Building the Upper Back
Building the muscles in the back is important for women in order to increase upper body strength and fend off the propensity towards injury. There are plenty of exercises that help develop a strong back, and in this article I will focus on exercises for the upper back.
There are a variety of fitness routines that offer specific exercises for the strengthening and building of back muscles. Pilates, cable row exercises (ball workout with elastic bands for working the hands and the back), yoga, weights, and pull ups are among those. For the purposes of this article I will focus on a cable row workout and pull ups.
Cable Row Exercises
There are many types of row exercises that can work the back muscles. However, some of the basic ones involve building resistance in front of the chest using the arms. This is done by pulling the shoulder blades together in order to engage the upper back muscles, otherwise also known as trapezius. Most gyms offer cable machines or machines that imitate the rowing motion of the sport. However, the lack of access to these machines, if that is the case, need not stop you from working that trapezius out. You can innovate other ways of doing so. For instance, you could always wrap a resistance band around a pole or around your feet, with you legs outstretched and mimic the rowing motion. The rowing action can also be done by using dumbbells – that is, by placing one knee and the corresponding palm on a knee high platform, and placing the other foot down flat on the ground with the dumbbell placed on top of it. Now raise the foot to the level of the ribcage with the dumbbell on it. This is a classic upper back strengthening workout. If you are looking to build lean, strong back muscles, then this is the way to go.
Pull Ups and Pull Downs
Here is another example of an upper back workout that is worth trying, albeit targeting a different set of muscles in that region, namely the latisimus dorsi. Pull ups can be challenging for a newcomer to fitness, but a number of gyms offer machines that make pull ups that much easier to do. These machines support you by using a weight that is lighter than your entire body. The more space you leave between the two hands while gripping the pull up bar, the more you will make your upper back work, especially along the outer edges. There are also machines that will assist you while doing pull downs. This is how they work: they let you place the upper part of your feet tightly beneath a padding. Having done that, you pull the weighted bar down towards your chest, with the elbows and upper arms kept close to the sides of the chest. The support system for this exercise can be created in your home by attaching a resistance band to a tall object.