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4 MUST DO Exercises For A BIGGER BACK!

Why Are You Skipping These Muscle Builders?

Posted by AnabolicAliens - August 20th, 2016

When we think of back development, the main concept that is preached is width. Therefore, our training style actual becomes bias due to the fact we are mainly doing exercises that target specifically expanding the width of our backs. By doing this, we are neglecting the thickness of our back muscles causing us to lack inner definition. We must do exercises that target the back specifically for width, as well as exercises that target the back specifically for thickness. Training each aspect will allow our backs to grow more aesthetically and avoid any lagging areas. Do these four exercises to optimally train both aspects of your back.


Exercise 1: Weighted Pull-Ups

Whether you are able to add weight on or not, the pull-up is an extremely effective exercise for increasing the width of your back. Since you are hanging from the bar, gravity is naturally pulling you down. The process of pulling yourself up will primarily activate the upper lats and the rhomboids to complete the motion. At the top portion of the pull-up, come up so that the bar is as close to your upper chest as possible and focus on flexing your lats. At the bottom portion of the pull-up, come down all day way to a dead hang to avoid any momentum and also allowing your lats to be fully stretched.


Adding weight on to the exercise will increase the intensity of the activation of the muscles. If you are doing this exercise weighted or you find pull-ups very challenging, gear it towards the beginning of your workouts, but you can also do these as a burn out at the end of your workout if you’re more advanced. Weighted pull-ups are a must do exercise to expand the width of your back!



Exercise 2: Pendlay Rows

The pendlay row is an explosive version of the barbell row that is performed from the floor and another extremely effective exercise for increasing the width of your back. Due to the explosiveness of this exercise, more muscles are recruited to complete the motion. This movement will target your lats, rhomboids, and lower traps. Since this is a pulling motion, the biceps will work as secondary movers. For stability, the spinal erectors will be activated as well. After every single repetition, come to a complete dead stop. This will allow you lift more weight overloading your back and to really focus on the movement with the slight rest in between reps.


Do this exercise towards the beginning of your workout to really take advantage of overloading your back. As you get heavier with the weight, hip activation is acceptable but you always want to make sure you’re in control of the movement the entire time and the back is still being properly isolated. Pendlay rows are a second must do exercise to expand the width of your back!



Exercise 3: Seated Dumbbell Low Rows

Seated dumbbell low rows are a very efficient exercise in targeting the thickness of your back and improving the middle definition. Therefore as you get wider performing the first two exercises, this exercise will build a bigger middle back. Even though you are seated, your body’s positioning is still bent over which means that your spinal erectors will be activated as stabilizers.


As you row in keeping the dumbbells close to your side and your core tight, every rep you should feel a pinch indicating that you are fully activating your lower lats. This pinching sensation is actually your lower lats flexing from the isolation of the movement. Since this exercise is more strict and isolated, gear it towards the end of your workout to burn out your middle back. Seated dumbbell low rows are a must do exercise to build the thickness of your middle back!



Exercise 4: T-Bar Rows

The T-Bar row is another very efficient exercise in targeting the overall thickness of your back and improving the middle definition. This exercise will place more of an emphasis on strength than the seated dumbbell low row, therefore gear it more towards the beginning of your workouts. Since the T-Bar row isn’t as much of an isolation exercise, more muscles are recruited to complete the movement. The lats, teres major, spinal erectors, traps, and biceps are all activated in this exercise. Due to the grip handle and the positioning of our palms facing each other, you are placing yourself mechanically in the strongest position to lift the most amount of weight for any back exercise.


This positioning will allow you to really overload and build your middle back. Make sure you set your feet firmly and keep your core tight to establish a strong lower base for the movement. At the top of the movement squeeze as hard as you can and come to a dead stop at the bottom to avoid momentum. A little controlled momentum is acceptable when really looking to overload your back, but ensure you still feel that squeeze every rep. The T-Bar row is a second must do exercise to build the thickness of your middle back!



Final Thoughts

For your next back workout, try adding these four exercises! Try out a set range of 3-4 and a rep range varying between 6-10. Make sure to rest 60-90 seconds between your sets. Remember the weighted pull-ups and pendlays rows are specific for increasing the width of your overall back and the seated dumbbell low row and T-Bar row are specific for increasing the thickness of your middle back.


Note that there was no mention of the deadlift in this article because these exercises and explanations are geared specifically toward improving overall aesthetics. The deadlift is most definitely a great exercise for developing back strength and size, but what we are focusing on here is optimally improving the aesthetics of our backs. Start putting an even emphasis on width and thickness. Add these four exercises to your back routine and experience all new kinds of gains!



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How to Do More Pull-Ups FAST!

Pull-ups are one of the best exercises to build your back. They are also one of the most difficult. Form alone is hard enough....

MEMBER COMMENTS
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Adawg38

Love me some back!

JoeHurricane

Haven't thought of that seated dumbbell low row before - great variation @anabolicaliens!

Scott_Herman

Was great working with @anabolicaliens to make this awesome video!