Melissa TuckerPurica Ambassador Melissa Tucker is one of Canada’s foremost global fitness competitors and training coach. She’s also a member of our team of Purica Ambassadors, committed to providing you with healthy eating and training tips. Here are Melissa’s tips on why a strong back is important to your overall fitness: Since we cannot see our backs, it’s only natural that they might not receive top priority in the gym. This is a huge mistake. A strong and muscled back optimizes your total body’s muscular symmetry and supports maximizing your functional fitness strength. . Having a big chest, great arms, round delts is all fine and good, but in the absence of lats, traps, rhomboids, teres major and minor, and erectors, it’s like someone building a house without fully building the frame work to support the walls and ceiling. So what’s the solution? I find the best results in building back strength, size and definition come by training the back all by itself. The back is comprised of several large muscle groups, so a good routine must work all aspects of the back. Be sure to include: dead lifts chin ups, rows, shrugs, and hyperextensions to your back attack exercises. The back is potentially a very strong body part, so heavy weights are a must to build strength. Aim for a lower 8-12 rep range for 4-6 sets to stimulate muscle activation and growth. Incorporate plyometric exercises, free weights, cables and machines to achieve cross-training conditioning. Strive to develop the mind-muscle connection and “feel” that the muscle is being worked. Keeping proper full range of motion and timely tempo to get a pump in the target muscle will give you better results with any weight lifting exercise you do. Swinging and jerking weights around will deliver injuries rather than bodybuilding results. With a great back, you will have a three-dimensional torso. It looks good and, most important, it will help give you the overall strength and balance required for good physical fitness and wellness. For more information, check out www.melissatucker.com, or email Purica Ambassador Melissa Tucker at firstname.lastname@example.org. And for regular healthy eating and training tips, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/puricawellness and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/puricawellness.