Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) FM 21-20 / TC 3-22.20 Training Info

Army Fitness Handbook – 12 – Resistance Exercises – Back

Resistance Exercises – Back

Bent-over Row

Preparation

Bend knees slightly and bend over bar with back straight. Grasp bar with a wide overhand grip. Can also be performed on machine.

Execution

Pull bar to upper waist. Return until arms are extended and shoulders are stretched forward. Repeat.

Bent-over Row w/Dumbbells
Preparation

Kneel over side of bench with arm and leg to side. Grasp dumbbell.

Execution

Pull dumbbell to side until upper arm is just beyond horizontal or height of back. Return until arm is extended and shoulder is stretched forward. Repeat. Continue with opposite arm.

Comments

Allow scapula to articulate but do not rotate torso in an effort to throw weight up.

Bent Knee Good-morning

Preparation

Position barbell on back of shoulders and grasp bar to sides.

Execution

Bend hips to lower torso forward until parallel to the floor. Bend the knees slightly during the decent. Raise torso until hips are extended. Repeat.

Comments

Target muscle is exercised isometrically. Throughout lift keep back straight. Quadriceps can be kept bent throughout movement.

Deadlift
Preparation

With feet flat beneath bar squat down and grasp bar with a shoulder width or slightly wider over hand or mixed grip. May use dumbbells also.

Execution

Lift bar by extending hips and knees to full extension. Pull shoulders back at top of lift if rounded. Return and repeat.

Comments

Target muscle is exercised isometrically. Throughout lift keep hips low, shoulders high, arms and back straight. Keep bar close to body to improve mechanical leverage.

Stiff-leg Deadlift
Preparation

Stand with a shoulder width or narrower stance on an 8″ platform with feet flat beneath bar. Bend over and grasp barbell with a shoulder width or slightly wider overhand or mixed grip. May use dumbbells also.

Execution

With knees bent, lift the bar by extending at hips until standing upright. Pull shoulders back at top of lift if rounded. Extend knees at top if desired. Lower bar to the top of the feet by bending hips. Bend the knees slightly during the decent and keep waist straight, flexing only slightly at the bottom. Repeat.

Comments

Lower back may bend slightly during full hip flexion. Target muscle is exercised isometrically if lower back does not bend. Throughout lift keep arms and back straight. Quadriceps can be kept bent throughout movement.

Shrug
Preparation

Stand holding barbell with a overhand or mixed grip; shoulder width or slightly wider. May use dumbbells, cable or machine also.

Execution

Elevate shoulders as high as possible. Lower and repeat.

Comments

Since this movement becomes more difficult as full shoulder elevation is achieved, a height criteria for shoulder elevation may be needed. For example, raising the shoulders until the slope of the shoulders become horizontal may be considered adequate depending upon individual body structure.

Lying Row
Preparation

Lie chest down on elevated bench. Grasp dumbbells below.

Execution

Pull dumbbells to sides until upper arm is just beyond horizontal or height of back. Return until arms are extended and shoulders are stretched forward. Repeat.

Comments

Bench should be high enough to allow shoulders to stretch forward without dumbbells hitting floor.

Back Extension Machine
Preparation

Sit in machine with back against padded lever. Push hips back against back of seat by pushing feet against platform. Arch back in “C” shape.

Execution

Extend spine until fully hyperextended. Return and repeat.

Comments

To avoid hip movement, push hips back into seat by pushing feet into platform throughout exercise. Position foot platform so a small space remains between edge of seat and back of lower thigh. Use seat belt if it becomes difficult to stabilize hips.

Hyper-extension bench
Preparation

Position thighs prone on padding. Hook heels on platform lip or under padded brace. Hold weight to chest or behind neck.

Execution

Lower body by bending waist until fully flexed. Raise, or extend waist until torso is parallel to legs. Repeat.

Comments

Although articulation of the waist is emphasized, some hip extension may accommodate movement. If weight is positioned behind head, neck extensors act as stabilizers

Pullover Machine
Preparation

Adjust seat height so lever is near shoulder axis. Sit on machine and Push foot lever. Place elbows in pads and grasp bar from behind. Release foot lever and place feet on platform or to sides.

Execution

Pull over until elbows are to sides. Return until shoulder is fully flexed, or upper arm is parallel to torso. Repeat.

Comments

When finished Push foot lever before releasing arm from lever. Release foot lever after releasing arm from lever.

One Arm High Row
Preparation

Sit on platform or bench with knees bent. Grasp cable stirrup with one hand. Straighten lower back and position knees with a slight bend. Allow shoulder with stirrup to be pulled forward with a slight twist through waist. Also done on machine.

Execution

Pull cable attachment to side, slightly twisting through waist. Pull shoulders back and push chest forward during contraction. Return until arm is extended and shoulder is stretched forward. Repeat.

Comments

It is optional to bend the lower back forward during the stretch and pull it upright during contraction. In which case, the Erector Spinae becomes a synergist muscle.

One Arm Row
Preparation

Sit on platform or bench with knees bent. Grasp cable stirrup with one hand. Straighten lower back and position knees with a slight bend. Allow shoulder with stirrup to be pulled foward with a slight twist through waist. Also done on machine.

Execution

Pull cable attachment to side, slightly twisting through waist. Pull shoulders back and push chest forward during contraction. Return until arm is extended and shoulder is stretched forward. Repeat.

Comments

It is optional to bend the lower back forward during the stretch and pull it upright during contraction. In which case, the Erector Spinae becomes a synergist muscle.

Seated High Row
Preparation

Sit on platform with knees bent and grasp cable attachment. Straighten lower back and position knees with a slight bend. Also done on machine.

Execution

Pull cable attachment to waist. Pull shoulders back and push chest forward during contraction. Return until arms are extended and shoulders are stretched forward. Repeat.

Comments

It is optional to bend the lower back forward during the stretch and pull it upright during contraction. In which case, the Erector Spinae becomes a Synergists muscle.

Seated Row
Preparation

Sit on platform with knees bent and grasp cable attachment. Straighten lower back and position knees with a slight bend. Also done on machine.

Execution

Pull cable attachment to waist. Pull shoulders back and push chest forward during contraction. Return until arms are extended and shoulders are stretched forward. Repeat.

Comments

It is optional to bend the lower back forward during the stretch and pull it upright during contraction.

Close Grip Pull-down
Preparation

Grasp parallel cable attachment. Sit with thighs under supports. Also done on machine.

Execution

Pull down cable attachment to upper chest. Return until arms and shoulders are fully extended. Repeat.

Front Pull-down
Preparation

Grasp cable bar with a wide grip. Sit with thighs under supports. Also done on machine.

Execution

Pull down cable bar to upper chest. Return until arms and shoulders are fully extended. Repeat.

Rear Pull-down
Preparation

Grasp cable bar with a wide grip. Sit with thighs under supports.

Execution

Pull down cable bar behind neck. Return until arms and shoulders are fully extended. Repeat.

Underhand Pull-down
Preparation

Grasp cable bar with a underhand grip. Sit with thighs under supports. Also done on machine.

Execution

Pull down cable bar to upper chest until elbows are to the sides. Return until arms and shoulders are fully extended. Repeat.

Chin-up
Preparation

Step up and grasp bar with wide overhand grip. Step down onto assistance lever or platform. Also done on machine.

Execution

Pull body up until the chin is just above the bar. Lower body until arms and shoulders are fully extended. Repeat.

Comments

If no assisted machine is used, assist as needed by allowing training partner to pull feet up behind legs or push self up with legs on elevation.

Close Grip Chin-up
Preparation

Step up and grasp parallel grips. Step down onto assistance lever or platform. Also done on machine.

Execution

Pull body up until elbows are to the sides. Lower body until arms and shoulders are fully extended. Repeat.

Comments

If no assisted machine is used, assist as needed by allowing training partner to pull feet up behind legs or push self up with legs on elevation.

Pull-up
Preparation

Step up and grasp bar with an wide overhand grip. Step down onto assistance lever or platform. Also done on machine.

Execution

Pull body up until neck reaches the height of the hands. Lower body until arms and shoulders are fully extended. Repeat.

Comments

If no assisted machine is used, assist as needed by allowing training partner to pull feet up behind legs or push self up with legs on elevation.

Rear Pull-up
Preparation

Step up and grasp bar with an overhand wide grip. Step down onto assistance lever or platform.

Execution

Pull body up until the bar touches the back of the neck. Lower body until arms and shoulders are fully extended. Repeat.

Comments

If no assisted machine is used, assist as needed by allowing training partner to pull feet up behind legs or push self up with legs on elevation.


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