A Back Workout That Uses Planks Variations and Dumbbells

Before the holidays take off full speed ahead, we’re bringing you tons of opportunities to sweat with us. We did a workout at SPiN on Saturday, we’re heading to NTC on Monday for round two of #CarpeMonday and taking a special #Sweatworking trip to FlyWheel for a charity ride Saturday November 19. Plus, we’ve got more Facebook Live video workouts and 30-minute workouts you can do in the comfort of your own home – all happening within the span of a week.

Just wait to see what we have in store for you for the rest of 2016.

Yesterday’s 30-minute workout was a quick (and lethal) treadmill blast. Today’s is a strength workout that incorporates a lot of moves to build back strength. It’s a great workout to pair with any other workout of your choice, or do on its own if you’re like me and your list of to-dos just seems to be getting longer and longer by the minute.

And if you do this workout, let us know here.

Here are the exercises:

  • Bent-over narrow row
  • Bird dogs (10 reps each side)
  • Front squats
  • 1-arm plank cross crunch (10 reps each side)
  • Plié squat with front serve
  • Half turkish get-up (10 reps each side)
  • Wide arm push-ups

Here’s what you do with them:

Have a medium and heavy set of dumbbells to work with. Complete 10 – 12 reps (or one set) of the first move, then move onto the second one.

Once you’ve finished one set of each of the moves, hold a 60-second plank. Then repeat everything again starting from exercise one. Complete a total of 3 rounds and then call it quits!

These are the moves broken down:

Bent-over narrow row: Hold two dumbbells, bend your knees slightly and hinge forward from your hips. Keep your neck in line with the rest of your spine as you extend the weights down in front of you. Exhale as you draw your elbows straight back and inhale to return to your starting position.

Bird dogs: From tabletop position, extend your right arm forward, thumb facing up, and left leg back. Aim to keep your hips square to the ground and back flat. When you exhale, draw your elbow and knee close to your body and inhale to return back to your outstretched position. Do 10 reps on each side to count as one set.asweatlife_backstrength_birddog asweatlife_backstrength_birddog2

Front squat: Place a dumbbell on each shoulder with the head of the weight resting lightly on top of your shoulder. Hold onto the weights lightly and keep your elbows facing up and drawing toward each other the whole time. Inhale to lower down into your squat, but keep your chest lifted and elbows up the whole time. Exhale to stand and tuck your glutes under at the top.
asweatlife_backstrength_frontsquat asweatlife_backstrength_frontsquat2

One-arm plank cross crunch: Begin in a plank position with palms on the ground. Walk your feet wider (or lower to your knees for more stability) and place your left hand in the middle, in between your gaze. Reach your right arm straight up and open out to the right. Keep your hips as square as possible as you do this. When you exhale, thread your right arm underneath your body, reaching to the left, then return to your lifted position. Do 10 reps on the right then 10 on the left to count as one set.


Plié squat with front serve: Start in a plie squat and the weights right at your hips. Make sure your knees are tracking right over your toes (don’t turn your toes out too far). Stay in your plié squat the whole time as you exhale and serve the weights straight out, palms facing up, and return them back to your hips. If your medium dumbbells are too heavy hold one on each end instead, as pictured.
asweatlife_backstrength_plie asweatlife_backstrength_plie2

Half Turkish get-up: Lie on your back with one weight in your right hand. Extend it straight overhead, in line with your arms. You might need to use two hands to get the weight all the way up, then release your left hand. You’ll keep your arm this straight and in this position the whole time. Bend your right knee (same knee bends as arm that’s straight). Look at the weight as you exhale, press down on your right foot and prop your weight up on your left forearm (as pictured). From here, you can either return back to the ground or continue to prop yourself up on your left hand, then add the optional hip lift and left leg lift. To return back to your starting position, reverse the movement in the same segments. Do 10 reps on the right and 10 on the left to count as one set.
asweatlife_backstrength_turkishhalf asweatlife_backstrength_turkishhalf2 asweatlife_backstrength_turkishhalf3 asweatlife_backstrength_turkishhalf4

Wide arm push-ups: Begin in a plank position. Walk your hands just under or a little wider than your shoulders. Lower down to a push-up with your elbows moving straight out, shoulder blades squeezing together behind you. Exhale to press back up to the top of the push-up.
asweatlife_backstrength_widepushup asweatlife_backstrength_widepushup2

Plank: With your hands under your shoulders, keep your shoulders, hips and heels in a straight line. Hold there.

(Disclaimer: This workout is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor is it a replacement for seeking medical treatment or professional nutrition advice. Do not start any nutrition or physical activity program without first consulting your physician.)

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About Maggie Umberger

Maggie moved to Chicago from North Carolina in 2014 with a degree in Journalism and Spanish, a 200-hour yoga certification, a group fitness cert and a passion to teach and to sweat. It wasn't until she found aSweatLife that she really started to feel at home. Here, she's incorporated her passion for health and wellness into her career as she helps to build the network of Ambassadors, trainers and fitness enthusiasts that exist within the aSweatLife ecosystem. You can also find her coaching at CrossTown Fitness and teaching yoga classes at Bare Feet Power Yoga, Yoga Six and exhale.

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