Health & Fitness

Shona Vertue On the Importance Of A Strong Back Now It’s Backless Season

The party is well and truly in the back, but what’s the best way to create a strong and sexy back?

Take one scroll on Instagram and your feed will be full of spaghetti straps, open backs and one shoulders. The party is well and truly in the back, and even with our temperamental British weather the sleeves are coming off. While we’re not suggesting you only train during British prime time, we totally get it if you want to start off the summer feeling strong. We’ve enlisted the help of personal trainer, yoga teacher and creator of The Vertue Method, Shona Vertue, to bring you the best back advice there is.

‘Aside from the fact that a strong and sculpted back looks sexy, your back musculature is also what keeps you upright,’ Shona tells us. ‘It’s so easy for us to neglect training our backs because we don’t see it in the mirror – however, skipping back day is like cutting out carbs, it’s unbalanced and isn’t good for our bodies.’

‘Good posture benefits us in so many ways, from our digestive system to a pain free body – and not forgetting how having sexy back can make us look!’ Oh, and having a strong back can help to combat the stress of tapping away at a desk all day long. Need we say anymore? Shona recommends working these key exercises into your routine once per week.

1. The barbell deadlift

The deadlift, like the squat, is an essential move for our bodies. This move works your middle and lower back, so it’s perfect if you plan on going backless all summer long. This multi-joint movement also works your glutes, and demands a lot of energy from the body so if you only have a short amount of time to work out, this is the move for you.

2. TRX Row

Also known as the suspension trainer, this piece of equipment enables you to use your own body weight as resistance. This exercise is great for strengthening your upper back, as well as your shoulders and core.

3. Single arm bent over dumbbell row

If you want to give yourself an all over upper body workout, this is the move for you. Single arm dumbbell rows engage your latissimus Dorsi (or lats), your shoulders, and your biceps. Shona encourages her clients to train their upper bodies uni-laterally, which means one side at a time. Her reason? This develops balance on each side of the body

4. Wide grip chin ups

This one is hard, we won’t sugar coat it for you. But as Shona says, if you can master it – you’ll feel pretty bad-ass. As well as developing stronger and bigger lats, this works the back, abs and even biceps to help sculpt and tone your arms too.

5. Hamstring curl

This one can be done from the comfort of your own floor, with the help of your new BFF, a towel. Shona tells us that neglecting your hamstrings can lead to an array of postural problems, as most don’t realise they are a postural muscle and designed to keep us upright. Try this move to keep you standing tall and feeling confident.

Shona’s book, The Vertue Method: A Stronger, Fitter And Healthier You, is available to buy now on Amazon.

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