Sweater weather be damned; there’s no better time to build your back than now, and no better low-equipment way to do so than with TRX back exercises. Sure, falling temps may warrant warmer clothing, thus causing any back work you do to be covered up for no one but you, your significant other, and possibly your leering pet to appreciate. But remember that a great back isn’t just about looking smokin’ hot in a tank top–it’s about feeling your best, too.
Benefits of a Better Back
A strong, healthy back can mean less pain and injury from everyday tasks as well as from the wear and tear that happens to a body as it ages. Even just being sedentary in an office job can cause stress on your back if it’s not in proper shape.
And of course when you think of the back, posture comes to mind. All the texting, typing, and other gadget-based actions now flooding your day tend to cause increased slouching, hunched-forward shoulders, and backs that are simply out of alignment. Build strength in your back, and you’ll help to keep your spine where it’s supposed to be, while also helping you to stand taller without discomfort.
If pain prevention and perfect posture just isn’t a big enough payoff when compared to hearing compliments on your hard work, we hear ya! Remember that a great looking back doesn’t
happen overnight; it takes time and effort. So while you’re working out, remember upcoming reveals can come by way of holiday cocktail dresses needing to be donned and winter getaways where beach life will be your best life. And even if you have to wait until next spring to show off your strength, just think of the shock and awe to come from others when you get to shed that sweater.
TRX Back Exercises
Finally convinced? Good! It’s time to backup your new goals with some actual sweat sessions. While there are all kinds of ways to better your back, including kettlebells, barbells, and bodyweight exercises, we like TRX because it can be scaled for whatever your fitness level, requires little space and equipment, and offers tons of variety for keeping things fresh and fun.
TRX is centered on suspension-based training that works your entire body while also engaging your core (that includes your back!) for balance. With just two straps to hang, you can quickly set this up just about anywhere and have a workout that’s low in effort but big in results.
Here are 5 to try:
- Inverted Rows: Grasp the handles with your palms facing in and your hands at chest level. Lean back so that when your arms are straight and your body is at about a 45-degree angle. Lift your toes off the ground so that your heels act as a pivot point. Engage your back muscles to pull your body upward so that your elbows are by your side. Tighten your abs and slowly lower back down to the starting position. Too hard? Decrease the angle so that you’re standing more upright. Too easy? Walk your feet forward so that when you lean back, your upper body is more parallel to the floor.
- Reverse Flys: In the similar leaning position as used in the inverted rows. Hold the straps in both hands with palms facing together and hands touching. Squeeze between your shoulder
blades as you open your arms out wide, as if making a “T” with your upper body. Engage your abs as you slowly lower back down to the starting position.
- Power Pull Rotation: Weave the handles together so that you can hold both straps using only one handle. Line up the strap with your right side first and lean back slightly. Extend your left arm parallel with the strap so that your upper body is slightly rotated–this is your starting position. Keeping your right arm straight rotate your upper body so that your chest opens to the left, with your left arm reaching to touch the ground. Pull yourself back to the starting position by engaging your right lat–not your bicep. You can work up a little speed during this exercise for a more cardio effect, or you can go slow and controlled for more resistance. Switch to the other side when all reps are completed.
- Overhead Squat Row: Place your hands in the foot straps with your palms facing away from the straps. Raise your arms over head, making sure to keep your shoulders relaxed and not scrunched. Step back until there is no slack in the straps. With a straight back, lower your butt down and toward the ground as is if sitting into a squat against the wall. When your upper legs go below parallel, engage your core to return to a standing position, while at the same time bending your elbows to work your traps. When moving into the next rep, move your arms back up to a straightened position, bending again when you return to standing.
- Negative Pull Ups: Work your way toward doing a full pull up with this great exercise. Start by shortening your straps so that you can sit beneath them with arms extended and holding onto the handles. Pull your body off the floor by first engaging your back muscles–not your arms or shoulders. Thinking about trying to touch your elbows together behind your back as you pull. When your ears are at about handle height, lower down as slowly as possible. This is the heart of the exercise. The more you use your feet, the easier it will be. The goal is to work your way up to not using your feet at all.
Tell us your favorite TRX back exercise–or any other movement–in the comments!