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Kasey Arena's Favorite Back Exercises

Our Ambassador Kasey Arena, aka Powercakes, is one hardcore POWERHOUSE. We are spotlighting her Favorite Back Exercises from her blog Powercakes. Be sure to check our her blog and this original post.


When it comes to back workouts, I love to switch things up! Our back is a big muscle group so there are a lot of different things we can do to target different parts of the back.

When you are using your back, you are “pulling” the weights as opposed to a chest/shoulder/tricep workout where you are “pushing” the weights. When you “pull” your biceps are also being utilized which is why a lot of people incorporate bicep exercises into their back workouts to really dig in, just like in this archived back & bicep workout.

I personally like to superset my exercises which is when you move from one right into the next without any rest in between. This is a great way to keep your heart rate elevated & keep those muscles working!

Since we can’t really “see” our backs working (unless you have a workout partner that can snap some blog pics for you) I try really hard to have a “mind-muscle connection”. Basically, you want to visualize in your head your muscles working and concentrate on using the muscles you are trying to work. For example, when you do a pull down, really focus on pulling with the lats & back to create the movement.

Here are a few of my favorite back supersets (with link how-to’s from bodybuilding.com).


[Close Grip Lat Pull Downs] superset with [Straight Arm Lat Pull Downs]

The cool thing about exercises is that you can switch things up simply by changing the placement of your hands. For example, we did pull downs with an underhand grip which changes up the feeling & really hits those biceps as well! We did 4 sets of 8-10 depending on the weight we chose.

I don’t always have a set number of reps that I do because I like to continue to challenge myself once I’ve successfully completely 10-12 reps at a certain weight.

For example, if I can do a 80lb lat pull down for 12 reps, I will then go up in weight & try to complete as many as I can (with proper form) at the next weight. This is how I’ve been able to make progress with the weights I can lift!


[Underhand Grip Pull Downs] superset with [Cable Rows]

Rockin’ the new POWERCAKES TANKS!

The past few of my back workouts have involved these movements along with regular wide grip pull downs & reverse grip bent over rows.

I hope you’ll try out some new back exercises & really work on the mind-muscle connection to “feel” each movement & challenge yourself!

As you can see in the above pictures, my goal this week is to “stay positive, be happy, & live free”. I think making the decision to do things we love to do is a step in the direction of living free. Doing more of what makes you happy & such a freeing feeling. Staying positive, even if there is something negative around you, is not always easy but it is a step in the happier direction.

So whether it’s trying a new back workout, tasting a new food, creating a new recipe, or catching up with friends or loved ones, I hope this week you add a new goal to your list & do more of what you love to do.