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67% Faster Back Growth!

Pulling & Rowing Perfected!

Posted by Scott_Herman - April 25th, 2019

Before we dive in, I want to thank you all for liking and applying the tips I gave you in the chest video. Not only did many of you try out the tips but you also reported EXACTLY 67% more chest growth after just a few days which is amazing! Haha. But in all seriousness, a few of you did comment that you had already been applying my technique before watching the video, which I was VERY happy to hear, and for those who tried it for the first time I was pumped to see that you were able to train your chest more efficiently and effectively.  

The percentage might be complete BS for clickbait and jokes, but the techniques I’m going to teach you in this series WILL help you train harder and more efficiently which will lead to more muscle stimulation and growth. Today, we’re going to utilize some new techniques to help grow your back!

Back Training = Rowing Exercises + Pulling Exercises

We know that a well-rounded back workout includes both rowing AND vertical pulling exercises. In fact, you can easily get away with doing ONLY TWO exercises for your back, such as Weighted Pull-ups and T-Bar Rows which I explain in this video right HERE. But what if we could PERFECT those movement patterns with two universal tips? Well, we can!

Tip #1 – Perfect Your Rowing Technique

Let’s talk about rowing first and this goes for any variation of the row. In order to truly activate your back you need to pay attention to your shoulder blades and lower back during the concentric and eccentric portion of each exercise.

If you’re not slightly bending forward and protracting your scapula during the eccentric portion of your reps, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity for strength and muscle growth. That’s because this technique will better target your rhomboids, rear delts and traps as all those muscles are responsible for moving the shoulder blades. Believe it or not, keeping your shoulder blades stiff during the movement will only activate those muscles for stabilization purposes and they will not be doing any actual work.

Take the seated cable row for example. Unfortunately, most trainers teach to stay upright and just pull your arms back into scapula retraction. But this is only half of the movement. As you bring your arms forward you need to fully protract you scapula and slightly lean forward with your chest up.

This is the only way you can maximize the stretch on all the muscles in your back and if you CAN’T keep your chest up as you slightly lean forward, lower the weight, ESPECIALLY if you’ve never done this before.

You have to understand that if you’ve been training for a while now, only staying upright the entire time, your muscles have only been getting stronger through THAT range of motion. So as soon as you start to lean forward and protract your scapula your body is going to freak out a bit until the weaker parts of your back catch up!

I also want to quickly cover this technique when applied to a bent-over row as I’m sure the majority of you will be using this exercise in your back workouts. You apply the same form. As you lower the weight make sure you protract your scapula and slightly bend over a bit more while keeping your chest up until you feel a deep stretch in your lats before rowing the barbell.

I also recommend taking advantage of a bit of momentum or cheat reps on your last few reps of each set so you can REALLY overload your back and focus on heavy eccentrics.

Lastly, if your lower back hurts on this, it’s for two reasons:

  1. Instead of sitting back and letting your legs and hips support the weight, you’re bending over and letting all the weight rest directly on your lower back.

  2. Or you’re getting really strong and your core is failing before your back muscles, meaning now you should probably be wearing a belt to help you stabilize throughout your set.

Tip #2 – Perfect Your Pulling Technique

Now that we’ve mastered rowing let’s talk about vertical pulling. You see, the problem with vertical pulling for most people is actually “pulling vertically”! What I mean by this is that most people tend to LEAN BACK and turn the pulling motion into more of a rowing motion.

Let’s take the lat pulldown for example. During this exercise you need to stay UPRIGHT during the entire movement and start the exercise with your back completely disengaged.  

But this is only achieved by fully locking out at the top and letting your scapula rotate up and out, similar to the dead-hang portion at the bottom of a pull-up.

THEN once in place, engage the weight only with your lats to start pulling down the bar by pulling your shoulder blades down and back without bending your elbows. It’s only when you get to THIS point that you’re ready to start pulling.

As a beginner watching more advanced lifters in the gym, you’re not going to be able to see this transition because it happens so fast during each rep. So it will be up to YOU to practice this until it feels natural and ONLY THEN are you ready to start pulling more efficiently on all your pulling movements. But don’t just practice this on the lat pulldown machine. Try hanging from a pull-up bar and practice there as well.


I hope this helps you take your rowing, pulling and overall back workouts to the next level, because remember, even though you can’t see it, an amazing physique is nothing with a big, wide back!

Related Videos:

67% Faster Chest Growth! ONE PERFECT EXERCISE

GLUTES: The ONLY TWO Exercises You Need For Growth! | BUNS OF STEEL

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