The back attack workout

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Sculpt and tone your back with Shock Absorber’s amazing back exercises…

WHY IT WORKS: Created by Pierre Pozzuto, this programme has been created with three complementary 10 minute workouts, each serving a different function: Posture, Fat Burn and Hourglass. You will see that a lot of the moves in each exercise engage the back muscles as well as the core and abdominals, so they are working together.

Complete each of the workouts twice a week (one hour per week in total) and compliment with 10 minutes of cardiovascular exercise for a balanced, high intensity workout. You should start to see results in three weeks.

EQUIPMENT REQUIRED:

The workouts can be performed in the gym or at home.

You will need a resistance band and hand weights (2/2.5KG), alternatively bags of sugar or water bottles will work.

PROGRESSIONS:

As you get stronger and fitter, there are a number of ways to keep the workout challenging and make sure your progress doesn’t plateau:

  • Increase repetitions of the exercise per minute and over a longer period of time
  • Increase weights
  • Decrease rest time between exercises

Warm Up

It’s beneficial to do dynamic stretches before any type of exercise. These moves increase heart rate as well as warm the muscles, reducing injury risk.

TORSO TWISTS – 15 seconds

Hold your torso tight, belly button sucked into your spine, chin and chest up and rotate side to side, allowing your head to follow.

BACK SLAPS – 15 seconds

Leaning forward with your back parallel to the floor, create a swinging motion with your upper body until your palm touches your back.

ARM CIRCLES – 30 seconds

Chin and chest up, arms at shoulder height, perform small rotations in a forward motion, repeat in reverse.

FORWARD PUNCHES – 30 seconds

Bring yourself into a guard position, one leg in front of the other, knees soft and raised onto the ball of the back foot. From the chest, with your elbows in, create a forward punching motion. Aim for a fixed position.

UPWARD PUNCHES – 30 seconds // add jog

Remain in the guard position, one leg in front of the other, knees soft and raised onto the ball of the back foot. From the chest, with your elbows in, create an upward punching motion toward the sky. Aim for a fixed position.

Cool Down

Because we’ve reached a high intensity during the workout, it’s important to gently bring the heart rate down whilst stretching the muscles. Avoid stopping abruptly after aerobic exercise.

SIDE SWINGS – 15 seconds

Keeping active, create a pendulum motion with the upper body, reaching out to the sides as far as you can.

HEEL KICK BACKS – 15 seconds

Still keeping the bounce, kick your heels back to your gluteus muscles, “heel to bum”.

KNEE PULL UPS – 15 seconds

Extending the arms above your head, create a bouncing knee raise, trying to get your knee to your chest every time.

HEAD AND TILT PULL – 30 seconds

Chin and chest high, hands to the opposite side of the head, create a pull motion to the side.

SUMO SQUAT AND SHOULDER DROP – 15 seconds

With wide legs and knees and toes pointed outwards, place your hand on the inside of the knee cap, pushing down and out to create a stretch through the shoulder and the inner thigh.

TIP: Try not to eat for 30-60 minutes after high intensity training – you will fool your body into thinking you’re still working out. Once you start consuming calories, your body will stop taking from it’s own energy stores.

 

1) Posture

This entire workout engages the back and core muscles (layers of muscle below those we can see at the body’s surface). This in turn improves posture and helps achieve a tighter waistline.

This 10 minute workout contains four exercises and looks like this:

Set 1: 4 X 1 minute exercises (A,B,C,D)

20 second break

Set 2 : 4 x 1 minute exercises (A,B,C,D)

20 second break

Set 3: 4 x 20 second workouts (A,B,C,D)

Equipment: Hand weights

A) THE DORSAL RAISE

Lying on your front, raise your chin, chest and arms.

TIP: Extending the arm backwards engages the upper back (trapezius muscles), making it an all-over back exercise.

B) RENEGADES

Into bridge position, legs shoulder width apart. Pull alternate elbow to ceiling without breaking form. Without twisting the body, keep shoulders directly above hands. Speed progression: how quickly can you go?!

TIP: This is a good pulse-raiser, but fundamentally a core exercise. You should feel it in your shoulders and upper back and, because of the way we’re using it, it is a big ‘burn’ for the deltoids and romboids.

C) PLANK AND KNEE

In plank position, bring alternate knees around to the elbow. Slow and controlled.

TIP: This is technically for the ‘love handles’, engaging the core but creating an oblique exercise.

D) BENT OVER FLY

Stand and grab weights, bend forwards to 90 degrees, arms almost straight. Raise up and out to the side squeezing shoulder blades together.

TIP: This is tackling the upper body and back muscles but also engaging the core. Holding yourself parallel to the floor, the bent over lateral raise encourages the posterior (deltoids) and back muscles (trapezius) to work harder.

 

2) Fat Burn

With this workout we’re trying to burn body fat, the idea here is to constantly keep the heart rate elevated and remain outside of your comfort zone with every rep, aiming to burn fat and achieve a lean body.

This 10 minute workout contains five exercises and looks like this:

Set 1: 2 X 1 minutes exercises (A,B)

20 second break

Set 2 : 2 X 1 minutes exercises (A,B)

20 second break

Set 3: 2 X 1 minutes exercises (C,D)

20 second break

Set 4: 2 X 1 minutes exercises (C,D)

Set 5: 1 X 1 minute exercise (E)

Equipment: Hand weights.

A) STANDING PUNCH

Grab those hand weights and resume the guard/boxing position. Punch and extend arms out at shoulder height. How many can you do?!

TIP: If you fatigue, switch to use alternate arms.

B) LYING PALM PRESS

Lie on your front, arms by your side, palms up. Begin with arms off the floor. Now push up as high as you can in quick pulse movements.

TIP: This is a speed exercise, you will stay in the fat burning zone by completing as many reps as possible.

C) FULL PARALLEL RAISE

Standing with weights by your side, raise up above your head (but still slightly in front of you), keeping arms straight.

TIP: Keep weights in your eye view to engage the deltoids and protect the lower back.

D) BEAR CRAWLS

On hands and feet, walk a few paces forwards, then backwards. Go as quickly as possible without breaking form.

TIP: Really focus on core and balance on the way backwards. It’s a game of technique, arms and legs need to be working in a synchronized form.

After set 4, stay in this position, straighten the body and transfer to T- Plank for the final set.

E) T-PLANK

Legs shoulder width apart, bridge position into press up, twist and reach alternate arms (hands) to ceiling. Slow and controlled.

Tip: Do not worry about achieving a very deep press up, bending your arms slightly will still engage the upper arms (deltoids). Keep toes and balls of the feet in a fixed position.

 

3) Hourglass

This workout targets specific back muscles, the upper arms (medial deltoids) and waistline, so an hourglass shape is created.

This 10 minute workout contains five exercises and looks like this:

Set 1: 2 X 1 minutes exercises (A,B)

3 X 20 second exercises (C,D,E)

30 second break

Set 2 : 2 X 1 minutes exercises (A,B)

3 X 20 second exercises (C,D,E)

30 second break

Set 3: 2 X 1 minutes exercises (A,B)

3 X 20 second exercises (C,D,E)

Equipment: Hand weights and resistance band.

A) LATERAL PULL DOWN

Stand and grab your resistance band. Grip at each end, hold above your head and straighten arms. Pull down and apart until the band touches the lower part of your neck.

TIP: This is focusing on the lateral muscle, which is the big V shaped muscle that allows us to create a ‘V-Taper’ in the body. This allows for a swooping toned upper back and encourages the look of a smaller waistline.

B) LATERAL RAISE

Hold weights by your side. Raise straight arms up to shoulder height, tipping slightly forward at the top.

SUPER SET CIRCUIT:

C) Plank and Jack (20 seconds)

From plank position, jump legs out to jack plank. Repeat as fast as you can.

D) Full bridge extension (20 seconds)

From bridge position, move your hands forward lowering your chin – eyes to feet. Repeat.

E) Mountain climbers (20 seconds)

In bridge position, bring alternate knee between hands in running motion. Make sure your shoulders are over your hands. Go as fast as you can!