How many times have you walked into a gym and seen the free weight section full with men (sorry, but in this case they are the majority) doing repetitive chest and bicep exercises? It seems current fitness fashion is to grow the front of your body as BIG as POSSIBLE and forget about functionality, fitness and health.

Other than looking like “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”, there are more serious consequences to this practice; someone who trains up the pecs and arms without training the back and abdomen may suffer some specific injuries or conditions, simply because the surrounding muscle groups are not prepared to deal with the additional bulk or pressure.

Whether you are looking to improve physique, loose weight, get into a sport or start modelling; everything should come from the back of the body. The muscle groups in the lower back include stabilizers and spinal support muscles, these make up part of the core (the body’s foundation muscle group). The core, in a sense, carries the body and distributes pressure to help support the body’s internal infrastructure. Many kinds of lower back exercises, such as a leg curl and back hyperextension in Pilates actively work the lower back and help make the body’s core functions stronger.

The upper back & mid back muscle groups promote good posture and functionality in movement, therefore will ultimately assist in making every day life as easy as possible; as well as preventing injuries due to body imbalances, they also prevent improper lifting techniques and pressure on the mid and lower back, causing further problems. From sitting and standing to the most intense of sports; having strong and flexible back muscles is of upmost importance.

Whoever you are, try adding a range of back exercises into your programme (your chest and biceps will infact look more impressive with good shoulder positioning and balance with the back 😉 hehe).


Asalaamu Alaykum guys!

Safiyah Esack – 05/07/2013

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