Training

Pose To Grow | Isometric Back Workout

Pose To Grow | Isometric Back Workout

If you haven’t tried using isometrics in any of your workouts, today is the day to start. Especially if you have a lagging body part or one that may not be a mirror muscle (like today’s back workout), using isometrics properly will not only allow you to engage the muscle more intensely but also will help to greater muscle growth.


What are Isometrics?

Isometrics are utilized primarily by contracting or flexing a body part without changing the angle of which the body part is at. Although many feel that this is not a valid way to build muscle, flexing and holding a particular muscle is a great way to break down the muscle fibers and force blood and nutrients into the muscle.


Sample Back Workout

Superset #1: BB Rows/Cable Rows – Christmas Tree pose at end

isometric back workout

One of the weakest areas that many fail to hit within the back is the middle to lower traps. This not only is a base of the posterior chain but a weak lower back spells all kinds of problems from back pain to poor posture. Use an underhand grip for the barbell rows to isolate the lower traps rather than the upper and use a close grip on the cable rows to attack the middle portion of the back rather than the posterior lats. The kicker at the end is the squeeze and hold of the lower back Christmas Tree pose. Many bodybuilders hit this pose to show their development of the lower back but you’ll use it to strengthen it that much more.

  • Start with an underhand grip on the barbell for the rows
  • Contract the shoulders together and pull the bar to the naval region then slowly lower back down
  • Hop over to the cable rows where you ensure you’re pulling with your back/traps and not your biceps
  • Perform your prescribed reps then immediately start in on the isometric hold
  • Retract the shoulder blades down and back and try to squeeze the lower back as hard as possible for a full 30 seconds

Sets and Reps: 6 x 10-12/ 30 second isometric hold after each set/60 seconds rest


Superset #2: Wide Grip Pull-ups/Wide Grip Pulldowns – Lat Spread pose

With the middle of the back and the thickness now worked, we can move on to developing a back that’s as wide as a barn door. To do so, the mind muscle connection has to be on point in order to contract, flex and work these desired muscles. Exercises like the wide-grip pull-ups and pulldowns will work the lat width and the shocker at the end is the isometric hold of the lat spread. The lats will be fully spread open to their maximum contraction capacity in which you’ll hold this pose for at least 30 seconds.

isometric back workout

  • Begin by hopping up on a pull-up bar with a wide grip (as wide as you can handle)
  • First movement will be retracting the shoulder blades and then using the lats to move your body up to the top and slowly back down
  • After completing the pull-ups, the pulldowns will be a more strict motion but will still hit the lats and even a little more specifically the outer portion of the lats
  • Hop up and as soon as possible flex the lats in the lat spread pose with hands on your ribs and stretching/flexing the lats as hard as possible for 30 seconds

Sets and Reps: 6 x 10-12/ 30 second isometric hold after each set/60 seconds rest


Take-Home Message

The isometric hold may not sound like much but it sure packs a punch with the amount of intensity it provides in your workouts. This is a sure fired way of being able to activate stubborn muscle groups and also promote strength and size like never before!



Tyler Stark

Tyler Stark

Writer and expert


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