Yay it’s Monday and time for chest and back! I actually love Mondays, they give me an opportunity to press the reset button on anything that seems off or out of place in my life. Honestly I’m already counting down to next weekend though. I’m going to be insanely busy this week with work (MAJOR DEADLINES EEK!), but I think I’m prepared for the most part. I’ve got food prepped, and plenty of coffee in my pantry. 🙂
I have yoga with Dave tonight at my favorite yoga studio (I’ll be sure to give you a recap tomorrow). I’m really excited about that and will be hitting the gym at lunch for some serious cardio. 🙂 Way to relieve work stress right!? Ok well I wanted to share with you guys another round of Beginners Series because we can’t have you all off balance having a sexy butt and legs and sculpted arms and not have a sexy back and perky chest right?
Chest and Back
Well let’s all just be honest right now. If I told you that you could do some targeted exercises that would help you have a perkier chest, would you try them? Haha is that even a question?? Well chest exercises with resistance or weights is the way to go! Added bonus – you will burn calories and build muscle (which burns fat) while working on the girls 🙂 Here are some amazing at home workout ideas that utilize resistance bands:
Remember when doing chest exercises to focus on your chest. Squeezing during a rep helps you focus and engage. We want to work the chest, not shoulders! Chest Press: Wrap band around a secure object (I use the slats in the railing of my deck) and loop the band around so that the center of the band is around the object. Stand with feet together, knees slightly bent, abs tight, hands (holding bands) at shoulder level close to armpits, palms facing the floor. Push hands forward, squeezing the chest muscles and extending arms out in front of (don’t lock the elbows though). Hold for 1 count. Return to start. 3 sets of 10 reps. Pectoral Fly: With band still wrapped around a secure object, start with knees slightly bent, abs tight and bands in hands with arms extended out to the side (like a bird) elbows are slightly bent (just enough that they are not locked), palms facing forward. Engage the core and push hands together (arms stay straight but elbows don’t lock) using an arcing motion so that they meet directly in front of your chest, so palms are facing each other. Hold for 1 count and slowly return to starting position. 3 sets of 10 reps. To hit your chest from multiple angles (think perkier chest) a Pectoral Decline Fly is the exercise to do! Start with one foot slightly behind the other (see picture), band secure under the back foot. Start with hands holding bands close to hips. Raise the bands (palms are facing you) to chest level, bringing them in so they are directly in front of your chest, but not touching each other. Hold for one count. Slowly bring hands back to starting position. Repeat 3 sets of 10 reps. Keep your arms stiff and slightly bent, don’t bend them up like a bicep curl in this movement – keep them straight.
Close Elbow Rows: Start standing with one foot in front of the other, knees slightly bent, bend over at hips, back is flat securing the band under the front foot. Hold the band in each hand around knee level (see photo), palms face each other. Keep elbows close to the body (not flailing out like when you do the chicken dance), bring bands up to waist level (between waist and bra line). Squeeze the back so that if an egg were at the shoulder blades, it would crack as the elbows come up. Hold for 1 count and slowly return to starting position. Do 3 sets of 10. Wide elbow rows: Start exactly the same as close elbow rows. Raise arms and bend elbows out away from the body (like when you are doing the chicken dance), keeping back flat and core engaged (don’t forget about that egg- crack it!). Hold one count and return to start slowly. Three sets of 10 reps. One Arm Rows: Step on band with front foot (one foot out in front of the other), knees bent. Use one arm for stabilization (holding a chair, table or knee) grab band in opposite hand, keeping back straight and core engaged. Working arm will be at knee level out in front of the body, palm facing in (see above). Just like the close elbow row, the elbow will stay close to the body as the arm rows back. Engage the back, (still want to be able to crack the egg) while performing this exercise. Return arm to starting position. Do 3 sets of 10. Seated Rows: Start sitting on the ground, legs extended straight ahead, band wrapped around feet (or a secure object). For added resistance, it may be necessary to make an additional loop around 1 foot (see picture)- it will be trial and error. Hold the bands in each hand, palms facing each other, arms fully extended over legs. Slowly bend at the elbows, and bring the bands to the chest level, right around where the bra line is. Hold 1 count, release slowly to start. 3 sets of 10 reps. Reverse Fly: Place center of band behind a secure object. Stand facing the object with bands in hand palms facing each other, knees slightly bent, back straight and core engaged. Start with arms straight ahead directly in front of the body, then bring arms out to a “T” keeping back flat and arms mostly straight – slightly bend the elbows. Hold for 1 count and slowly return to start. 3 sets of 10 reps.
Bands come in many lengths and resistance, you can get a complete set here!
I am usually sore from these moves, so stretching after doing a workout is a must. Here are a couple of my favorite poses for the back and chest: down dog and upward facing dog – plus they are fun to do!!
What are some of your favorite stretches or yoga moves?