Whether youre a superhero with a world to save or just a normal guy working to get fit, you need a strong back to bear every burden.
Don Saladino, the trainer who helped Ryan Reynolds, Sebastian Stan, and other stars morph into superhero-ripped shape for movies like Deadpool and the Avengers, builds up his clients' backs with exercises like the feet elevated inverted row. "A stronger back results in a better deadlift," he said. "That results in a much stronger overall body."
To Perform the Exercise
You'll need either TRX bands, gymnastics rings, or a barbell placed in a low position in a power rack or Smith machine. You'll also need a box, bench, or platform for your feet.
- Lie on your back beneath the handles or bar and place your feet on top of the platform.
- Positioned the implement high enough that your back is lifted slightly off the ground, hanging. If you're using TRX bands or rings, keep your hands facing parallel to each other; if you're using a bar, use a pronated (overhand) grip.
- Squeeze your abs and straighten your spine to hold a plank position, then use your back muscles to pull your chest up to your hands or the bar. Don't flare your elbows out.
- Pause for a moment to squeeze at the top, then control yourself back down.
Try adding the feet up inverted row to your back day workouts with 3 sets of 8 reps to start, working up to 12 reps. Raise and lower the platform for your feet to adjust the difficulty, and hold yourself at the top of the move for an additional challenge.
Want to work on inverted rows at home? Check out this set of suspension rings from Titan Fitness or the full TRX set above. For more superhero-body building moves, you can check out Saladino's full program.