Day 06 : Workout 6: Back & Shoulders


Back Exercises

1. Lat Pulldown (Regular, Reverse-Grip, Close-Grip)

  1. Attach a wide grip handle to the lat pulldown machine. Adjust the knee pad of the machine to fit your height to prevent your lower body from moving while performing this movement.
  2. For a regular lat pulldown, grasp the bar with an overhand grip with your arms at the end of the fat bar. For a reverse-grip lat pulldown, use an underhand grip and your palms facing your body. For a close grip, your hands should be positioned shoulder width apart.
  3. Extend both arms up above you while holding the bar. Keep your back upright, create a slight curvature in your lower back, and stick out your chest.
  4. Keep your torso stationary and pull the bar down towards your body by drawing your shoulder blades and upper arms down and back. Squeeze your back muscles during this movement.
  5. Slowly raise the bar in a controlled motion back to the starting position. Your arms should be fully extended and your lats fully stretched.

2. Bent Over Dumbbell Row

  1. Find a flat bench and place a dumbbell on each side. Start by placing your right knee on top of the bench.
  2. Bend your torso forward from your waist. Your upper body should be parallel to the ground. Place your right hand on the bench, with your palm facing down, above where your knee is positioned. Place your left foot on the ground beside the bench.
  3. Use your left hand to pick up the dumbbell with an overhand grip (your palm should be facing your torso). Keep your arm fully extended and make sure to keep your lower back straight.
  4. Keep your elbow close to your side while you pull the weight straight up towards your chest. As you pull up the weight up, concentrate on squeezing your back muscles and shoulder blades (you should feel a contraction in your back muscles).
  5. Slowly lower the weight straight down with control.
  6. Alternate sides.

3. Straight Arm Pulldown

  1. Attach a wide bar at your shoulder level on the pulley of the pulldown machine. Grab the bar with an overhand grip with your palms facing downward, and make sure your grip is wider than your shoulder width.
  2. Take a couple steps back and make sure your feet are shoulder width apart. Slightly hinge at the waist so that your torso is leaning forward. Keep your arms fully extended so that they’re parallel to the ground. Your arms can have a slight bend at the elbow.
  3. Pull the bar down while keeping your arms straight. Continue pulling down until your hands are beside your thighs; you should feel a contraction in your lats.
  4. Reverse this movement while keeping your arms fully straight.

4. T-Bar Row

  1. Load an appropriate weight onto the end of the T-bar.
  2. Stand over the bar so that it’s in between your legs and your chest is resting on the pad. Keep your back fat, and make sure you have a from grip on each side of the V-grip handle.
  3. Remove the bar from the rest. Keep your chest up, your hips back, and your feet wider than shoulder width apart. Lead the movement with your back, your arms should follow. The focus should not be on the angle of your arms, but on the contraction of your back.
  4. After your back reaches its maximum contraction and your shoulder blades are retracted, slowly let the weight of the bar pull your shoulder blades down to stretch your back.
  5. Let your arms follow naturally until the T-bar is returned to its starting position.

Shoulder Exercises

1. Lateral Dumbbell Raise

  1. Stand upright with your feet shoulder width apart and dumbbells aligned with your feet at arm's length. Make sure your palms are facing inward towards your sides.
  2. Keep your torso stationary and raise the dumbbells to your side with a slight bend at your elbow. Lift your arms until they are slightly parallel to the ground, or around shoulder level, and pause for a second at the top.
  3. Slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position.


2. Front Dumbbell Raise

  1. Stand upright with your feet hip width apart. Grasp one dumbbell with each hand so that your palms are facing inward and hands are against your thighs.
  2. While keeping your torso stationary, lift the dumbbells in front of you with a straight arm or slightly bent elbow. Continue to raise the dumbbell until your arm is slightly above parallel to the ground or around shoulder level.
  3. Slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position.

3. Reverse Fly

  1. On the reverse fly machine (which sometimes doubles as a chest fly machine), adjust the handles so that they are fully facing the rear (closest together). Adjust the seat height to make the handles at your shoulder level. Sit on the seat with your chest against the pad and grasp the handles with your palms facing inwards.
  2. Pull your hands out to your sides and back as far as possible. This should make a semicircular motion where you should feel a stretch in your shoulders.
  3. Pause at the back of the movement, and slowly return the weight to the starting position.

4. Arnold Dumbbell Press

  1. Sit on the military press bench, or any utility bench that has a back support, and hold two dumbbells in front of you at about upper chest level. Your palms should be facing your body with your elbows bent and tucked in.
  2. Next, in the middle of the movement, raise the dumbbells as you rotate your palms until they are facing forward.
  3. Continue raising the dumbbells until your arms are fully extended above you.
  4. After a pause at the top, begin to lower the dumbbells, rotating your palms towards you.