Posted on 14 Comments

Foam Roller: Upper Back Relief

A lot of people suffer from tightness in their upper back and shoulders.  Sometimes it feels like knots between your shoulder blades, while other times the pain might feel like it’s spreading from your upper back into your neck. The main cause of upper back and neck pain is a sedentary lifestyle, and extended use of computers, phones, and tablets. Upper back pain also easily leads to neck pain.

The key to foam rolling your upper body is actually to not roll much at all. Instead, use the roller to isolate smaller areas and allow them to release slowly from the pressure of your body’s weight on the roller.

If you need a reminder, read the general instructions on how to foam rolling, here.


Do you want to watch more exercise videos? Subscribe to my YouTube channel.

Posted on 4 Comments

Foam Roller: Lats Relief

Sore, tight, or injured lats might make it uncomfortable to take deep breaths. Tight latissimus dorsi has been shown to be one cause of chronic shoulder pain and chronic back pain. Because the latissimus dorsi connects the spine to the humerus, tightness in this muscle can manifest as either sub-optimal shoulder function which leads to chronic pain or tendinitis in the tendinous fasciae connecting the latissimus dorsi to the thoracic and lumbar spine.

Foam rolling your lats is a simple process that helps and prevents. Please, read the general instructions on how to foam rolling, here.


Do you want to watch more exercise videos? Subscribe to my YouTube channel.

Posted on 6 Comments

Resistance Band Standing Row

Time to work our lats with resistance bands.
Anchor the band at the bottom of the door. Facing the door, grip a handle in each hand and stand 3 to 4 feet away from it. Feet with a wide stance, bend your knees and keep your back and head straight, your chest up, and shoulders backward. Your arms should be straight and pointed up towards the door anchor.
Exhale, gently contract your lats, squeeze your shoulder blades together, and pull the handles back until your hands are right below your chest.
Inhale and gently return to the starting position. Repeat.


Do you want to watch more exercise videos? Subscribe to my YouTube channel.

Posted on 8 Comments

Reverse Grip Bent-Over Rows

Barbell Rows are a full body, compound exercise. They work your upper backlower backhips, and arms.

Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width, with your toes pointed forward.
Grasp the bar just wider than the knees with palms facing up. Keep your spine straight, shoulder blades pulling down and back, chest lifted and head in line with your spine. Your heels should be on the floor.

Exhale. Lift the bar off the floor by simultaneously straightening your hips and knees to a 3/4 upright position where the barbell rests midway on your thigh with your arms straight. This is the starting position. Inhale.

Exhale again and slowly pull the bar toward your torso, contracting your lats, until it touches your abdomen. Maintain a rigid spine without any movement or change in the shape in your back. Keep both feet firmly planted on the floor while maintaining a slight bend in the knees and hips.

Inhale and slowly lower the bar back to the starting position while maintaining your back, hip, knee, and foot position. Keep the shoulder blades squeezing together and the abdominal muscles engaged. Repeat.

At the end of the set, bend the hips and knees to lower the bar to the floor.


Do you want to watch more exercise videos? Subscribe to my YouTube channel.

Posted on 18 Comments

Swiss Ball Straight-Arm Dumbbell Pullover

The primary muscle worked during the straight-arm pullover is the pectoralis major, which is the largest muscle in the chest. Your lats are also heavily involved. Both are responsible for performing shoulder extension during the pullover. The posterior head of the deltoid also assists shoulder extension. Your triceps brachii, at the back of your arms, work to keep your elbows extended as you lift and lower the dumbbell.

Sit on the stability ball holding the dumbbell with both hands. Slowly begin walking your feet forward as you tuck your tail under, lowering your spine onto the ball as you walk your feet away from the ball until your head, shoulders and upper back are resting on the ball. Feet should be parallel and shoulder width apart. Knees are bent to about 90 degrees with your thighs and torso at or nearly parallel to the floor. Distribute your weight evenly through your feet. Finally, lift the dumbbell straight up over your chest as the palms rest on the underside of one of the sides of the dumbbell.

Inhale and slowly lower the weight down in an arc behind your head, while keeping your arms straight, stretching out your chest.

Exhale as you return the dumbbell back to the starting position.


Do you want to watch more exercise videos? Subscribe to my YouTube channel.

Posted on 12 Comments

Standing barbell row

Barbell Rows are a full body, compound exercise. They work your upper back, lower back, hips, and arms. They build a stronger, muscular back and bigger biceps. Technique is very important in this lift. The tendency is to increase the curve in the low back during the lifting phase. Engage your abdominals to maintain a normal-to-flat spine through the entire lift.

Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width, with your toes pointed forward.
Squat down to grasp the bar just wider than the knees with either a knuckles forward or palms-forward grip.

Prepare for the lift by keeping the spine in neutral, shoulder blades pulling down and back, chest lifted and head in line with your spine. Your heels should be on the floor.

Exhale. Lift the bar off the floor by simultaneously straightening your hips and knees to a 3/4 upright position where the barbell rests midway on your thigh with your arms straight. Inhale.

Exhale again and slowly pull the bar toward your torso until it touches your abdomen. Maintain a rigid spine without any movement or change in the shape of your back. Keep both feet firmly planted on the floor while maintaining a slight bend in the knees and hips.

Inhale and slowly lower the bar back to the starting position while maintaining your back, hip, knee, and foot position. Keep the shoulder blades squeezing together and the abdominal muscles engaged. Repeat.

At the end of the set, bend the hips and knees to lower the bar to the floor.


Do you want to watch more exercise videos? Subscribe to my YouTube channel.

Posted on 2 Comments

Wall Lats Stretch

This one is the easiest way to stretch our lats.

Facing a wall, stand with your feet hip-width apart and your arms by your sides. Brace your abdominal muscles to stabilize your spine. Pull your shoulder blades down and back. Do not allow the low back to arch. Keep your chest lifted and your chin tilted up slightly.

Exhale as you shift your weight over your heels and slowly begin bending forward at the hips. Keep the abs engaged and the back flat. Place your hands on the wall. Keep the arms straight so there is a straight line from the shoulders, through the elbows to the wrists.

Hold the stretch position for 15-30 seconds. Repeat for a total of 2-4 repetitions. To increase the stretch, rotate your thumbs to point toward the ceiling.


Do you want to watch more exercise videos? Subscribe to my YouTube channel.

Posted on 6 Comments

Seated Back Row (High) With Resistance Bands

An excellent exercise to work our lats with resistance bands.
Anchor the band at the top of the door. Facing the door, grip a handle in each hand and sit close to the door, with your knees bent and toes touching the door. Keep your back and head straight, your chest up, and shoulders forward. Your arms should be straight and pointed up towards the door anchor. Lean back until your upper body is making a 45-degree angle with the floor.
Exhale, gently contract your lats, squeeze your shoulder blades together, and pull the handles back until your hands are right below your chest.
Inhale and gently return to the starting position. Repeat.


Do you want to watch more exercise videos? Subscribe to my YouTube channel.

Posted on 13 Comments

One-Arm Dumbbell Row

Most beginners have problems to keep their spine straight doing rows. Instead a flat bench, you can use a couple of chairs, and practice at home. Keeping your spine straight is essential to avoid injuries.

Place your right knee and right hand on the chairs (bench). Bend your torso from your waist until is parallel to the floor. Bend your left knee if necessary.

Pick up the dumbbell with the left hand, with the palm facing your torso. Do not bend your wrist! The forearm should not do work.

Exhale and pull the dumbbell, keeping your elbow close to your side and keeping the torso stationary.Concentrate on squeezing the back muscles.

Inhale and slowly back to the starting position.

Repeat with the other side :)


Do you want to watch more exercise videos? Subscribe to my YouTube channel.

Posted on 14 Comments

Pull Up

To perform a pull-up, you need a safe place :) If you have not a bar, be creative… and be careful! Grab with the palms facing forward. Your hands at a distance wider than your shoulder width.
Extend both arms as you inhale. This is your starting position.
Exhale, contract your lats and pull your torso up by drawing the shoulders and the upper arms down and back. The forearms should do not work.
Inhale and slowly back to the starting position when your arms are extended and your lats stretched.


Do you want to watch more exercise videos? Subscribe to my YouTube channel.