Depending where you live, it may still be warm enough to wear swimsuits and backless tops or, maybe it’s starting to cool off and you still want to avoid those back-flab, bra-line indents. This move of the week works the latissimus dorsi muscles in the back, which run along the length and sides (also referred to as “wings”). Secure a resistance band around a sturdy, stable piece of furniture or column at about mid-torso height. Grab the handles and back up far enough to add a LOT of resistance. From here, bend right at your hips; keep your back flat, abs engaged and shoulders pulled down your back, knees slightly soft. Keep your head in line with your spine by looking down at a 45-degree angle, and your hips and bum far back (almost like you’re sitting back, acting like a counterbalance). Pull the band, using the back to initiate the movement, until both hands reach your shoulders then, slowly return to the start. Imagine that you are pulling a hat or shirt over your head, keeping your elbows wide. Do 15-20 reps.
Notes: Maintain your flat back and posture throughout while exhaling during the “pull” and inhaling during the release. Unless you have back issues, you should be able to handle more resistance than you think – so challenge yourself, you can always adjust as you fatigue.
Easier: Use a smaller diameter tubing, lighter resistance band, lengthen the band or position yourself closer to the attachment of the band. The bent over position calls for more abdominal and core work to stabilize against gravity, if this is challenging, position your anchor point higher up in line with your shoulders or directly overhead so you don’t have to bend over.
Harder: Do more reps, use a greater resistance band, and move further away. If you have access to a cable and pulley weight system, you can really add on the weight.