Back And Core Workout – April 2015

This is a workout I did the other day. I was pleased with how well it worked and how efficient it was. It did not take too much time, but I definitely felt a great pump and was sore all over the next day. Try it out and let me know what you think.

Photo by Kevin Thomas Garcia

Model: Alec Varcas
Photo by Kevin Thomas Garcia

30 minutes of moderate intensity cardio.

Working Sets:

  • 1. Superset 1: 4 rounds
    • 3 Drop sets of seated rows. 10 reps each. (10 reps at heavy, medium, then light weight)
    • 10 raised shoulder push-ups
    • 45 second hollow hold
    • 1 minute rest
  • 2. 50 reps of Lsit pull-ups
    (10 sets of 5 with a 30 second rest)
    • 3. Superset 2: 3 rounds
      • 15 reps of rear delt flyes
      • 1 minute side plank on each side
    • 4. 5 sets of farmer carries
      • 5. 10 handstands until failure
        • 6. Stretch
          • TIPS:
            1. For my moderate intensity cardio, I decided to walk at 4.0 speed on a 7.5% incline on the treadmill for 30 minutes. This burned a little over 300 calories.
            2. When I say “3 Drop sets of seated rows. 10 reps each,” start with a heavier weight and do 10 reps of seated rows. Immediately after, lower the weight and do another 10 reps, and then lower it one more time and do another 10 reps. You will do 30 reps total during this drop set, and eventually end up doing 120 total after you do the 4 rounds of that super set. I ended with doing 120lbs, then 80 lbs, then 40 lbs.
            3. During the “50 reps of Lsit pull-ups,” you can break them up however you want. I did 10 sets of 5 reps with a 30 second rest in between each set. Also, during this exercise, you can use a wide grip, or a close grip.
            4. When I did the “10 handstands until failure,” I did mine off the wall and just tried to hold my position. If you are not comfortable with handstands, try holding the handstand against the wall for as long as you can.

            Hope you enjoy this workout as much as I did. Let me know what you think or if you ended up modifying any of the exercises. If you have any questions, comments, or ideas for new topics, contact me at

            Handstand Negatives

            Handstand Negatives 1

            This is the next step in learning how to do Handstand Pushups. If you have not tried any of the previous workouts suggested in order to learn how to do a handstand pushup, CLICK HERE. Handstand Negatives depend on a slow controlled motion to strengthen and train your back, shoulder, and core muscles.

            To Perform Handstand Negatives:
            1. Place a pad, pillow, or soft surface on the floor and against the wall.
            2. Face the wall and prepare to kick up into a handstand. To do so, place your hands a few inches away from the wall, on either side of the pad, and kick your legs up. You should end in an upside-down position with your back facing the wall.
            3. Bend at your elbows and slowly lower your head down to the pad.
            4. Lower your legs back to the ground by pushing off the wall with your feet.
            5. Stand back up and repeat steps 2-5 for the allotted amount of reps.

            Handstand Negatives 2

            1. The exercise is ALL ABOUT CONTROL. Holding the handstand position will practice stability, but also the lowering down will activate those muscles needed to do a handstand pushup.
            2. When lowering your head down to the pad, try to lower as slow as possible. Taking 3-5 seconds is ideal. The slow motion will make this exercise hard, but effective. It will really test and work a wide arrange of muscles in your upper body.
            3. Once your head is down on the pad, try pushing up from this position. It is ok if you can’t, just kick up into a handstand before every negative. If you can do a pushup, do another handstand negative after the pushup.
            4. Try doing 5 negatives at a time at first and then try and work your way up to 10 consecutive reps. At first you may not be able to lower yourself slowly, but over time really test yourself and try to lower yourself as slow as possible.

            Have you ever tried Handstand Negatives? Have you been following my guide to learning handstand pushups? Let me know what you think. Contact me at with any questions, comments, or ideas for new topics.

            Raised Shoulder Pushups

            Raised Shoulder Pushup: Step 1

            Raised Shoulder Pushup: Step 2

            Once you have mastered the regular Shoulder Pushup, it is now time to increase the difficulty. These Raised Shoulder Pushups are the second step in the progression toward achieving handstand pushups. This exercise will help activate and strengthen the muscles in your back, shoulders, arms and core that you need to perform the more difficult handstand pushup.

            To Perform Raised Shoulder Pushups:
            1. While facing the forward, start by putting your hand on the ground and legs up on a raised surface behind you(bench or table).
            2. Straighten your legs and straighten your back to create and ‘L’ Shape with your body. You will need to activate your core to hold this position.
            3. Bend at the elbows and lower so your head is just above the floor.
            4. Push back up to straighten your arms and return to the ‘L’ position.
            5. Repeat Steps 3 and 4 for the allotted amount of reps.

            1. If you have not tried regular shoulder pushups prior to this exercise, please Click Here to see how to perform a shoulder pushup.
            2. Keep your back and legs straight to activate your shoulders, core and lats correctly.
            3. Really use your core to keep the ‘L” shape in your body. Do not let your hips droop.
            4. The tall the surface the harder the exercise is, so try starting with something that is only a few inches off the ground first and then work your way up to a taller surface such as a table.
            5. Keep your neck in line with your spine. Don’t lift your head to look at the floor. That will cause unnecessary tension.

            Have you tried Raised Shoulder Pushups? Are you working on getting handstand pushups? Contact me at with questions, comments, stories, or ideas for other topics.

            Elevated Reverse Hyperextensions with a Stability Ball

            Elevated Reverse Hyperextensions follow the same concept as Reverse Hyperextensions that are done on the ground, however when elevated you are able to increase your range of motion and challenge your core stabilization. To perform the exercise, all you need is an exercise ball and either a bench or a table. If you have not tried Reverse Hyperextensions on the floor, Click Here to view my past post and to see how to perform the exercise.

            Elevated Reverse Hyperextensions: Step 1

            Elevated Reverse Hyperextensions: Step 2

            To do Elevated Reverse Ball Hyperextensions:
            1. Place the Exercise ball on the elevated surface (table or bench).
            2. Carefully lie down, facing forward, with your abdomen on top of the exercise ball. Grab the sides of the bench or table with your hands. Keep your legs straight and have your feet as low as you can have them. They should not be on the bench or table, but rather over the side.
            3. While keeping your legs extended, raise your legs up as high as you can.
            4. Slowly lower your legs back down.
            4. Repeat Steps 3-4 for the allotted amount of reps. (I like to do 5 sets of 10 reps.)

            1. Be careful when you are on top of the table or bench. Use your core and your arms to stabilize yourself. If you feel like you are tipping over, try performing Reverse Hyperextensions on the ground. Click Here to see how to perform this exercise on the ground.
            2. This exercise is not about speed or how high you can get your legs, but it is all about the form. Control the motion and take your time with each rep.
            3. When your legs are at the highest point, try to hold the position for about a second before you lower your legs back down. This will increase you muscle activation and make the exercise more affective.
            4. Do not use the ball to bounce your legs up in the air. Doing so could cause muscle strain or you could possibly fall off the bench or table which may lead to many other injuries.

            Do you like this exercise? Do you have any other exercises you like to do? Contact me at with questions, comments, or ideas for other posts.