Monday was back day at Spiece Fitness. I enjoy strengthening and toning the back since it helps define a man’s shape.  I try and do a variety of bodyweight, weight machine and barbell/dumbbell exercises each workout. There are so many machines and weights at Spiece that it’s easy to add new exercises to my routine every workout as others are dropped.

Today I added a variation of a bodyweight exercise that I learned from my old workout partner, Kit, in 2013. It uses a Smith Machine and you simply pull yourself with both arms up to the bar while you are lying on your back. The exercise is called a body-weight row.  I keep my legs and back straight as I pull my neck to the bar while facing the ceiling. It targets the Latissimus Dorsi which is the main back muscle.

My workout partner, Kit performs a full bodyweight Row in October 2013 at Spiece Fitness.

The variation I did was using one arm at a time. I saw it in a exercise book and it looked like a great back exercise. This was much harder than using both arms and my core worked hard to keep my chest even with the bar. Only 2 or 3 could be done per arm for the set so I hope to improve this in the future. I can usually do 10 repetitions on the two-arm rows.

I typically do 7-8 exercises for the back and they consist of 3-4 sets per exercise. It sounds like a lot, but the time passes quickly if I do three different exercises in a group. For example I do a rowing exercise for Lat thickness, then a pull-up type for width, then a spine-related exercise as in hyper-extensions.  These three are done one after another with minimal rest. Then I rest a bit and do the three again.

If your back routine is getting stale, add the bodyweight Row to your routine and let me know how it goes.