As you get more experienced with training and learn how to identify a truly impressive physique, you will learn that a well developed back normally wins the eye over! Back training is slightly more complicated than other body parts for two reasons. One, it is such a large muscle group therefore you have to know how to hit it from different angles. Two, whilst lifting heavy you HAVE to ensure you contract at the bottom of the repetition and avoid too much body swing. Here are the 6 exercises which you NEED to use on back day!
Bent Over Barbell Row –
This exercise is one of the very best compound exercises you can do for back. It hits your latts whilst also bringing your rhomboids into the movement. Performing this exercise for 3-4 sets with a repetition range of 8-10 will help add some real mass and thickness to your back area! Don’t compromise your form with this exercise because your lower back is potentially vulnerable. If you go too heavy and cheat, you will also hit your upper traps more than your back muscles!
Chin Ups –
Ask Arnie, and he will tell you even today that any back workout should consist of some variation of chin ups! This exercise really separates the boys from the men. It is surprising how many ‘big guys’ cant do one decent set of chin ups. To add real width and thickness to your back focus on getting at least 3 sets of chin ups done at the beginning of each back workout, with a repetition range of 6+ to failure! Remember to use a complete full range of motion to really stretch out the back and hit ALL of the muscles in the back!
Seated Cable Rows –
This exercise is absolutely superb for gaining a full muscle contraction in your back! Seated rows really stretch out your back muscles and they also help you focus on stimulating the target muscle group without any other distractions. Compare this exercise with bent over T-Bar rows, and I think beginners would have more of an issue balancing right when lifting heavy. Seated cable rows on the other hand put you in the prime position to hit your back! On this exercise use a slightly slower pace per repetition to really contract your back muscles. Be sure to use a full range of motion and keep your back LOCKED OUT AT ALL TIMES!
Single Arm Dumbbell Rows –
Ever wondered if one side of your body is stronger than the other? Well the likelihood is the answer is yes, we all have dominant sides. Therefore by doing single arm dumbbell rows your weaker side is isolated, therefore it cannot rely on your stronger side to help pull the load. As a result your overall back development should accelerate rapidly! Use this exercise with very strict form, stretching your arm out as far as it will reach at the bottom, and bringing the dumbbell back into the waist at the top! Don’t make the mistake of bringing the dumbbell up by your side, as this will hit your traps too much! Instead, bring it to your waist to keep the latts engaged at all times!
Reverse Grip Pulldowns –
6 times Mr. Olympia Dorian Yates only ever used this variation of the latt pulldown to build possibly the best back of all time! To get the most from this exercise, it is all about squeezing at the bottom of the repetition to make your back muscles ‘pop’! I would advise stopping just short of the top on this exercise because I find your biceps do most of the work during this portion of the repetition, which could lead to failure before your back is totally fatigued!
Saving the best mass builder for back until last! Deadlift after you have done your chin ups at the start of your session. This exercise is superb for adding pounds of thick lean muscle mass to your back. At the top of each repetition it is absolutely essential you lockout otherwise you are not getting the contraction you need. However, I would advise stopping just below the knees on the way down to really keep the tension on your back. From the floor to your knees, your legs are lifting the majority of the weight, which isn’t the target group on back day! Be careful with this exercise, if you round your back or go too heavy too soon, you will get punished!
There you have 6 of the best back exercises to pack on some size! Don’t fool yourself, big arms and chest look good, but a fully developed back looks insanely impressive! It gives the illusion of a small waist and it really does polish off that beach body ‘v-taper’!!!