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Fast Results for Back and Chest Workouts for Women

Fast Results for Back and Chest Workouts for Women


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Stick to mainly free-weight moves.

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Combining your chest and back workouts in one routine can work as a way of cutting down gym time without sacrificing intensity. A well-developed back can help enhance your hourglass figure, according to personal trainer John Romaniello, while female figure coach Heather Dees writes on the Fitness RX website that training the chest helps prevent injuries and improve posture. For fast results you need the right rep ranges and workout approach.

Time-Saving Supersets

The good thing about training your chest and back in the same workout is that you can switch from a chest exercise to a back exercise with minimal rest in between. Doing this is known as a superset and it works in this instance as your chest and back perform opposing muscle actions -- so, while one is working, the other is getting rest. Trainer Jennifer Andrews suggests buddying up with a friend to perform your supersets to keep yourself motivated. A typical superset would be a chest exercise, followed immediately by a back exercise, then a one- to two-minute rest, before repeating a further two to three times.

Champion Chest

Focus mainly on free-weight or body-weight moves for your chest, as these recruit more muscles. Strength coach Nia Shanks recommends several basic exercises -- regular pushups, dumbbell bench presses, incline dumbbell bench presses, one-arm incline presses, suspended pushups on gymnastic rings and parallel bar dips. For the dumbbell moves, pick a weight that you can complete a challenging eight to 12 reps. On the body-weight exercises, modify them so you can still get eight to 12. This might mean dropping to your knees for pushups, or using an assisted machine for dips.

A Better Back

Back exercises fall into two categories: horizontal pulls and vertical pulls. Your vertical pulls are exercises like rows -- performed using a barbell, dumbbells, a cable machine, or even kettlebells and resistance bands. Vertical pulls are lat pull-downs and chin-ups. Many women struggle with chin-ups and pull-ups, but there's no reason why you can't work your way up to them. Coach Chris Merritt, Beyond Strength Performance, suggests a progressive approach. Start with suspension pull-ups. These are performed using a suspension trainer, with the straps set at chest-height and your feet on the floor, then as you get more confident, move on to band-assisted pull-ups and pull-ups with slow negatives, before attempting the real thing.

Stealing the Show

Putting it all together, a sample chest and back workout for fast results may start with a superset of incline dumbbell presses and chin-ups. For the presses, perform eight reps and aim for five reps of whatever chin-up progression you're currently on. Complete this superset four times. Move to one-arm dumbbell presses supersetted with one-arm dumbbell rows next for three sets of 10 to 12 each and finish your routine with another three sets of 10 to 12 on a pushup variation and cable rows. Aim to add weight or increase your reps each session and do this workout once a week.



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