Tuesdays are one of my favorite days because I find the workouts entertaining and challenging. Plus, Monday ended, so that’s always good. The two things on our menu for Tuesday is back and triceps. So, let’s eat!
Your back muscles have two parts, the upper and lower sections. The upper back consists of your Trapezius (most of your upper back) and your Deltoids (back of shoulders). There are others of course, but these are the main focus in body building.
Your lower back has your Latissimus Dorsi (aka laterals), External Obliques, and other fancy muscle names which most people call “lower back”.
It is important that we use exercises which emphasize each of these main muscle groups. I recommend from going from your upper back to your lower back when working out because your lower back works more in upper back movements than the other way around. So, here’s how I usually do it.
I start by using the lat pulldown machines because it tends to work a majority of your back muscles. This can be done either with the machine or with a bar on the cables. This exercise gives your back a good stretch since to do it properly you must fully extend your arms up, and bring the bar to your chest. The hand placement on the bar does make a difference, but for beginners I would do whatever feels the most comfortable. Hint: The farther out you go the harder it is because the more it focuses on just working the lateral muscle.
Then I move on to the cable row, which you also have the option of adding cardio into it or not. Many gyms have a rowing machine where you sit and move forward and back by bending your legs and pulling a resistance cable at the same time. However, i am not much of a cardio person, so I usually do the cable row. This action is simple, just sit far enough away where your legs are extended but still slightly bent, and pull the weight without moving your torso.
These are just a few suggestions, there are copious workouts of free weights, cables or machines you can do for your upper back, it’s all up to your preference. Now, this is where your regimen will start shifting to lower back.
To start I usually go for the infamous DEADLIFT! This lifting technique is pretty well-known, but there is an important proper method which must be used for maximum results.
It is imperative that you keep a straight back throughout this lift because if you don’t it can result in serious injury, and you would have only worked your upper back again, and not your lower back.Your feet should be shoulder-width apart and they need to face forward. To complete the deadlift you must lift the weight until you are in a complete standing position, then you reverse the steps to put it back down. This motion strengths your lower back and glutes, and I find it fun as well.
I think we are forgetting a key component to the Tuesday workout…
Since I have used a lot of cables and machines throughout my back workout, we’ll switch to free weights. There are many ways to stress the triceps with free weights but here’s my favorite.
You can do this either standing up or sitting down, as long as your back is straight. All that is needed to complete this movement is to put the weight behind your head and lift up and bring it back down.
Other free weight ideas are illustrated in this picture:
It is not necessary to complete all of these workouts in one session. However, it is a good idea to spread them throughout different times at the gym so you are constantly doing something new and exciting. Just wait until you see what’s in store for Humpday!