How can you tell a real bodybuilder or gym rat vs. a weekend warrior? Take a look at their back!
The back spends a lot of time under a shirt. The muscles there are not ‘mirror muscles’. And even when we’re naked we can’t actually see them ourselves!
But at the same time, a truly ripped back is what will tell people that you’re not just about looks – but performance. A wide back will make you look powerful and help you to take up more shape and what’s more, a strong back will prevent you from injuring yourself and it will help you to perform better in every exercise you do. Keep training the front and ignoring the back and eventually you’ll snap. Be smart and train that back!
In this article we’re going to look at four powerful moves that will help you really bring out definition in your back and to really build some strength and power. What’s more, they’ll target every one of the muscle groups.
So what are the moves? Read on for the full breakdown. What you might notice is that none of these are ‘groundbreaking’. These are all moves that most bodybuilders will be familiar with but there’s a very good reason for that. If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it! These are tried and true staples of back training but we’ll be providing a few tips for each move along the way to help you get even more from it.
Wide Grip Pull Ups
We’ll be starting with wide grip pull ups. Now of course, pull ups are overhand (pronated) and this is the best type of pull up for training the lats. Twist those hands over to a supinated, underhand grip and you’ll be hitting the biceps instead.
We’re mixing things up a little here though by widening the grip. By doing that, we’re going to open up the chest and at the same time we’ll increase the lats’ range of motion. You can bring your chest right up to the bar and this will get those scapula retractors involved.
Bent Over Rows
Next comes the bent over rows. Here you’ll be bending forward and pulling dumbbells up by your side. It’s another classic move for training the lats and it’s especially good because it throws in some added isometric training for the core and for the erector spinae keeping you in that position.
Single Arm Rows
Now you’ve exhausted the lats and tired out your lower back, hit the single arm rows. You can put one knee on a bench and this way you can really isolate the lats and make use of that pre-exhaust. Note that if you bring the arm up slightly higher, closer to the shoulder rather than your side, then you’ll also be able to involve the traps a little more.
Close Grip Pull Ups, Neutral Grip
Next up are neutral grip pull ups with your hands facing inward. This is the closest thing there is to a bodyweight row and it’s great for training the middle of the lats.