For me back training is probably my favourite workout of the week possibly because it is my best body part. This is why I am going to really enjoy writing the ‘ABC guide to a big back’ today for all of you guys! Back is one of the hardest muscle groups to train because it requires a lot of technique and understanding as where some muscle groups are more self explanatory. So many people tend to focus on big chest and big arms, yet it is a big back which really sets the men apart from the boys up top! Don’t get me wrong, you need total balance throughout but a good strong back looks epic and really adds to a physique.
The back muscle group is massive, you have a variety of muscle fibres running in several different directions therefore you have to know how to attack each area! The key muscles in your back are the trapezius, lattisimus dorsi, rhomboids and your spinal erectors. In order to build a thick knotty back you need to hit each of these areas in several different ways!
As you always get with our ‘ABC guide to big . . . .’ here are some fundamental do’s and don’ts!
. Use pull-ups as part of your back workout, WHY?
Pull-ups are often overlooked by a lot of people in the gym and it isn’t because they don’t work! It is because they are hard to do and one of the most taxing exercises on your back! Doing pull-ups will certainly stretch out the muscles in the back and help you achieve a very strong muscular contraction right through the different muscle groups! This exercise is an awesome way to warm up as well! An absolute MUST!
. Deadlift, WHY?
Deadlifts are you ‘bread and butter’ mass builder for back, simple! However, to keep the focus on the back muscles only lower the bar just below your knees and go back up, going to the floor just brings your legs into play!
. CONTRACT, WHY?
Most people fail to get anywhere with their back workouts because of this one fundamental error! They do not arch their back! All the way through your back exercises you need to keep your back locked out with your shoulders back otherwise it is near impossible to get a full muscle contraction in your back. If you can’t achieve this how the hell are your muscles going to develop? They won’t!
. Swing like a chimp, WHY?
Often on the latt pull-down machines you will see guys stacking it yet they are pulling half of the weight with their body mass, not their back muscles! Moving a weight from A to B isn’t hard, making a specific muscle group move it in a controlled manner is, and to develop a great back you must do this!
. Do the same workout, WHY?
For some reason, back training seems to be a challenge for the creative part of the mind. Pull-downs are normally the staple of the workout which is fine, but there are so many variations you can do and so many exercises for back you can do! Make sure you switch it up, there are a tonne of muscle fibres to hit in your back!
. Round your back, WHY?
When I watch people in my gym on the rowing machines, and I mean rowing machines, it goes through me looking at their posture! They have a huge hunch in their back, yet when you lift weight with this posture it is ten times worse!!! ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS keep your back locked out for your own safety, if you are hunching your back the weight is probably too heavy. Training like this won’t do anything but put you on the NHS waiting list for back surgery!
Hopefully those points have given you a basic insight into the importance of correct back training. To put these words into practice below is a 3 week training cycle for you to follow!
Workout 1 –
3 X wide chin-ups 8+ repetitions
3 X deadlift 6-10 repetitions
3 X close grip pull-downs 8-12 repetitions
3 X single arm dumbbell rows 8-12 repetitions
3 X seated cable rows 8-12 repetitions
Workout 2 –
4 X wide grip pull-downs 12-16 repetitions
4 X high cable pulley rows 12-16 repetitions
3 X straight arm pull-downs 15-20 repetitions
3 X bent over barbell rows 10-15 repetitions
Workout 3 –
Each giant set X 3
Giant set 1 –
Close grip pull-downs 20 repetitions
Bent over barbell rows 10-15 repetitions
Straight arm pull-downs 20 repetitions
Giant set 2 –
Seated cable rows 15 repetitions
Reverse grip barbell rows 10-15 repetitions
Behind the head pull-downs 10-15 repetitions
There is a very easy to follow 3 week training plan for your back! Of course you can chop and change the exercises however following these kinds of workouts combined with the tips we listed above you are sure you make some great gains in your back muscles! Enjoy!