Fit Over 50 – Back Exercises

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 25,304
    Fitness instructor Margie Weiss demonstrates how to get fit over 50 including exercises for the back.

    Margie Weiss: Hi! I am Margie Weiss and this video is how to get fit over 50. The specific section we are working is the back. There are three areas of the back, three different parts of the vertebrae in the back. They have different names and different functions and different strengths. So there are different exercises that we can do for each one of them. Back strength is really important because it helps to support the chest, it helps in posture and it really helps the lower back. One out of two American adults has back issues. So working simple back exercises can strengthen the back especially the lower back so that you can help to alleviate or get rid of previous problems. So what we are going to do here is we are going to lean forward, Christina is going to put for shoulders right underneath. That way if you do have some back issues your back is supportive. She wants to have a straighter back as she can rather than rounded because when you are back you have to be able to lift your arms high enough so that you shoulder blades can come together. So if you have too heavier weight and you could only lift your arms a third of the way up because the weights are too heavy, get lighter weight because you want full range of motion in order to effectively work each of the back areas. We did a fly lying on our back to work chest . We are going to do a fly backward, a reverse fly to get the back muscles. So the first and easiest the basic fly is with your palms towards each other, she is just going to be lifting up to the side and coming back down. At the top here her shoulder blades are coming together. You want to feel as if there is a pencil in the middle of your back-bone and you are squeezing it together at the top. If the weights are heavy you are going to bend your arms. If the weights aren't very heavy you can almost straighten your arms, not completely but that is going to give you a harder workout. So you can decide how much you want to do outwards or inwards. In that way you can usually do a little bit more in terms of getting toned. Light weight, more repetition is more important than a real heavy weight done only two or three times. So Christina did a basic fly with her knuckles towards each other. We can also do a fly with our fingers facing the front called a hammer grip because when you hammer down, it looks like a hammer. So she is going to do the same thing. She is looking out in front of her rather than having her head looking down towards her toes. So her back is kind of straight. Head is kind of neutral as you go up and down. And that way you will put too much pressure on it. So that is the main area in the back right across the shoulder blades.

    We can also get underneath the lax. The lax of the shoulder, the muscles that surround the shoulders you can angle backwards with your hands as you do a fly here, and by doing that keeping the head neutral, breathing out on the rise, because that is the harder part of the exercise and breathing in as they come down. Notice she has got her knuckles downwards and her fingers up. Because in this back area the lax are very strong group. So we can rotate and do a bunch of different exercises here. We can take your hands and turn them into a hammer position and she can so that same lift as she going. She can also come forward with her fingers and do the same angle back. Obviously, by lifting the arms here in the back you are not only getting the back itself but you are also getting your triceps which tend to be a little bit weaker than the biceps which are in the front.

    Back exercises, you should probably try to do a little bit more than chest because most people's back muscles are weaker than chest and the idea is to keep them balanced. One more position for the back which is going to get this area, it feels like it is getting the vertical muscles going down your back. So you are going to angle slightly forward like you do in a racing dive into the water. You can either do it with a hammer grip, or you can do with the palms down, kind of tough to do with your palms up. But it is a much harder exercise because it's way out in front of the body. So if you need to -- Christina is using a five but you can use a three and most people would tend to use a three in order to keep the range of motion. All through any of these exercise belly is into the backbone, shoulders are low and head is slightly relaxed so that you not gritting and tightening everything at the same time until that you get a neck issue, and then when you let them down, what you generally do when you come up hand on your thighs and then slowly bring it up and just kind of roll the shoulders around. If you felt a little bit into the neck you can tip your head to one side or forward, what you don't want to do is round around the backside. If you want to go to the back just lift up and look back rather than rotating around, kind of bad on your neck muscles.

    So this is the area of the upper and the middle and slightly lower and the back. We will get to some lower, lower back parts when you do the Abs. Because the oblique muscles are done during abs around the backside. We will also do the front side of the abs all at the same time. Once you've done the back you noticed we talked a little bit about the triceps being assister muscle when we are working the back. We are going specifically to the triceps next.