No matter what your overall workout goals may be (improved sports performance, better bone strength, etc.) it’s a good idea to focus your resistance training now and then on specific areas of the body that might otherwise be neglected, especially if your workout is heavy on cardio or if you’ve fallen into a steady routine and you tend to do the same moves every day.
This week, try spending at least one 30 minute session on moves that target your arms and back. Why? Here are a few quick benefits to toning and these areas:
- The back is vulnerable to injury, especially if we engage in high intensity cardio moves or high impact sports. A strong back means well-protected tendons and vertebrae in the event of a sudden or unnatural motion.
- The core, or the muscles of the back and torso, are involved in almost every move we make, including every sport and every daily activity. So the stronger they become, the more efficient and effective our training will be in other areas.
- The upper body, arms and back are often overlooked by those who engage in extreme cardio or endurance related activities. But this can compromise training and even lead to health problems. So actively target the arms and back to keep your muscles balanced and your workout goals on track.
Moves that Target the Arms and Back
Planks: Using a suspension band secured from an anchor point above your head, grip the handles and lean into the bands, push-up style. The steeper your lean, the more intense your workout.
Flies and Reverse Flies: Now bend your elbows until your forearms are nearly parallel to the floor. Then straighten your arms out again. You should feel strong resistance in your arms and back. Try this move with your arms close together in front of you, then try spreading them to the sides.
Body weight exercises: Push-ups, modified pushups and dips are all great ways to strengthen your core, back and arms. Find a spot on the floor or a sturdy set of parallel bars and get started.