Why have a great looking back? Whether you’re a man or a woman, young or old, tall or short, of course you know how important it is to work out your pecs, arms and stomach. Makes sense: people look at you from the front so a dynamic presentation of “the big three” can make quite an impression. But what about a great looking back? A muscular back is not impossible. Maybe you don’t want a super-V shape, but with a little bit of effort you’ll look as good from the back as you do from the front.
The Basics: Posture
Want a great looking back? Then start standing straight! Throw your shoulders back and get rid of that slouch. Don’t believe me? You can add at least an 1-2 inches to your height if you stand up straight! Plus good posture forces you to keep your stomach tucked in and you’ll add to that “V” look if you put your shoulders back! Heck, we haven’t even touched any weights yet.
If you have fallen victim to slouching you’ll notice that maintaining good posturing when sitting, standing or walking is not easy. Sever posture problems can be aided by a back harness. If that sounds like you, a visit to a health specialist may be in order. Bottom line: with good posture as a starting point, a great looking back will be yours (if you apply yourself).
Granted, the shoulder shrug will build up your shoulders, but in terms of a classic V-shape and great looking back, shoulder shrugs are possibly one of the best exercises you can do to build up your upper body and improve your posture.
If you are going to a gym and have access to weights then you’ll want to alternate between dumb bell shrugs and bar-bell shrugs (see accompanying illustrations). With each, the trick is to lift and rotate your shoulders up and back in a circular motion. Try 3 sets of 25. Then another 3 x 25 lifting your shoulders up and forward.
If you aren’t going to a gym you can accomplish the same thing by using 1-liter bottles of water of even books (like encyclopedia volumes which are kind of heavy). Check out this link for a great water-bottle back work-out.
Remember, the important thing here is to do all your reps and raise your shoulders as high as you can.
Want a great looking back? Get rid of those love handles! One of the most effective ways is with simple side stretches. Stretch to the right – 40 reps, and then to the left – another 40 reps. Try 3 sets of 40 on each side. And not fast. As you progress you can use those same water bottles of books to add a little weight.
There are plenty of more advanced back work-outs you can tap into here. But for beginners, you can accomplish your goals for a great looking back by standing straighter, doing those shrugs and performing regular side stretches. If you stay focused and follow your routines you will see significant results in 4 weeks.
You can tune in to some other great core exercises here. and also here.