Sweat smarter with these five workout moves for your back

Sure, sculpted shoulders and defined delts look amazing in strapless dresses—but the real win is that they keep your body healthy and strong.

Be smart when you’re working on that beautiful back. “Proper technique is so important when lifting weights,” says Dr. Shellock. “I see a lot of teens who’ve injured their backs in the gym.”

To help you get strong safely, Jennifer Leah Gottlieb, certified personal trainer and founder of JLG Fitness in New York City, shares her fave workout. Aim for two to three times per week— just not on consecutive days. “Give your muscles time to recover!” Jen advises.

1. Lie facedown with your chin on the ground, ankles together and toes pointing down.
2. Reach your arms straight out in front of you so your palms are resting flat on the floor.
3. Engaging your back, glutes and shoulders, lift your arms, chest and legs.
4. Hold for 3 seconds, then lower. Repeat for 3 sets of 15 reps.

Reverse Snow Angel
1. Lie on your stomach with your arms by your sides and palms facing down.
2. Lift your shoulders and hands a few inches off the ground by engaging your mid-back.
3. With your head down (avoid any tension in your neck) and arms straight, slowly bring your arms all the way over your head until your thumbs meet in front of you. Hint: The motion is just like making a snow angel.
4. Repeat for 3 sets of 15 reps.

Bent-over Row
1. Stand with knees slightly bent, holding a dumbbell in each hand. Bend forward at the waist a few inches, keeping your back straight and activating everything.
2. Keeping your torso stationary and your elbows close to your body, lift the dumbbells toward your chest.
3. Squeeze your back muscles together at the top, hold for a pause, then lower back to the starting position.
4. Repeat for 3 sets of 15 reps.

Lat Pullover
1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Hold a dumbbell in both hands over your chest with your arms straight.
2. Slowly lower the weight behind your head until your arms are in line with your torso and parallel to the floor.
3. Keeping your arms straight, pull the weight back up over your chest. Do 3 sets of 15 reps.

Renegade Row
1. Place 2 dumbbells on the floor about shoulder-width apart and get into pushup position with one hand on each weight.
2. Pull 1 weight up toward the side of your body (keeping your elbow close to your rib cage) while balancing on your toes and opposite hand.
3. Repeat on the other side. Continue for 2 sets of 20 reps (1 arm = 1 rep).

A version of this story appeared in the February/March issue of Girls' Life magazine.


by Amanda Tarlton | 4/11/2018