Let’s face it, having a strong back is awesome! It not only improves your posture, but also will help build a great foundation for developing muscle. The greatest part is that training your back will help you to appear much wider and stronger. So why are you lacking in the back department? The problem may be that you like many other guys do a few sets of lat pulldowns, and then move on to training another body part.
While lat pulldowns are a great exercise for building the back, they aren’t the only one and to truly develop a thick, strong, wide back, you really need to incorporate a few more exercises and train at a high intensity.
Top 10 Essential Tips for building a stronger back
10. Stand Up Tall
Many people rarely focus on their posture which is extremely important in all aspects of life. Having good posture will help to prevent any injuries at the gym because less stress will be placed on the spine. It’ll also show people that you are very confident in yourself!
Deadlifts are a staple exercise in back development. There’s a reason why all athletes incorporate some form of deadlifts into their routines. The deadlift, if performed correctly, will result in unparalleled mass while slightly targeting all the other muscle groups of the body. There’s just a special appeal to it; think about the motion of lifting a heavy bar off the floor, it’s like pulling a tree out of the ground- requiring brute strength! Deadlifts aren’t only important for the gym, it’s a very practical exercise. Think about the motion you go through next time you’re lifting a heavy piece of furniture. Be sure to never neglect this exercise!
8.Single Arm Rows
This is a great exercise because they help to add some extra thickness to the back, but they also help to prevent any imbalances in the lats. When doing work with the barbell you are training both sides simultaneously. Now if your left side is stronger it will be doing most of the work and the right side will not get enough stimulation. Adding single arm rows to your routine will help even out your imbalances and fine tune that v-taper.
7.Shrug Your Shoulders
The shoulder shrug is a great exercise but many people are either doing it incorrectly or skipping it completely. Building bigger traps will make you look much stronger and more masculine. They also are great because they are used to assist the back in many lifts such as the deadlift and the bent-over row. So if you train traps, with your back make sure to save them for the end of the workout!
6. Weighted Pull-Ups
Yes regular pull-ups are a great exercise for building upper body strength and will help define the back muscles. But to add some density to your back, you need to incorporate some weighted pullups. They will also help build your biceps. Try using a variety of grips from close to as wide as possible to target all the different back muscles.
5. Have Variety
There is no rule that you must do 4 sets of 10 reps per exercise. Try experimenting to see what works for you. On some exercises maybe 5 sets of 5 heavy reps will work with a longer rest period, while for other lifts you may want to do 2 sets of 15 reps. Using a variety of rep ranges will help increase muscular endurance while building strength. This will give you a fully developed back.
4. Choose Your Rows
This can be considered the king of back exercises. Barbell rows are part of every bodybuilder’s routine and should be part of yours. The row is great because of its versatility; you can do over-hand, underhand, t-bar, cable or dumbbell rows and each variation works slightly different. Try incorporating at least 2 row variations in your workouts, just “Row with the Flow!”
No matter how hard you work in the gym, you won’t make any progress if you’re not eating correctly. Make sure to fuel your body with protein, healthy fats, and a variety of carbohydrate sources. Also be sure to drink plenty of water each day to stay hydrated. A general suggestion for water is roughly 1 gallon per day for men and 3/4 gallon per day for women.
2. Superman Hyper-Extensions
To many this may seem like a pointless exercise, but actually it has many benefits. It will help to strengthen the posterior chain muscles, in particular the erector spinae which help to stabilize your core in almost every other exercise. These muscles are crucial when performing more advanced exercises such as the deadlift and the rows. It’s also great for people who have lower back issues as a form of rehab. Try doing this at the end of your workout!
1. Practice Proper Technique
Proper form and technique when exercising cannot be stressed enough! The key to avoiding injuries and muscle imbalances is to perform exercises properly. Before adding on the heavy weights and using momentum to do the exercises, you must make sure you understand the proper planes of your body and be sure to keep your neck and spine in line. If proper form is achieved from the beginning it will be easier to move on to more advanced moves. Have someone take a picture of make a video while you do certain exercises to see if you’re doing them correctly and then read a book on exercise or watch videos to perfect your technique.