Harley Pasternak: The 5 Best Back Workouts

02/25/2015 at 09:30 AM ET

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Harley Pasternak is a celebrity trainer and nutrition expert who has worked with stars from Halle Berry and Lady Gaga to Robert Pattinson and Robert Downey Jr. He’s also a New York Times best-selling author, with titles including The Body Reset Diet and The 5-Factor Diet. His new book 5 Pounds hits shelves in March. Tweet him @harleypasternak.

Think about every activity of our days:
We drive.
We eat.
We type.
We read.
We open and close doors.

The list goes on. We do everything in front of our bodies. So it’s not a big surprise that our posture is anterior dominant (meaning we are stronger on the front of our bodies than the back).

As a result, we suffer from poor posture, back injuries and possibly worst of all, we create the illusion of a potbelly (even if we don’t have much body fat). Perhaps the most important thing we can do to counteract our countless forward daily activities is to strengthen the muscles of our upper back.

Known as the rhomboids, the upper back muscles work to pull our shoulder blades back together, thus drawing our shoulders back, opening up our chest and … lengthening our abs!

The following are my favorite five upper back exercises. Pick one each week for the next five weeks. Do these two to three times a week, for four sets of 20 reps.

Reverse Incline Bench DB Row

Single Arm Lunge DB Row

Single Arm Bench DB Row

TRX Row

Bent Over DB Row

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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms
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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

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On a clear day, you can see forever—or at least that’s the wicked thought behind L.A. designer Agi Berliner’s transparent idea: see-through jeans. Exhibitionists notwithstanding, most folks wear them over bathing suits or as attention-getting evening wear with halters, garter belts and body stockings. Created for the disco crowd, the $34 jeans are selling like, well, hot pants. In just six weeks, 25,000 pairs have already been sold in such major department store chains as Macy’s, Bonwit’s and Saks.

“What’s limiting American designers is that we’re afraid to do something different,” says Berliner, 32, a Hungarian émigré who fled with her family to the U.S. in 1956. Agi thought up the gimmick in London while marveling at the way plastics were being employed by designers of punk fashion. In her L.A. office, where she designs for La Parisienne junior sportswear, Agi spent five days on the phone and six weeks testing to come up with the right plastic.

Agi herself tried out the French-cut jeans with the zipper in front, and quickly found several problems: Some plastics tore away from stitching, others wouldn’t bend and all fogged with perspiration. The ideal material proved to be a vinyl supplied by a bookbinder. The steam was eliminated with a series of vents behind the knees and in the crotch. “They’re no hotter than polyester pants,” claims Agi, “and if you wear them with tights, they won’t stick to your legs.”

Whatever the discomfort and despite the problem of Saturday night feverishness, discomaniacs report one major advantage of the plastic pants: no laundry bills. To keep Berliner’s see-through jeans clear, all the wearer needs is a little Windex.

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