Want a stronger back? Here’s what I would suggest

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If you are looking to build a stronger back you cannot concentrate on just the Latissimus dorsi which in case you are wondering is the biggest back muscle. You need to pay equal attention to neighboring muscles as well such as the rhomboids, middle and lower traps, teres major, rear delts, spinal erectors and so on. So how do you do that? Well here are my top 5 suggestions to you.

Opt for the best exercise

According to me there are none better than the one arm dumbbell row. I prefer a dumbbell over a barbell because it allows me to stretch my arm further and also pull it up more due to which more muscle fibers are engaged.

Here’s a small hack. Next time ditch the exact form and dip and pull a little more. It pushes your muscles to the limit and makes your workout more effective. For newbies, here is how you do a dumbbell row.

 

 

 

Improve your upper lats

For better upper lats you will need to extend your grip. So next time you are doing a pull up just widen the grip a little for a more effective upper lats workout.

By widening the grip your fascia is stretched and when you pull up it contracts. When you move back down you can switch between doing it with force and doing it slowly with a slight pause.  Both work in different ways so remember to switch.

 

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Improve your mid back

With your lats workout sorted out the next thing you need to focus on is your mid back which can be seen when you stand sideways. Here too wide grip exercises such as pull ups are helpful. Even seated cable rows and T-bar rows work well.

Switch between free weights and machines

Though I believe free weights are more effective as compared to machines I often find it tough to pause when working out my back with them as they are heavier and this where machines are helpful. Yes your movement becomes static but you will be able to concentrate on the pause better. So make sure you balance your workout between free weights and machines.

Mix it up

You have a bucket load of exercise for a stronger back but when you setup your routine make sure to add in exercises that affect your muscles from various angles and grips. Most of the row pull workouts are similar so remember to add in a few reverse grip and overhead grip workouts too. Here’s what I followed as a beginner.

 

 

Always end it

There are no magic ways or secrets to a stronger back but one must follow rule is that you should always end each workout tired and exhausted. We all know how it feels after tough workouts don’t we? So while you’re at it give it your best. The pain and soreness today will make you stronger tomorrow.

5 abs day crimes beginners make but shouldn’t

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When it comes to abs the worst mistake anyone can make is missing your workout and cheating on your diet but there is a lot that can also go wrong between those sets of crunches and leg raises. Of course if getting a six pack was so simple we’d all be flaunting it. So today I am going to talk about the 5 mistakes you shouldn’t make on abs day irrespective of whether you train it daily or once a week.

You consider abs as one muscle

Your abs is not a single muscle. The rectus abdominis, both of the obliques, the transverse abdominis are few of your abs muscles you should know about. This will help you setup a better workout routine that hits all the muscles from different angles.

For the upper and lower abs crunches is the best exercise and for your obliques I would suggest you add in some twisting, rotating and side bend exercises.

You’re scared of adding resistance

There are plenty of abs exercise to choose from and most of them can be done from home itself but there is a downside to that. As you grow and develop your body gets accustomed to the routine and this is why adding resistance is important and its easy.

A weight plate on the back is enough to continue your gains. You can also switch to cable and machine crunches for a more effective high resistance workout.

 

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You get too comfortable

If you are too comfortable at the gym irrespective of whether you are training your legs or abs you are definitely doing it wrong. It is time for you to up the ante. For that you can add weights as I mentioned above.

You can also add more reps and sets to your routine or reduce the rest between each set. Those rock hard 8 packs you dream off are not easy to get and is possible only if you continue to improve. Remember No Pain No Gain.

You keep your back flat

The most common mistake beginners make is keeping a flat back when doing exercises such as cable crunches etc. This good when you’re doing squats, bent rows etc. but a straight back prevents proper contraction of the abs muscles while crunching.

With a flat back you will end up curling at your hips rather than your waist. Only by bending correctly you engage your rectus abdominis. So on your abs days forget what otherwise is a good habit.

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You do it too quickly

Pretty much every beginner starts their exercise with the aim of completing it quickly by doing as many reps as possible but keep in mind exercise is not about the quantity but more about the quality.

When working out momentum is your worst enemy. Each rep should apply the same amount of tension on your muscles for an effective workout.