So you’ve put in the time to get fit. You then worked hard at staying fit and are looking and feeling the best you’ve felt in years.
But suddenly the world goes crazy.
You can’t go out and your gym has shut down anyway. How are you going to continue the strides you’ve made working out your back and shoulders?
In fact, how are you even going to maintain your hard won gains?
Don’t give up. Just because you can’t use the strength training equipment you’re used to doesn’t mean you can’t exercise. You may have some basic equipment at home.
You can do a lot with dumbbells, kettlebells and Olympic barbells, all readily available from stores such as Juke Gyms. But even doing bodyweight exercises will help.
So let’s look at some great do at home workouts to continue work on your back and shoulders.
Bodyweight workouts can be highly effective but are often overlooked. For a starter, the pushup is one of the most basic bodyweight exercises there is. It is a great shoulder workout and good for pecs, triceps, core and back.
A variant to work the shoulders harder is the pike pushup, which you start in the downward dog position. Lower yourself then return to the starting position. The move really works those shoulders!
For your back the plank is a great exercise. It’s deceptively simple but really works your upper and lower back, core, pecs and shoulders.
While bodyweight exercises can be effective, it’s definitely worthwhile buying a set of dumbbells to work your back and shoulders. Good dumbbell workouts don’t need you to do a ton of exercises. Just pick the most effective, focus on keeping good form throughout the movement and work hard.
The bent over row targets your upper back and with dumbbells can be performed with both arms or as a single arm workout. It also works out your lower back, shoulders and arms. The single arm row is good for core stability too.
The reverse fly can be performed bent over or on an bench if you have one. It targets the rear shoulders and upper back and is more challenging when done on a slightly inclined bench.
The overhead press is excellent for working your shoulders. Do it standing or seated and with palms facing forward or turned towards each other in a hammer grip.
Another great shoulder exercise is the lateral raise. It’s another deceptively simple exercise that works your shoulders hard. The last few reps should be a real challenge.
These four exercises can also be performed with a resistance band.
If you own a kettlebell then you’re certain to the kettlebell swing. It’s the king and queen of kettlebell exercises. As well as a tremendous cardio workout, the kettlebell swing exercises your lower back, core, hamstrings and glutes.
For your upper back, shoulders, abs and quads the kettlebell clean and jerk is tough but highly effective. You can also perform a bent over row using a kettlebell. Like the dumbbell version it is excellent for back, shoulders and arms.
A barbell with a good selection of suitable weight plates makes a great home gym. Pick a handful of good back and shoulder workouts for a really effective gym session at home.
Once again add bent over rows into your routine. It’s one of the most effective back workouts you can do with barbells. And if you’re looking to really bulk up your back then you’ll want to consider the following variant.
Named after six-time Mr. Olympia winner Dorian Yates, the Yates row is highly effective at working your upper back. You perform the move in a more upright position than a regular bent over row and with an underhand grip. This allows you to lift more weight.
The military press is so called as at one time it was used as a strength test for servicemen. The movement targets the shoulders but also exercises the triceps, core and legs. The military press differs from the standard overhead press in that the feet are together forcing the core to be more active during the movement.
As you can see, home confinement doesn’t need to be the end of your exercise regimen. If you’ve been working hard at the gym on your back and shoulders you don’t need to throw away all those gains.
Bodyweight exercises can be useful if you have no equipment at home but a small investment will get you a set of dumbbells, kettlebells or barbells.
When you have your own fully equipped gym you’ve got no excuse not to exercise. What are you waiting for?