I’m pretty sure my favorite body part to train has become the back. It’s funny how a lot of beginners focus so much on chest and biceps because that’s what they can see in the mirror, but if they only did more back and pulling exercises, their chest, biceps and everything else would grow more! Confusing? Let me explain why you should train your back more.
In terms of functionality and injury prevention, your upper back muscles should be trained twice as much as your chest muscles. When you focus on chest and biceps, the muscles in your posterior chain get tighter and cause an imbalance with the muscles in the back. This normally leads to your shoulders rolling forward and your back having a bad posture. If you’re sitting at a desk most of the day, this will become even worse because of the angle and position that you will holding all day, making your chest more tight and your upper back muscles longer and weaker. This bad posture and weakness in the upper back will lead to tight upper trapezius muscles as well, which means that you will feel less energy and that as soon as you do a wrong movement (cough, lift with wrong technique, sneeze or even sleep in a bad position), your neck/upper back will tighten up and you won’t be able to turn your head. Sound familiar?
By strengthening the proper upper back muscles and mid+ lower trapezius muscles, your posture will improve and your shoulders will come back and down more. This will release tension in your neck and upper trap muscles, which will give you more energy and make you feel better throughout the day.
In terms of aesthetics, training your back more often than your chest will give you a more impressive, better looking frame. It took me a bit of time to realize this but people are actually way more impressed with someone who has a well built upper back than someone with a chest and a bad posture. It looks more athletic and sexy, and because your shoulders are being pulled back into a straight back, even your chest looks bigger and better.
In terms of performance for lifting and playing sports, the stronger your back is, the more stable (and safer) your shoulders will be, and the stronger you pushing strength will be. Your body is so smart. If it knows that your chest is getting too strong, it will stop you from getting stronger because it knows that if you keep going without strengthening your back more, it will soon get injured. If you want to be able to push off opposing players stronger, train your back more and strengthen your shoulders, and you will soon find that the other players are hating it when they come next to you. This works not only for American football, but for almost all sports including football, basketball and even ultimate frisbee where you need to fight off other players for positioning. If you’re able to push off the opposition easily, you will be able to create more room around you to receive the ball and create plays.
If one of your 2018 goals is to become fitter and feel better about yourself, get in touch now and let’s take the steps necessary to make it happen! As usual, if you don’t live in Dubai, check out our online personal training and we’ll make sure you reach your goals quickly and safely.