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3 Back Exercises For Skinny Guys / HARDGAINERS!

No More Excuses For Your Lagging Back!

Posted by Scott_Herman - July 19th, 2017

The next installment of the STRETCH-FLEX-OVERLOAD series has arrived! This workout is going to shred every muscle fiber to help you build a wider and thicker back. Remember, this advanced technique was specifically designed to help YOU hardgainers build muscle by creating a stronger mind-muscle connection, but anyone can take advantage of this technique to bust through a muscle building plateau.

For the routine, you’re going to be performing a triset of 3 different exercises. The first exercise will place the majority of the resistance during the negative when the back is a fully stretched. The second exercise will place the most resistance on the back when fully flexed.  Then, after your back has been pre-exhausted with those two specific movements, the third exercise will place the maximum load possible on every single muscle fiber in your back when we know that they’ll be at their weakest point and do the majority of the work, rather than the biceps taking over the movement.

So basically, the first two exercises will help establish a stronger mind-muscle connection, and the third one will destroy the back using as much weight as possible.

Stretch: Pull-Up

The reason we’re starting with a pull-up for the stretch is because what we want to do after every single repetition is sit in that dead hang position for one second before performing the next repetition. Our goal here isn’t to go as fast as we possibly can for this exercise, our goal is to focus on the stretch, really feel those lats stretch out, and the only way you can do that is with a dead hang.

Now don’t worry, if you can’t do pull-ups, there are some alternatives you can do. First, let’s go over proper form for pull-ups. You’re going to jump up, grab the bar, and hang there. You should sit there for a second or two, and really get a feeling for what a dead hang feels like, especially in your lats. If you don’t feel a nice tight pull in your lats, you’re not doing a dead hang properly. Now that you’re in position, you’ll pull yourself up, so that your chin just goes above the bar, then all the way back down into your dead hang position, which you will hold for one second.

For those of you who can’t do 8-10 pull-ups, or can’t complete all sets on your own, once you fatigue you’re going to do assisted pull-ups. All you need is a resistance band, which you wrap around the bar and your feet, or you can use an assisted pull-up machine if your gym has one. If you are using a band, make sure the band isn’t too tight that you can’t stretch all the way to the bottom of your dead hang position. It should have just enough resistance to help you perform your reps. You can also check out my Pull-Up Progression video for more tips and tricks.

Lastly, if your band is too tight that you can’t get a full stretch, or you are just completely fatigued and can’t do any more pull-ups, I want you to grab a dip belt, put as much weight as you can handle on there, and just hang from the bar in a dead hang position. Here you should simply hold the stretched position for 20-30 seconds max, and do 8-10 reps of that.

Flex: Seated Low Row

The way you’re going to perform this exercise is going to be very different to overloading. The goal is to focus on the flex, and once you’re into that flexed position, you’re going to hold it for two seconds before going into the next repetition. To get into position, sit on the row bench with your feet on the foot holds, and your hands grabbing the handle attachment which has your hands close together (you can also use an attachment with two separate handles which keeps your hands close together as well). Then slide yourself back on the bench so that you have a slight bend in your knees, and your arms are straight.

What you’re not going to do is start leaning forward and using momentum to thrust the weight back. If you are, it means you’re using weight that’s too heavy, and you won’t be able to do the two second hold. So while in the starting position, you’ll pull back, hold for two seconds, then let your arms come back to a straight position as your back stretches, and repeat for reps.

What you also don’t want to happen is that you start leaning back. When people are using weight that is too heavy, they’ll start leaning back to compensate for how heavy the weight is. What this does is reduces your range of motion (you can’t go back as far), so make sure you’re sitting up as straight as you can for every single repetition.

For those of you who don’t have access to a cable machine, or you just want to try something different, you can utilize the T-Bar row as well. Just make sure you follow the same parameters, make sure that you’re bent over as much as possible for as much range of motion as possible. Make sure you’re not using momentum, and also make sure you’re doing that two second hold at the top of every single repetition.

Overload: Barbell Bent-Over Row (Underhand-Grip)

Remember, when trying to target your lats as much as possible, you always want to use an underhand grip, because when you go overhand, you start to bring a lot more upper back and rear delts into the movement, and that’s not what you want right now. The goal is to hit those lats as hard as we can.

To get into position, you always want to keep your upper body as parallel to the floor as possible. The more parallel your upper body is to the floor, the more range of motion you have to work your muscles. For those of you who don’t know what parallel means, it means that your upper body should be in-line with the floor. If it’s not, and you’re bent at more of a 45 degree angle or less, you won’t be getting as much muscle activation.

You’re going to grab the barbell with a grip that’s just outside of shoulder width, with an underhand grip, and then once you’re in place, you’re going to pull it to your belly button, and then come back down. Now there are no two second holds on this exercise, you’re just going to be making sure you control the weight for every rep of every set.

It is so important that when you perform these tri-sets that you follow the parameters. For example, the first two exercises are to help you build that mind-muscle connection, you’re not trying to use as much weight as possible. The only time you do try to use as much weight as you can is for this overload movement.


Now as for the routine itself, you’re going perform 8 – 10 reps per exercise and complete 4 rounds of all three movements, ONLY resting 60 – 90 seconds after you complete 1 round of all 3 exercises. Remember it’s a TRISET, so there is no rest between exercises, you’re going to complete 4 TOTAL ROUNDS, and this workout should only take you 20 – 25 minutes max.

Remember, the idea behind this series is to get you in and out of the gym as fast as possible, while dealing maximum muscle damage for regrowth, because as a hardgainer you don’t want to be burning too many calories with long workouts. You need those calories to build MUSCLE! Also, if you’re not a hardgainer and want to add this workout to your current back training, try adding 2 rounds as a FINISHER after your current back workout.

Related Videos:

3 Chest Exercises For Skinny Guys / HARDGAINERS!

3 Shoulder Exercises For Skinny Guys / HARDGAINERS!

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