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Pullovers

Back

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Beginner

Set 1: 12-15 repetitions; Set 2: 10-12; Set 3: 10-12

Intermediate

Set 1: 12-15: Set 2: 10-12; Set 3: 10-12: Set 4: 7-10

Advanced

Set 1: 12-15; Set 2: 10-12: Set 3: 10-12: Set 4: 7-10

Set 5: 7-10

Equipment Needed:

• Dumbbell • Exercise bench

Positioning:

• Grab your dumbbell and lie flat on your back on the bench. • Using a diamond grip to hold the weight, position it straight up over your chest with the top of dumbbell resting in the palms of your hands, which should be facing up.

Completing the exercise:

• Breathing in, slowly begin to lower the weight down and over your head. • Stop the motion when you feel the stretch in your chest and shoulders. (The weight should be a bit lower than the top of your head at this point.) • Tightening your abdominal muscles, slowly begin to raise the weight back up and above your chest. (Tightening your core throughout this movement will help provide stability and control.)

Considerations:

• You may want to start with a lighter weight that is easier to control for better stability throughout your shoulders.

Latissimus pulldowns

Back

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Beginner

Set 1: 12-15 repetitions; Set 2: 10-12; Set 3: 7-10

Intermediate

Set 1: 12-15; Set 2: 10-12; Set 3: 7-10; Set 4: 3-6

Advanced

Set 1: 12-15; Set 2: 10-12; Set 3: 7-10; Set 4: 3-6

Set 5: 3-6

Equipment Needed:

• Weighted cable pulley station with adjustable weights and seat

Positioning:

• Adjust the seat height so that your quadriceps are resting comfortably on the machine’s thigh pads. This helps keep your lower body stationary as you pull the overhead bar down. • Grab the bar with a wide, overhand grip — be sure that your knuckles are pointing upward. Sit back down on the bench with knees under the supporting pads. • You should be able to just reach the bar when stretching your arms up from a seated position. If you can’t, adjust either the cable attached to the bar or your seat.

Completing the exercise:

• Pull the bar down to about upper chest level, while squeezing your shoulder blades together. • Be sure not to push your arms forward just to pull the bar lower. Keep the bar where you shoulders are naturally collapsed and your forearms are upright. •Gently return the bar to its starting position and repeat the exercise. • Once you have finished your set, return the bar to its full upright position, standing up to do so, if necessary.

Considerations:

• Good posture is important in this exercise, so be sure to keep your back straight, chest up and glutes on the seat.

Rows

Back

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Beginner

Set 1: 12-15 repetitions; Set 2: 10-12; Set 3: 7-10

Intermediate

Set 1: 12-15; Set 2: 10-12; Set 3: 7-10; Set 4: 3-6

Advanced

Set 1: 12-15; Set 2: 10-12; Set 3: 7-10; Set 4: 3-6

Set 5: 3-6

Equipment Needed:

• Dumbbell • Exercise bench

Positioning:

• Grabbing your dumbbell in your right hand, hold the weight with your palm facing your torso. • Place your left knee on the bench and bend forward — your torso should almost be parallel to the floor — and place your left hand on the bench for stability. Your left hand should line up underneath your right shoulder. • Make sure your back remains straight and you maintain a slight bend in your right leg, which should stay planted on the floor. • Keep your head up, relaxed and in a neutral position.

Completing the exercise:

• Breathing out, tighten your core and use your arms to slowly lift the dumbbell up to your side. • Keep your elbows tucked in close to your body. • At the top of the movement, tighten your back muscles and hold the position for a second. • Breathing in, slowly lower the weight back down to its starting position.

Considerations:

• Maintaining good form is very important. If you notice your back starting to arch or slump, decrease the amount of weight you are lifting or stop the exercise.

Lower back extension/flexion

Back

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Beginner

Set 1: 12-15 repetitions; Set 2: 10-12; Set 3: 10-12

Intermediate

Set 1: 12-15; Set 2: 10-12; Set 3: 10-12; Set 4: 7-10

Advanced

Set 1: 12-15; Set 2: 10-12; Set 3: 10-12; Set 4: 7-10

Set 5: 7-10

Equipment Needed:

• Marcy Roman chair

Positioning:

• Locking your feet into the foot rests, position your body so your hips are at the top of the bench’s pad. Keep your body straight and your core tight. • Place your hands on either side of the back of your head — making sure not to interlace your fingers. You can also cross your arms in front of you, and you have the option of holding a free weight to your chest.

Completing the exercise:

• Breathing out, slowly begin to lower your upper body down toward the ground until it forms a 90-degree angle with your lower body. • Breathing in, tighten your core and back muscles and slowly raise your upper body back up to the starting position.

Shrugs

Back

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Beginner

Set 1: 12-15 repetitions; Set 2: 10-12; Set 3: 7-10

Intermediate

Set 1: 12-15; Set 2: 10-12; Set 3: 7-10; Set 4: 3-6

Advanced

Set 1: 12-15; Set 2: 10-12; Set 3: 7-10; Set 4: 3-6; Set 5: 3-6

Equipment Needed:

• Dumbbells

Positioning:

• Stand straight with a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing your torso, and your arms extended straight down at your sides.

Completing the exercise:

• Breathing out, lift the dumbbells by raising your shoulders as high as possible while keeping your arms straight. • Hold the contraction at the top of the movement before slowly lowering the weights back down to the starting position.

Considerations:

• Be careful not to use your biceps or triceps to complete this exercise, relying instead on your shoulders to raise and lower the weights.