Back Training Basics

Develop a back training routine with basic exercises and perfect technique to build strength, stability and endurance. The powerful muscles of the back connect to the spine, hips and shoulder blades. They contract to extend the spine, rotate the spine, bend the spine, retract the scapulae and pull the shoulders backwards.

A strong back is vital in all walks of life. Athletes need powerful backs to compete at the highest capabilities. Office workers require back strength to endure long hours at the desk.

The back muscles work as assistants and stabilizers in every exercise. They contract to keep the body upright and the spine in proper position. The back muscles hold the hips and shoulders in a correct position during extremity training.

Safety is essential in back training. Provide yourself sufficient rest between workouts. Take time to warm-up properly and cool down adequately.

Learn perfect form from a qualified trainer. Develop flawless technique with light weight before using heavy poundage. Execute your back exercises with precision and control to prevent injury and achieve maximum results.

Basics: Deadlifts, Olympic lifts, rows and chins are basic back exercises. Deadlifts are a true test of back, hip and thigh power. Build lower back strength with deadlifts.

Scapular Retractions: Move the shoulder blades toward the spine and hold an isometric contraction. Start with isometric scapular retraction with no resistance. Advance to resisted isometric scapular retraction. Perform roll-ups by combining scapular retraction, thoracic spine extension and cervical retraction. Execute pull-up bar scapular retraction to work the entire kinetic chain.

Rows: Bent-over rows, seated pulley rows, dumbbell rows and inverted rows develop the scapula retractors. The middle and lower traps and the rhomboids are stressed during rows. Start these exercises by first pulling the shoulder blades together then pulling the elbows back.

Chins and pulldowns: Develop back strength by performing pulldowns, chin-ups and pull-ups. Employ an array of hand positions to target the back at all angles. Begin these exercises by retracting the shoulder blades together then pulling the elbows down.

Olympic lifts: Utilize cleans and snatches to build back strength. These multi-joint exercises are ideal for creating full body power.  

Kettlebells: Implement functional kettlebell training to train the entire posterior chain. Kettlebell motions recruit the deep muscles of the spine and core to assist in every lift. Kettlebell swings target the erector spinae muscles and the scapula retractor muscles.

Back training is essential for health, fitness, posture and injury prevention. Train all regions of your back to develop lifelong back health and help prevent performance limiting spine conditions.

Dr Donald A Ozello DC of Championship Chiropractic in Las Vegas, NV

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**Disclaimer: Always consult a medical professional before beginning an exercise program. Always work within your capabilities. Never perform an exercise that elicits or increases pain or symptoms. Reading this article and viewing the linked videos does not take the place of seeing a medical professional. Please visit a medical professional for evaluation, diagnosis & treatment.

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