Frank Mikulka's Weekly Fitness Tip
Whatís a Good Exercise to Get More Defined Back Muscles?
(June 26, 2007)

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This time of year we get to show off more skin. My arms are decent, but I would like my back to be more defined. I heard that the seated row would be a good exercise to target these muscles. What is it and how do I do it? (Trisha, Smithtown)

The seated row will help you muscle up your back, biceps and rear delts, also strengthening muscles that will improve posture and support your spine. Consult a trainer for proper execution. Basically,

  • Grab handles or a bar and extend your legs or bend them underneath you depending on machine type. Knees are slightly bent when extended, feet are flexed and hip-width apart.
  • Arms extend in front, chest height, keeping abs tight and shoulder blades down and together.
  • Bend elbows and draw handles toward ribcage. Release, extend arms and repeat. It helps to imagine at the finish of the movement, squeezing a rock between your shoulder blades.
AVOID: Dropping your head or chin as this strains the neck and upper spine; donít lean back as this strains the lower back because your shoulder blades canít retract. Donít extend your legs straight as this will cause lower back pain, instead keep a bend in the knees.

Listen to Frank Mikulka’s Weekly Fitness Tips every week on Debbie Mandel’s Turn On Your Inner Light Show every Tuesday evening from 7:00 to 7:30 pm on WGBB 1240AM. Also available on