Many upper-body workouts focus on building strength in your arms, chest and core, but these often miss muscles that play a vital role in your posture and overall strength — your back muscles.
Fortunately, spending hours at the gym isn't the only way to develop muscle across your back. These three moves from personal trainer Rachael Sacerdoti do just that, and all you need to try them is a pair of dumbbells, a resistance band and some space.
This makes it ideal for training at home, in a crowded gym, or when you're tight on time. If you regularly work out at home, we recommend picking up a set of the best adjustable dumbbells, as you can increase the load as you get stronger, in line with the progressive overload training technique.
According to Sacerdoti: "I love these three exercises because they are good for back strengthening. They specifically target the muscles of the upper and mid-back region, which are important for maintaining good posture and overall back health."
To get the most from your training, focusing on your technique is essential, especially when working with weights. So, before starting, use Sacerdoti's demonstrations to practice each move and perfect your form.
Watch Rachael Sacerdoti's three-move back workout
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If you're new to resistance training exercises, the bent-over dumbbell row might feel too challenging. If this is the case, try switching it out for a single-arm dumbbell row to take some of the pressure off your back while you work on the technique.
Sacerdoti hasn't set a specific amount of repetitions or time for you to do each move, so you can learn the technique and incorporate them into your existing routine or set your own targets to strengthen your back.
For instance, if you're short on time or like quick routines, you could arrange them into a high-intensity resistance training (HIRT) circuit workout — do each exercise for 40 seconds, rest for 20 seconds, then start on the next move, repeating this three-move circuit three to five times.
You'll likely feel sore the next day, caused by tiny tears in your muscle fibers. Your body needs protein to repair these tears, rebuilding the fibers thicker and stronger than before.
You can get protein in your diet, but a post-workout shake using one of the best protein powders for weight loss is a great way to help you hit your daily goals too.
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James is a London-based journalist and Fitness Editor at Fit&Well. He has over five years experience in fitness tech, including time spent as the Buyer’s Guide Editor and Staff Writer at technology publication MakeUseOf. In 2014 he was diagnosed with a chronic health condition, which spurred his interest in health, fitness, and lifestyle management.
In the years since, he has become a devoted meditator, experimented with workout styles and exercises, and used various gadgets to monitor his health. In recent times, James has been absorbed by the intersection between mental health, fitness, sustainability, and environmentalism. When not concerning himself with health and technology, James can be found excitedly checking out each week’s New Music Friday releases.
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