Build Your Back Muscles with the Arlaud Movement

In 1936, Jean Arlaud, French doctor, mountain climber and inventor of the Arlaud movement, took part in the first French expedition in the Himalayas. You might not get that far by regularly doing this strength training exercise, but today it’s definitely one of the best equipment-free exercises to help you strengthen the muscles in your shoulders and upper back.

How to do the Arlaud movement effectively

Like any strength training exercise, its effectiveness depends on proper technique. Even though it’s a completely natural movement and requires no special athletic skills, you still need to follow these simple steps. They’ll help you do the exercise correctly and get the best possible results.

  • Starting position: Lie flat on your stomach with your face just above the floor. You can rest your forehead on the floor or keep it lifted. Keep your legs straight and rest the backs of your hands on your buttocks. You’re now in the starting position.
  • Raise your arms: Make a semicircle with your arms as you bring them over your head. The goal is to reach as far as possible until your hands meet and your arms are completely stretched out.
  • Return to the starting position: Once your hands touch, bring your arms back to your sides as you make another semicircle until the backs of your hands brush the top of your buttocks. That makes one complete rep of the Arlaud movement. All you need to do now is repeat.


Common mistakes and tips from the FizzUp trainer on how to avoid them

To do the Arlaud movement correctly and build your back muscles, you should avoid these common mistakes. Make sure to not bend your arms too much, let them touch the floor or do the exercise incompletely. With FizzUp fitness training, you can do this exercise perfectly if you follow these tips:

  • Don’t bend your elbows: Your arms should stay completely straight during the exercise.
  • Make sure your hands touch: To do a complete rep, remember that you need to touch your hands together when you bring them over your head, and to bring them all the way back to your buttocks when you return to the starting position.
  • Don’t go too fast: To do the exercise perfectly, take the time to focus on your movement and your breathing. Exhale as you raise your arms and inhale as you return to the starting position.

“If you experience pain in the back of your neck, rest your forehead on the floor. This will relieve any strain so that you can focus solely on doing the exercise correctly.”

Muscles worked while doing the Arlaud movement

Using this strength training exercise, we’ve already seen that you’ll build your back muscles and strengthen your shoulders. But what are these muscles exactly?

  • The deltoids (or “delts”): This triangular muscle wraps around the shoulder and is divided into three parts (often referred to as “heads”): the anterior, posterior and lateral deltoid.
  • The trapezius (or “traps”): Also divided into three parts, the trapezius is a large muscle that extends from the nape of the neck and shoulders to the middle of the back.
  • The rhomboids: Made up of the rhomboid major and the rhomboid minor, this muscle is located in the upper back.build_your_back_muscles_02

Fun alternative exercises to keep you motivated

FizzUp fitness training is based on short and intense workouts that include a variety of exercises. The goal is to boost your motivation and have fun while getting in shape. Here are two exercises that strengthen your shoulders and build your back.

  • Pull-­ups: This exercise has many variations. Pull­-ups (palms facing away from you) are the best for targeting your back muscles. Using the Back Focus program, you can sculpt the “V” shape in your back in no time.
  • The equipment­-free rower: This exercise effectively builds your back muscles and is also one of the only equipment­-free exercises that works your biceps.

The Arlaud movement: Take care of your back and more

With this strength training exercise, you effectively prevent rounded shoulders. It also helps you regain muscle balance in your back, which gently corrects poor posture. By regularly doing this exercise, you’ll have better posture and eliminate any back pain you might have.

The Arlaud movement is also a very effective strength training exercise. It’s great for strengthening the muscles in your upper back as well as your shoulders. If integrated into your regular fitness routine, it can help you develop functional strength. Carrying heavy loads will become easier and everyday life consequently becomes more enjoyable.

To discover a variety of motivating exercises during each workout (which will have a number of positive effects on your life), try the FizzUp online fitness training program. No equipment is needed and the workouts are short and intense, getting you surprising results in no time. Twenty minutes of exercise, three times a week is enough to really notice the difference. Let your FizzUp trainer be your guide!

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