Best Back Exercises
Lets Get “Back” to Basics
By Guest Writer Ryan Crawley
There are a multitude of back exercises possible to do on your back day during your workouts. A person’s back can be one of the most beautiful things on their physique. The details and lines that make up a chiseled back can be a bit breathtaking. If in doubt, look at pictures of the backs of professional bodybuilders.
During back training, you want to focus on the most bang for your buck. There are so many back movements one can do, many of them very similar, but we want to target the ones that build the most muscle mass. You should want a toned back as much as a strong chest or rippling abs. The total package is not just a nickname for veteran professional wrestler Lex Luger. Your whole body is the total package. No weaknesses allowed.
The great thing about deadlifts is that it really is a total body workout. Everything is trained during deadlifts. However, it builds your back like no other movement. Once you get the proper technique down, you’ll be able to move some serious weight.
Complete these first in your back training. The reasoning behind this is that you can really go heavy with this movement, which then builds more muscle mass. If you do these when you are not fresh, you are not going to be able to go with the very heavy weights. Accomplish these early and then save the single joint movements for near the end of the workout.
Bent-Over Barbell Rows
Keep your form perfect while doing the bent-over barbell rows. Make sure your back is straight while leaning over and not curved at all. Again, once you get this movement down pat, you can start adding more weight. Research shows that bent-over barbell rows work both your upper and lower back muscles equally. Keep this exercise near the beginning of your back workout. This can take a lot out of you, but it will reward you with results.
Memories of elementary school might flood your mind when doing pullups. We all faced the embarrassment of trying to do as many pullups as possible in gym class. Usually the child that won the contest only had to do like four or five.
Similar to lat pulldowns, wide-grip pullups will make your upper lats grow. If you need a bit of assistance in doing quality reps, choose a good spotter that won’t yank your shorts down while you are performing this movement. Better yet, use the assisted pullup/dip machine if you aren’t yet able to do these on your own. Your form should be spot on while using the machine to help you out.
Seated Cable Rows
Perform the seated cable rows near the end of your workout. Your strength should be pretty well depleted after all the other compound movements earlier in your training, so doing cable rows can give you a bit of a breather.
Change up the bars now and then from the close grip to the wide grip and figure out which one your back feels the most. Wide grip will work more of your lats.
Barbell shrugs will get your upper back muscles growing quickly. The trapezius muscles run straight down your back along the spine. Do not roll your shoulders while performing this movement.
Grip the bar overhand style, raise your shoulders up like you are trying to touch your ears, then lower them back down. These can also be performed with dumbbells. The difference is having the weight more in front of you or more off to your side.