6 Exercises Kayla Itsines Does On The Reg To Get HER Back

Don't worry, pull ups aren't one of them!

Kayla Itsines Back Exercises
Image via @kayla_itsines

Believe it or not, there’s more to a strong upper body than looking good in a backless dress. It’s also vital for our posture.

Over time, poor movement patterns—like spending hours slouched over at a desk (guilty)—can cause tightness in the front of your body (chest and upper abdominals) and weakness in the back of your body (upper back, shoulders and neck). This imbalance can lead to changes in posture, such as the rounding of your shoulders and upper spine, called kyphosis.

There are a number of things you can do to limit kyphosis and one of them is strengthening your posterior chain (read: back). Below, I’ve shared my favourite exercises to do at home and in the gym. I recommend doing 3 sets of 12 reps each and if you don’t have equipment at home, improvise—I’m sure you have two water bottles or a carton of milk and jar of olive oil that could be used as a dumbbells!

AT HOME…

1Wide-Grip Seated Row

Note: For this exercise, you will need a resistance band or Theraband.

1. Begin in a seated position with your legs straight out in front of you. Wrap the Theraband or resistance band round the bottom of your feet and hold one end in each hand in a pronated grip (palms facing down). Sit up tall and draw your shoulders down and back. This is your starting position.
2. Using the muscles in your arms and back, bend your elbows outwards to increase tension in the Theraband or resistance band, making sure that your forearms remain level with the floor.
3. Extend your arms to return to the starting position. Repeat this process for 12-15 repetitions.

2Renegade Row

Note: For this exercise, you will need two dumbbells weighing between 3 and 6 kgs each.

1. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, begin in a push-up position on your knees or toes. This is your starting position.
2. Release your right hand, bend your elbow and bring the dumbbell in towards you, making sure that your elbows gently grazes the right side of your body. Keep your abdominals engaged to prevent your hips from swaying.
3. Lower the dumbbell and repeat this process with your left hand.
4. Continue alternating from right to left until you have completed 20-24 repetitions.

3Bent-Over Reverse Fly

Note: For this exercise, you will need two dumbbells weighing between 3 and 6 kgs each.

1. Holding a dumbbell in each hand, stand with your feet approximately shoulder-width apart. While keeping a slight bend in your knees, hinge forward from your hips so that your torso is almost parallel to the floor. Extend your arms directly below your chest. This is your starting position.
2. Separate the dumbbells and lift them both outwards and upwards (like a bird!). You should feel a small squeeze between your shoulder blades.
3. Lower the dumbbells to return to the starting position. Repeat this process for 12-15 repetitions.

 

AT THE GYM…

4Lat Pulldown

Note: For this exercise, you will need to use the Lat Pulldown machine.

1. Attach the long bar to the machine.
2. Place your hands on the bar slightly wider than your shoulders in a pronated grip (palms facing away from you) and sit down on the bench, ensuring that your feet are shoulder-width apart and your legs are secure under the leg pads. This your starting position.
3. Lean back slightly from your hips and bend your elbows to bring the bar into your chest.
4. Lean forward and extend your elbows to return to the starting position. Repeat this process for 12-15 repetitions.

5Seated Row

Note: For this exercise, you will need to use the Seated Row machine.

1. Connect the close-grip attachment to the machine.
2. Place your hands on the close-grip attachment with a neutral grip (palms facing in). Sit down on the bench and place your feet on the foot plates. Extend your arms to hold the attachment at belly button height. Sit up tall and draw your shoulders down and back. This is your starting position.
3. Using the muscles in your arms and back, bend your elbows to bring the attachment in towards your belly button, making sure that your elbows gently graze the sides of your body.
4. Extend your elbows to return to the starting position. Repeat this process for 12-15 repetitions.

6Reverse Fly

Note: For this exercise, you will need to use the Dual Cable.

1. Remove any attachments and set the cable pulley at the bottom of the pole.
2. Holding the left handle in your right hand and right handle in your left hand, stand with your feet approximately shoulder-width apart. While keeping a slight bend in your knees, hinge forward from your hips so that your torso is almost parallel to the floor. Extend your arms directly below your chest. This is your starting position.
3. Separate the handles and lift them both outwards and upwards (like a bird!). You should feel a small squeeze between your shoulder blades.
4. Lower the handles to return to the starting position. Repeat this process for 12-15 repetitions.

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