Your back can be one of the hardest muscle groups to improve and grow. This is because unless you set up a very complex series of mirrors, you can’t see it when you are hitting it. Unlike your chest, legs and arms where you can see them working and get that mind-muscle connection.
It takes practice, practice and more practice to feel your back working and to visualize the muscles contracting so here are 3 exercises that you should definitely include in your back workout to help it to grow:
1. Pull Ups
Probably the best exercise for overall back development. If done correctly it will hit your whole back, from your lats to your rhomboids. In my opinion, doing them with a pronated grip (palms facing away from you) and with your hands just wider than shoulder width is the best muscle gainer. If you struggle with Pull Ups with a pronated grip then try them with a supinated grip (palms facing towards you) as this will bring in more bicep activation and take some of the stress off of your back. Alternatively, you can build the strength required to do Pull Ups by using the Lat Pull Down machine.
2. Bent Over Row
This exercise will add serious mass to your whole back if done correctly. Load an olympic bar with a suitable weight and then bend your knees slightly and bend at the hips untill your torso is almost perpendicular with the ground. With a slightly wider than shoulder width grip pull the bar up to your sternum and then slowly lower back down. Remember to keep your scapula retracted by bringing your shoulder blades together. This movement will hit your entire upper back and by squeezing your core to stabilize yourself you will also work your lower back.
3. Single arm Dumbbell Row
To get depth in your physique you need to be doing a serious amount of rowing exercises, this will increase the depth of your back and stop you from looking flat. The single arm dumbbell row is a great exercise as it will help to even out any imbalances in your back because you are working one side at a time. For this you’ll need a suitable weighted Dumbbell and a free-standing bench. If you are working your right side first then place your left knee and left hand on the bench and bend at the hips until your torso is almost perpendicular to the ground. Engage your core to stabilize yourself and then bring the dumbbell up towards your right hip with your right hand. Vice versa for the left side. Always keep your scapula retracted by bringing your shoulder blades together as this will keep your shoulders in a healthy position.
So make sure you add these to your next back workout if you aren’t doing them already and then sit back and reap in the rewards!
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