Training your back is very important for looking big. Your back is what gives you width. Every guy who goes to the gym wants to have a big chest and shoulders, but it’s worth remember that your shoulders are attached to your back. So if you’re aren’t putting enough effort into training your back you will never achieve that physically ‘big’ physique you’re looking for. Here are 5 exercises to put some serious mass on your back.
Exercises For Back
#1 Lat Pull Down
Big lats give your body that wide ‘V’ shape, which all regular gym goers aspire for. Lat pull down is one of the staple exercises for back and for good reason. Sit on the lat pull down machine and set it at a weight you can get 8-12 reps on.
The important thing with this exercise is form. You will see so many variations of how to do this exercise in the gym, and a lot of people perform it with poor form. So let’s make sure you know the right way.
The aim is to firstly sit with your back straight. Then push your chest out and pull the bar down on top of your chest. You should not be swinging back with each rep and if you are then the weight is to high and you need to drop it.
On each rep pull the bar down to your chest and hold for a 1 second pause to maintain tension on your lats. Then slowly release the bar back to the start position.
Do not let your ego get the better of you. Make sure you use a weight that you can complete 8-12 reps with good form. This will be most beneficial for increasing the strength and size of your lats.
5 sets, 8-12 reps, 90 second rest
#2 Bent Over Barbell Row
Place a barbell on the ground. Again the main thing with this is to choose the right weight. Then grip the bar with a pronated grip (palms facing towards you). Bend your knees and lean your torso forward making sure you keep your back straight. The important thing is to lean forward far enough, and this is where choosing an appropriate weight becomes even more important.
Your body should be as close to parallel with the floor as possible. The aim is to work your back muscles. If the weight is to high this will encourage you to stand more upright and then you will be working your traps more than your back. Save working your traps for shoulder day, we’re focusing on the back.
On each rep make sure to contract your back muscles and hold at the top for 1 second before slowly releasing the weight back to the start position.
Note: You can perform this exercise with a supinated grip (palms facing away from you) for variation
5 sets, 8-12 reps, 90 second rest
#3 Wide Grip Pull Ups
Pull ups are one of the greatest exercises to really work your back. This is the third exercise meaning your back will already be fatigued. The great thing about pull ups is you can cater them for whatever your ability. Most gyms have an assisted pull up machine, you can use just your bodyweight or even make use of a weight belt to increase the weight you are pulling up.
Focus on explosively pulling yourself up and slowly lowering yourself in a controlled manner to maintain tension throughout your back muscles.
5 sets, 8-12 reps, 90 seconds rest
#4 Single Arm Dumbbell Row
This exercise can be performed in a variety of ways. You can rest your leg on a bench or (as pictured) use your other arm to lean against a bench or even the weight rack. Grab the dumbbell in your hand and pull it up towards the top of your rib cage.
With this exercise it is again really important to focus on form. The best way to perform it correctly is to focus on pulling your elbow back as opposed to the weight. This will help you to engage your back muscles effectively.
When you’ve done 8-12 reps with your right arm (or left if you started with that), without rest transfer the weight to your other arm and complete 8-12 reps.
4 sets, 8-12 reps, 90 seconds
#5 Reverse Cable Fly
This will act as your finisher. Go over to the cables and take hold of each cable in your right and left hand, so the cables are crossing over. Make sure the cables are set so they your in line with your chest. Then pull the cables back until your arms are fully extending and hold the squeeze, then slowly release the weights back to the start position.
4 sets, 12 reps, 90 second rest
Take Home Message
If a big back is what you want then make sure you’re incorporating these 5 exercises into your routine. The main focus should be on form and maintaining TUT (time under tension) on each exercise.