When talking about your rear view, it’s not only your glutes you need to worry about. This summer, let your phenomenal back take centre stage.
Like the two Baldwin brothers whose names you know, the abs and glutes often get the most attention in the average woman’s training plan. And with good reason: it’s these areas that are often exposed, especially as the mercury starts to rise. But there’s an area that you may be overlooking – an area that, when worked correctly, will make everyday activities easier, you sit taller, and you even look slimmer. Take a coy look over your shoulder in the mirror to come face-to-face with your next training obsession: your back.
Generally, you can split the back into four different muscular “groups”: upper/outer lats, lower lats, middle back, and lower back. The function of the lats is to rotate and extend the shoulder. The trap muscles (middle back) are used for elevating and upwardly rotating the shoulder blades. The lower-back muscles allow your back to flex from side to side through the waist and to bend backwards.
For optimal back development training, include a warm-up set of unassisted pull-ups to fatigue once a day, and do an isolated back session (as seen here) two times per week, separated by at least 48 hours. This will allow the fatigued muscles enough time to recuperate, repair, and grow.
Another way to push yourself to the next level is to include a drop set at the end of the workout to allow your muscles to train beyond their limits. With drop sets, the muscle is worked to fatigue with a starting heavy weight, then the weight is decreased by 10 to 30 per cent and worked to fatigue again. Continue to repeat the decrease in weight until the muscles are fatigued, usually three to four “drops.”
Training all back groups will create a beautifully sculpted V-taper. This workout is structured to be done for six weeks: weeks one to three will focus on strength, and weeks four to six will focus on mass. Keep in mind that because the reps are low, you are going to be lifting heavy.