Why does Meg Squats lift? Because it makes her strong—not just physically, but mentally and emotionally. "Because it makes me a badass," she says. That sounds like a great reason to jump into her back workout. In just three moves, you'll be hitting your middle back and your lats.
If you've seen Meg's squat workout or tried her full program Uplifted: Build Muscle and Strength with Meg Squats, you know she's big about warm-ups, no matter the workout. You should be, too, even if you're doing a relatively short workout like this one. She ascribes to the R.A.M.P. approach. The R stands for taking 10-15 minutes to raise her heart rate with some cardio and dynamic stretching. The A and M stand for activating and mobilizing using bands and movement patterns that mirror the exercises from the workout. The P stands for potentiating your body by doing light versions of the exercises in your workout.
"Don't be one of those people who just walks in the gym door and goes right to the bar," Meg says. "Be more intentional about your workout. Invest a short amount of time to prepare your body so you can get the most from everything you do."
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Wide-Grip Lat Pull-down
As with all these exercises, take it slow and easy here. Feel every inch of the move. Lean back about 30 degrees from vertical for this exercise, and keep it there; use your lats to pull the weight down. When you reach the fully contracted position, stop and squeeze your back muscles for a beat or two. Resist the temptation to lean farther back as you pull down the weight. If you feel like you have to lean back to lower the weights, you're using too much weight. Lighten the load and focus on good form.
Like the lat pull-down, this exercise is all about controlling the movement. If you're overloaded, you might feel the urge to throw more of your body weight into the act of raising the weight. You also might be tempted to lean back or use momentum or throw your shoulders forward—anything to get that bar down to your hips. Instead, keep your spine still and focus on moving the weight only with your lats.
Seated Cable Row
Not to repeat myself, but…keep the body English out of this exercise, too. This is not a movement for your legs or core—both of which you could engage if you do this exercise incorrectly. Of course, keep your core and legs tight as you do these rows, just don't actively engage them in moving the weight. Instead, focus on using the muscles in your middle back.