I always loved waking up early(ish) because it makes it seem like the possibilities for the day are endless. Like, I actually have time to watch the Olympics. I've been staying up way too late to watch the coverage (why don't they air it earlier? It happened 6 hours beforehand!!), but this morning is the first chance I've had to plop myself on the couch with my laptop and keep the Olympics running in the background while I get some work done. The track prelims are happening right now, and lot of these women are from countries I've never heard of, advocating for other women in their country to gain equal rights. Plus, the sportscasters keep commenting on how this is the first year in which every country participating in the Olympics has sent a woman. Pretty inspiring. Especially when these women are running 100M in the time it takes me to run 50M. I always get so antsy to work out with the Olympics on - all I want to do is run at the track and swim in the pool. So in the spirit of the Olympics, I thought I would post a workout!
There are a myriad of reasons as to why it is important to have a strong back. Having good posture not only makes you walk like a supermodel, but it helps prevent injury to your lower back as well. Plus, many of these exercises will increase your overall core strength, which is incredibly important when it comes to running, climbing, swimming, and, well, any sport really. To note, I don't like to assume that everyone who reads my blog knows exactly what I'm talking about when I say "lat pull downs" or "hyperextensions," therefore, this post became a little lengthy with all of my explanations. I also provide adaptations for each exercise so that people of any athletic ability can find a challenge in this workout. Remember, if you've been experiencing back pain, make sure you speak to a doctor before attempting any of these workouts.
planks - targets arms, shoulders, and back/core
- hold position for longer.
- side plank - rest on one arm and one foot
- go into regular push up position for an extra arm workout
supermans - targets lower back/core
Lie on your stomach with your arms in front of you. Lift your chest off the floor as high as you can and hold the position for a second. Do not let your arms touch the floor. Lower yourself back down. Start with 10 if you've never done them before and then add on reps as they become easier and you can raise your chest higher off of the ground.
kick backs - targets lower back/glutes
Make a "table" with your body by getting on your hands and knees. Use slow, controlled movements to kick one leg out behind you, straightening it as you kick back. Lower your leg so you're back in the table position. Repeat 10 times on each side if you've never done this before.
- strap on an ankle weight
- use an inflatable disc. I like to challenge myself this way because I'm kicking back with one leg while trying to keep my balance with the other. Plus, when you're balancing on the disc, the leg you're kicking back with can't touch the ground, so you're creating a more difficult workout since you're removing the rest periods as you lower your leg back down. To use the disc, place your weight over your knee right in the center of the disc (this will take some adjusting) and proceed with the workout. A rolled up towel or yoga mat can have a similar effect if doing this workout at home.
If you're at the gym:
hyperextensions on ab machines - targets lower back
lat pull downs - targets shoulders/back
rows - targets shoulders/biceps
And there you have it! I hope you hit the gym or just find a spot on your living room floor to work on your back/core strength. P.S. Like that tank I was wearing? It used to be a super baggy T-shirt! I'll be demonstrating how I did this next week :)