Dana Linn Bailey is the true embodiment of motivation and gym life. The Women’s Physique pioneer continues to inspire millions around the world with her fitness content and recently subjected herself to a harsh back workout.
Dana Bailey is credited with a win at the first ever Women’s Physique contest held at the 2011 Jr. USA. She also became the inaugural Women’s Physique Olympia champion in 2013 and etched her name with gold in the IFBB Pro League’s history. After retiring from competitive bodybuilding in 2015, DLB has ventured into multiple initiatives.
She started posting fitness related content on her YouTube channel and other social media platforms. Bailey also tried her hand at powerlifting at the 201 Arnold Sports Festival, lifting a total of 877 lbs (396.9 kg). The 39-year-old has become one of the foremost women fitness influencers on the internet with more than 2.6 million followers on YouTube and Instagram combined.
Dana along with her husband Rob Bailey founded the Warhouse Gym. It did well and became a very important part of the couple’s lives. However, they had to shut it down permanently due to financial issues brought in by the global pandemic of 2020. Bailey is going strong on YouTube and routinely posts workout videos, bodybuilding tips and collaborative content to engage a large follower base.
Recently, she tackled a back workout and posted the video on her YouTube channel. So let’s check out the details of the exercises she did to improve her already impressive physique further.
Dana Linn Bailey goes through a back workout
Bailey headed to the Redcon-1 gym for the workout and lauded the place for the state of the art equipment it houses. She did not have a premeditated workout plan ahead of time and went with the flow to experiment with different equipment to train the back.
“I like coming here. A lot of really cool equipment. So I have no plans today. I’d love to tell you what I am about to do. I’m gonna train back but I have no plans. I’m just gonna scoot around, find some really good equipment and then I’ll let you know the sets and reps. So follow along,” Dana Linn Bailey stated.
With that she jumped right into the workout and shared valuable insights and bodybuilding tips in the due course.
Seated High Face Pull and Chest Rows
Bailey wanted to get some rear delts and the upper traps action at the very beginning of the training session. So instead of working with elaborate machines, she favored the simple seated cable rows machine. But instead of doing the standard row, she used the band attachment and performed the seated high face pull to target the traps and rear delts.
“You could do this with the rope as well. The rope would actually work out really well,” DLB advised.
She clubbed this movement with chest rows. However, instead of doing both exercises as a part of superset where a person performs one full set of the first exercise and then follows it up with one full set of the second exercise with a short rest period, Bailey switched between the exercises mid-set. In every set, she did eight to ten reps of high face pull and immediately transitioned to the chest rows for the same number of reps, making it a full set of two exercises. The 39-year-old kept the elbows wide and away from the body to hit the lats as well.
Wide Grip Lat Pulldown
The former Women’s Physique Olympia champion performed the wide grip lat pulldown on a plate-loaded machine next. This common vertical pulling movement primarily works the latissimus dorsi muscle in the back. It also engages other posterior muscles like teres major, teres minor, infraspinatus and trapezius as well as biceps muscles. The wide grip variation is effective for hitting all angles of the target muscle. Additionally, wide grip lat pulldown is a potent replacement to the pull-up which hits the same group of muscles.
“I’m gonna do this a little bit differently than I would normally go. Instead of just going through the reps, I’m gonna focus on the eccentric,” DLB explained.
She performed the concentric phase (Pulling down of the exercise at a regular speed but extended the time to three to four seconds in the eccentric phase (raising the handle back up).
The intention of the slow eccentric phase was to increase the time under tension. The Women’s Physique pioneer advised against using extremely heavy weights in this case to avoid exhausting the muscles too much.
Bent Over Dumbbell Rows
Performing this compound movement is an essential part of the process to build strong posterior muscles in the upper body. Bailey shared her experience with this exercise and shed light on some of the most common errors associated with it. She explained:
“I would really like to see this exercise be done better. I think a lot of people go way too heavy and you have a lot of (jerking) motion and your knees are bending.”
“So as I do it, I keep my feet squared in a more athletic stance. The motion instead of pulling (with the arms), it’s going to be pulling from your lats. So there’s more of an arch to it. It shouldn’t just go straight up and straight down.”
DLB further added that lightening the weight a little bit actually helps with the form and proceeded to perform the sets of eight to ten reps each.
Seated Mid Rows
The seated mid-rows on a selectorized machine followed the bent over dumbbell rows and DLB focused more on the eccentric phase again for this one. She executed the eccentric phase of the movement with slow and controlled movement to keep the muscles under tension for a longer duration. Each set of seated mid rows contained eight to ten reps.
Close-Grip Seated Rows
The retired bodybuilder then rounded off the training session by adding the last bit of stimulus to the back muscles with this exercise. The machine used for close-grip seated rows enabled a slight high to low movement during the concentric phase of the movement. Explaining the efficacy of this movement pattern, Bailey opined:
“Most seated cables you’re pulling (horizontally). So this one, you can kind of lean back and pull at an angle so you’re gonna push those shoulder blades down and back, hitting those lats a little bit more!”
She annihilated all the sets of the exercise with furious intensity. Although Bailey would have loved to add another movement to this workout, she had to wrap up reluctantly as it was a busy hour at the gym.
In totality, the back training session encompassed:
- Seated High Face Pulls and Chest Rows
- Wide Grip Lat Pulldowns
- Bent Over Dumbbell Rows
- Seated Mid Rows
- Close Grip Seated Rows
Dana Linn Bailey’s content is a potent source of pre-workout motivation for people around the world. What’s impressive is that the 39-year-old has not lost the passion for fitness and bodybuilding after retirement. Not only is she staying in good shape with her training routine, but she is also helping others achieve their fitness goals by motivating them to get up and head over to the gym for lifting some serious weight.
You can watch the full video here, courtesy of Dana Linn Bailey’s personal YouTube channel:
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