Everyone always obsesses over their under arm fat, love handles and inner thighs - but there's one muscle group that is contantly ignored, and it makes me sad. There is nothing sexier than a sexy back. And your back is relatively easy to sculpt (compared to some other muscle groups - the muscles are natually visible, so toning them yields noticable results fairly quickly). So, here is our list of the top 10 workouts to sculpt those sexy posterior lumps.
1. Back & Shoulders @ Barry's Bootcamp.
I know I keep harping on this class, but that's because it freaking rocks. A whole class dedicated to back and shoulders? One of my favorite fitness finds.
2. Forza @ Equinox.
This sword class (yes, sword class, don't knock it til you try it) shocks your muscles in a totally unexpected way. Your entire upper backside will be stinging for days. Plus, you'll feel totally sexified when you're chopping that weapon around - especially when they put on the soundtrack to Pirates of the C.
3. TRX (my favorites: Exceed Fitness and Physicalmind/Chaise23)
TRX classes always give me a good run for my money when it comes to back and shoulders. Though classes are typically full-body, the straps lend themselves to great upper body moves, and I usually leave feeling like I've been kicked in the clavicles (okay so the clavicles are bones not muscles, excuse my poetic license Mr. fancy pants biologist)
4. Rigorous vinyasa / power yoga (my favorites: Prana Power Yoga, I.AM.YOU, Jivamukti)
Power yoga typically brings you through tons of vinyasas, which means you're constantly pushing yourself in and out of a downward dog. Read: major shoulder work. There's nothing like the backside afterburn 24 hours post-powersession.
5. Classes where you actually punch something (my favorites: Aerospace, Equinox, Mushin Mixed Martial Arts)
There's nothing like making contact to let out some aggression. It also does wonders for those delts. Bonus 1: These classes make you feel like you're a bond girl. Bonus 2: At Mushin, the "something" that you're hitting happens to be a professional MMA fighter.
6. Trapeze lessons @ Trapeze School New York.
As long as you're not afraid of heights, this shoulder workout is second-to-none (work your trapezius on the trapeze, get it??) Plus it pumps you with a shot of adrenaline, which compounds your post-workout "happy".
7. Rock climbing @ Brooklyn Boulders.
True, rock climbing is actually mostly about body position and footing, but a if you start doing this on the regular, I'll bet your bottom dollar that your back will start looking like sexy time (finger pull-ups, anyone?)
8. Join a Dodgeball league.
Seriously, this is only semi-silly. I'm in dodgeball league and it is an insanely awesome shoulder workout. Too bad I'm not ambidextrous.
9. Indo-Row @ Crossfit.
This stands for Indoor Rowing. Ever been on a rowing machine? Not easy. You can find a lot of these at Crossfit studios, or you can hop on one at the gym.
I have never seen this in group fitness format in New York (I've actually only done it in Minneapolis - random) but this class is like a spinning class for your arms and shoulders. Your arm muscles are much smaller than your leg muscles, so it's much harder to develop upper body endurance. You will be beet red after one of these sessions - and unable to perform basic functions for a few hours. Like pushing a door open.
Please enjoy this outrageously cheesy Krankcycle promo video.
11. Airdyne @ As 1.
I hate this machine with every cell of my body, but it's a KILLER workout. These are those 80s-looking things with the giant wheels that look like a mixture of an elliptical and a bike. So hard.
12. Any class @ SurfSET Fitness.
What's that? You think that this is a shameless plug? Come on now, we wouldn't be involved with SurfSET if they weren't giving us a totally killer workout. The paddle handles on this machine seriously work your triceps and back (have you ever tried paddling around trying to catch a wave in the water?) and all of the planking and balancing gets at the stabilizer muscles in your torso, front and back.
You can do it in a class, you can do it in the Hudson river, or you can sneak into the Central Park Pond (you get a better workout because someone's chasing you). Butterfly and backstroke, baby.
14. Core Fusion Cardio @ Exhale Spa.
With all of the planking, mountain climbers and vinyasa in this class, you'll work everything fiber in your trunk. Do we like the word trunk?
15. Yoga Union Back Care
Okay, so we haven't been there yet, but we are majorly intrigued by the yoga studio that just opened in Chelsea that purports to be primarily for back strengthening and injury prevention. Right up our (back) alley. Um. Pun fail.