Why work what you can’t see?
A lifters back is a crucial area to progress and prosper in that creates a huge foundation for a bodybuilder’s physique. Besides protecting the spine and correcting an “overworked hunch chest posture”, working your back adds an element of width and thickness to your torso that can help prefect a V-Taper look as well as create a bigger appearance. The biggest muscle groups on your body consist of your legs and your back, so if adding mass to your body, moving up in overall strength, and looking aesthetic is your goal, it is crucial to create a solid, breathtaking back.
4 Exercises For a Massive Back
Weighted Overhand Pull-Ups
Too lazy to do weighted pull-ups and would rather use a lat pull-down machine? Too bad! Weighted pull-ups create a huge foundation for exploding strength and size in your back. Using your lats and a good amount of core, this is a great lift to add to your arsenal. Using a dip-belt or dumbbell between the knees, it is important to go as heavy as possible while remaining between 8-12 reps. Remember, it is alright if you cannot add weight at first because of this difficult movement. With that in mind, it is important to make sure you are increasing the weight as you progress at this, and if dieting is goal, remember to add weight as you decrease in body weight to even out the weight that your strength has progressed at. Go heavy, contract at the top, feel the stretch on the way down, and that’s all.
One-Arm Dumbbell Rows
Heavy one-arm dumbbell rows are seen in all high-end performer’s programs. This movement focuses on the thickness of your back as you start with the weight at a stretched position, thus then pulling with your elbow back to squeeze your lats. The squeeze and control on the way down is what’s going to separate your back from everyone elses. Wrist straps are preferred if needed to be able to handle the maximum amount of weight that your back can take but your forearms cannot. Going heavy 8-12 reps, feel the back stretching and contracting because you want it to burn like crazy. Try not to swing that much or use your arms to get the weight up. If necessary to get an extra rep or two in, then go for it, but just be careful when you do it.
T-Bar rows are one of my favorite lifts to really feel a burn. Simply load the weight, use a narrow/V-Bar grip, and with a flat back, pick the weight up to a standing position with a slight forward tilt. Drive your heels into the ground and lift the weight up by pulling your elbows back and squeezing your whole entire back. Use wrist straps or even a thumb-under grip to remove your arms from doing all the work. Remember to go heavy and try not to rock or stand up straight when doing the movement. 8-12 reps is a great rep range for this exercise while doing multiple drop-sets to really burnout your back.
One of the most underused back exercises in the bodybuilding community is rack pulls. Rack pulls are essentially the top lockout part of the deadlift movement that focuses more on your whole back and less on your glutes and hamstrings. First, find a stable service to place a bar at around knee level. Simply bend down with a flat back, lift straight up, and lock out by squeezing your arms back to contract your whole back. Drop the weight back to knee level and repeat for a total of 8-12 times. Make sure to build your weight up and not to jump heavy, nobody likes an injured lower back. Just make sure to not be scared to go heavy because this will definitely create a back-popping physique if used.
Working your back does not have to be boring. Adding these variations to your routine will definitely help you see results and improvement in your back development. Just remember, going heavy is the strongest aspect that can be noted when trying to increase back size and strength. Last thing to note: just because you cannot see it, does not mean it’s not there.