A lot of ‘’young guns’’ focus too much on what is in front of them in the mirror and not enough on what’s behind them such as their back for example! Having big pecs and the back of an 11 year old school girl just looks silly and what’s more it will ultimately create big issues for you in the future in regards to posture and shoulder issues. With that said we need to do something about this trend and intervene! Lads, if you are hitting the bench press and building up your chest muscles then do exactly the same for the rest of your body, especially your back! Here is how.
The best way to start back development (and overall upper body size and strength) is to get good at pull ups. Both wide grip chin ups and reverse grip pull ups are fantastic ways to add bulk and width to your back! Even if you can only manage 1,2 or 3 at the moment make a conscious effort to add 1 rep to that number every other week! From here work towards being able to start your back workouts with 3-5 sets of 6-12 reps. From here, you will see major developments!!
The next movement you want to get good at and perhaps more importantly strong at are bent over barbell rows! Anyone with back width and size worth looking at rows big, simple! Get strong in the 6-8 rep range with controlled form.
Seated cable rows, T-bar rows and single arm dumbbell rows are all fantastic additions to a routine designed for optimal back growth.We would always recommend at least one unilateral exercise (single handed) in order to ensure one side doesn’t take over (which is a common issue).
As you get more advanced, stronger and confident adding deadlifts are a fantastic way to really pack on mass to your back. This is possibly the ultimate mass gaining exercise our there but approach with caution! Form must be perfect and you MUST ensure you are flexible within your lower back and hips or you will get injured.
As a final takeaway top tip back training is always complimented best with focus and exaggeration on the isometric contraction after the lift. This is more commonly referred to as the ‘’squeeze’’ at which point you do exactly that to the target muscles (back muscles in this instance) at the static point once you have lifted the weight. This helps maximise muscle fibre recruitment and in turn growth! Simple.
With all of those things pointed out building a strong, thick and wide back should be no issue at all!