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Complete Back Muscle Workout

Apr 20, 2018

Today we are going to attack the back workout: the posterior chain that not only gives you the width as a bodybuilder but also helps you correct your posture and the fact that these muscles are literally in use throughout the day, you simply can’t skip the back workout, whether you sit, stand, walk, crawl or sleep, the back muscles are always engaged and not training these muscles regularly and effectively can lead to various postural issues and injuries that can put you on bed for a long time.

The problem with most of the novice lifters is that if they can’t see a muscle, they think that there is no point of training them and that is why they keep training the anterior muscles: chest, biceps, triceps, shoulders but back doesn’t get the kind of attention it deserves, hamstring muscles also have the same fate in most of the cases. So if you are one of those folks, we are here to modify your approach for good and get that posterior chain synchronised for you. We will walk you through a back workout that beginner to intermediate lifters can follow in order to gain serious mass in the back:

 

1] Pullups[4 sets, reps till failure]:

The king of the upper body exercises and one of the best body-weight movements to hit multiple muscles at once and gain some serious strength as well, the major focus of this exercise is on the lat muscle and helps you to build those wide wings to give you that V-Taper look, at the same time hits the arms, rear delts and traps to some extent. We will start the workout with 4 sets of as many reps you can do till failure to build that mind-muscle connection and build a solid base for the workout.

 

How to do it:

> Get a shoulder-wide or a little extra grip on the bar and get in a dead hang position

> Try to bring your shoulder blades together while pulling yourself up close to the bar

> Go for the full range of motion, no kipping, no cheating and go all out on the effort

 

Now if you are someone who struggles to do too many pull ups or even if you simply can’t do even one, that doesn’t mean that you should avoid doing it, everyone has to start somewhere and that is what you are going to do:

> Stan on a bench under the bar so that you can grip it and get at the top position

> And from there do the negative reps only

> Go down as slow as possible and build some eccentric strength first

> Then again with the help of the bench, repeat the negative reps

> Go fo as many reps as possible and within few weeks of practice, you will be able to master the move

 

If you wouldn’t challenge yourself, you wouldn’t grow.

 

2] Bent-over Back fly[ 4 sets, 15-20 reps]:

From the heavy workload of pull ups, now we move to the lighter one with bent-over back fly to isolate those upper back muscles and help you get that wide look.

 

How to do it:

> Grab a lighter set of dumbbells

> Bend your legs slightly, keep the core engaged and keep the spine in a neutral position

> Pull the dumbbells back while squeezing your shoulder blades and try to feel the burn and go through the reps without losing your form, even if it feels like giving up

 

3] Bent over Barbell Rows[4 sets]:

So again we shift to the heavy movement with bent-over Barbell rows, a classic mass builder for the back, highly recommended by the Great Arnold, so we simply can’t defy his wisdom.

 

How to do it:

> Place your feet at shoulder width, Bend your legs slightly, keep the core engaged and keep the spine in a neutral position

> Grip on the bar: palms facing outwards

> Let the bar hang as much as you can so that you feel the stretch in the lats

> Pull the bar and squeeze the shoulder blades

> Go for 10-15 reps for the first 3 sets

> And for the last one, we are going to do a drop-set: Divide your weight into 3-4 lighter weight plates and stack them up, remove one plate after every 5 reps and go till failure on the last set of plates. But don’t lose the form

 

4] One Arm Dumbbell Rows[ 3 sets each side, reps till failure]:

We move back to the isolation part and hit those lats properly, an effective move to build that mind-muscle connection and squeeze those lats in a natural range of motion.

 

How to do it:

> One leg on the bench and one to the side, set up your back parallel to the bench

> Lift the dumbbell from the floor and keep it as low as possible to feel the stretch in the muscle

> Pull the dumbbell back, pretend as if you are starting a lawn-mower and try to pull your elbow back and squeeze the lats optimally

> Once done with one side, simply switch to the other side without rest and keep the tension building

 

5] Seated Cable rows[3 sets, reps till failure] :

For the finishing touch we move to the seated cable rows, with all the heavy exercises done, your back will already be fatigued so all you need to do is feel the squeeze on this one.

 

How to do it:

> Set up your feet on the footrest, with a slight bend in the knees

> Keep the core tight, pull the shoulder blades back, keep the spine vertical to the seat and feel the stretch in the lats

> Pull back while focusing on pulling the elbows

> Don’t go back and forth, stabilize your back and keep pulling from the elbows.

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