Row, Row, Row Your Back...
Have some trouble spots or jiggly bits around your bra straps or tank tops? Although aerobic exercise can help you shed body fat, addressing fat deposits that are specific to your back area requires a bit more "oomph". In addition to the cardio portion of your workout routine, you'll need to tone and strengthen the area as well to get the results you looking for. Seated cable rows are a great way to work the back muscles. Not only does a nicely toned back look great but as an added bonus it can help to improve your posture; that's why it's featured in this month's edition of Essential Exercises for Women.
How It's Done
Position yourself on the cable pulley machine or on the floor in front of the lower cable on a double cable apparatus.
Attach a double grip handle and grab using a neutral grip.
As you inhale pull the cable towards your torso until it touches the lower rib cage
At the end of the movement, your abs should be engaged to prevent the lower back from arching and elbows move as far back as they can go but tucked into the sides, close to the ribs.
Exhale and return to the start position
Keep a straight back throughout the movement with a slight bend in the knees and think that the most active part of your body is the back and not the arms.
Keep this in mind...
- Keep your back straight. A slight flex at the hip is okay in order to allow a full range of motion.
- Squeeze the shoulder blades (scapula) together. This is important for most 'pull exercises' emphasizing the back.
- Return the weight under tension to the starting position. Don't allow them to just drop onto the stack.
- Be cautious if you have an existing or past shoulder or lower back injury.