There are many things I have discovered in my many years of working out. One is that people tend to work the beach muscles more than the others. Another key thing is that if they worked on the “other” muscles more, their beach muscles would improve much more quickly and efficiently.
By beach muscles, I am referring to the ones that get all the attention: abs, chest, arms, glutes, and even the calves. However in this vain quest, we overlook the supporting staff and mainly the back. This is a huge oversight, especially since most people develop back problems more than anything else. Today, we are going to focus on the back and use some strength bands from the comfort of our own home.
To be honest, I do not usually use strength bands with handles, but most people seem to prefer them. I have no good reasoning to argue a definitive ‘for’ or ‘against.’
The first exercise is a two hand row. To do this anchor the band onto something sturdy, I use the leg of my bed. Then grab each end of the band in each hand. Have your arms shoulder width apart and palms facing each other. Then slowly pull your arms straight back simultaneously. I like to focus on each muscle as I do the move. I do this by squeezing my should blades together and flexing them; then I pull my elbows to my sides, and finally continue pulling until my wrists are on my ribs. Then I reverse to the starting position. By keeping my shoulder blades together, I really isolate the muscles in the center of my back.
Variations of this exercise are to change the orientation of your hands. You can have them face palm down or palm up to get a slightly different motion. Another variation is to place both ends of the band in one hand and then do one arm at a time.
The row works most of your upper muscles. To work my lower back, I drop to my knees. Take the band in each hand and bring your hands to the side of your head. Then sit on your feet and bend forward slightly. There should be enough tension on the band to keep it taught. Then straighten your back as if you are doing a reverse sit up. Then go back forward and repeat.
It is difficult to hold the band for some in this position. If you have enough room you can wrap the left band behind your back and grab it with your left hand just below your right arm pit and then do the same with your right hand and left armpit. Do not go over the shoulder because it will be around your neck that way.
Both of these exercises work your back very well. By working your back you can more efficiently work your abs and chest. It is like the yin and yang.