Why a Back Workout is So Important

Your back is one of the largest muscle groups on your body and incredibly vital to your overall health.  Unfortunately, because it’s not seen as much, it tends to get a lot less attention than the other “vanity muscles” such as your abs, biceps and chest.  Unless you’re a dedicated bodybuilder, you most likely don’t spend a whole lot of time standing in front of a mirror checking out your back muscles.  In fact, most of us don’t even think about our back unless we’re in some sort of pain.

The back is made up of three different groups.  The “traps” or trapezoids are located in your upper back.  This is that muscle you can see going from your neck down to your shoulders.  Just below them are your “lats” or latissimus dorsi.  These are also called your “wings” and create that nice V shape so many people want. Most weight loss tips don’t mention these, but they can help give the appearance of a smaller waistline.  Below your lats are your erector spinae which support your lower back. Working these muscles can dramatically improve your posture and help give you a much flatter stomach.

Your back is instrumental in virtually every sport you may engage in and almost every activity you may do throughout your day.  From mowing the lawn to improving your golf swing, a healthy and strong back makes things better.  Here is one simple exercise you can use to as the starting foundation to a great back workout.

Dead-lifts is one of the most complete back exercises.  Start with an appropriate weight on a barbell in front of your feet.  Bend over and grab the barbell, bending your knees and keeping your back straight.  Your hands should be about shoulder width apart.  Slowly lift the weight by straightening your legs and bringing your body erect.  Remember, this should be a slow and controlled move.  If you find you need to jerk or yank on the barbell, you may have too much weight.  Make sure you’re completing this exercise by slowly bringing the barbell back to the ground.

Dead-lifts will work all of your back but it’s not the only exercise you need to do. Consider adding in barbell or dumbbell rows, hyper-extensions and lat pull-downs and chin ups.  These will give you a very good workout.  Remember, don’t overdo the weight or you’ll end up with an injury.

Health In A Can: Cheap, Tasty & Really Really Good For You

Pic: oceanaris

Part of the reason I started this blog was so that I could write on things that I am passionate about. I love researching, talking and discussing everything to do with health and fitness. It impacts a lot on my life, and outside of my Volleyball it’s my main focus. There are certain things I write about because I see a trend in a gym, or in the industry that I want to discuss, clarify or completely discredit. Sometimes I just write about things because I love them. I love Tuna.

Tuna rocks. Really, it is a great food. I get that it is an acquired taste, and some of my friends gag when I get my tuna dishes out. I think it all started with my father. His famous and most eaten dish right through my childhood was Tuna based. Lettuce, Tomato, maybe some Carrot, a LOT of low fat Italian Dressing, two cans of Tuna, some sliced cheese…all topped with Tomato Sauce (Ketchup for you Americans). Disgusting eh. It really does stink the kitchen out. And no, I’m not going to add it to my list of recommended recipes. What I am trying to get at is, I was bought up with Tuna around my house, and I love it. I’m an athlete, and I live alone in a foreign country and I’ll be honest, my cooking skills are minimal. I love Tuna on Rice, with a bit of Sweet Chili sauce, I love it in Salads (minus the Tomato Sauce), I love Tuna bakes (even if I have safety issues with hot ovens) and I love Tuna on top of Veggies (with a bit of Pasta Sauce and Cheese).

What Is So Good About Tuna?

Mmm, for one, it’s very tasty. But that’s subjective.

  • Tuna is a great source of lean protein. Protein is essential to building muscle.
  • Tuna has high quality protein that is easily digestible.
  • Low in Saturated Fat.
  • It’s pretty cheap.
  • It is a low cholesterol food.
  • Tuna is a rich source of nutrients that are essential to healthy and balanced diets.
  • It has a lot of Omega 3 fatty acids, which have been shown to
    • lower the risk of heart disease,
    • ease joint pain,
    • reduce asthma complications,
    • and are essential in the growth of young children.

Tuna…get on it.