several options to consider.
Kettle Bell Swings
A kettle bell is an imbalanced weight that takes immense muscle coordination to lift properly. Unlike dumbbells, you can actually work your muscles by using long, sweeping movements with the kettle bell. Whether you perform this move in the gym or at home, make sure to seek out a kettle bell made out of cast iron, not poured cement. The cast iron will be easier to move through the full swing movements required for each exercise. Add the wall touch and dead lift into your routine several times a week for the best result.
Many weightlifters consider good mornings a vital part of their lifting routine. The good morning movement consists of holding the weighted bar on your shoulder and performing a deep bow while maintaining a straight back. Muscle activation kicks in big time as you keep your back from rounding out on the way down and back up again. Consider trying this move in front of a mirror with a bare bar at first to perfect your form. From there, you can start loading up the bar to your limits.
You can quickly build strength all throughout your back by performing extensions on a Roman chair. The chair holds you in a downward dog-like position at rest. From there, you use your muscles to lift your body straight and hold for several seconds. You must raise and lower your body in a slow, measured manner to avoid injury and net the best results from this move. Work on increasing the number of reps you perform each day to continually increase muscle tone. You could also hold a weight plate firmly against your chest to increase the challenge as your strength improves.
Despite a lack of movement, planks are a serious test of your overall body strength. Switching to the side plank variant puts a lot of the pressure on the performance of your back muscles for both balance and endurance. As you work on each side, the opposite region of your back must tense and hold position to keep you from toppling over. Repeat the side plank maneuver several times over each session to work out your back muscles to failure. Try to increase the number of reps or length of your holds with each session to see improvements in muscle tone and size.
Keep track of your lift and rep limits while performing your back strengthening routine. You want to see an overall trend of improvement over the months and years. If possible, push yourself to exceed your personal records to see fast progress from your efforts and time commitment.