Training

Weak Point Training | Get A Stronger Back

Weak Point Training | Get A Stronger Back

Being able to recognize your weaknesses is what will allow you to correct these flaws in your body and make them your strengths. This also means that you will have to maybe lighten up the weight, swallow your pride and focus on the squeeze and contraction of the movement rather than throwing around some plates.

Not only will your muscles respond positively to this but it will also help clear up any imbalances you may incur from being stronger at one body part over its antagonistic muscle group. Follow this instinctive back workout and learn to build your back the right way.


Exercise #1: Reverse-Grip Pull-Downs

The middle and lower lats are two weak links within the whole back musculature makeup. This comes from over-active traps and upper lats from things like pullups and shrugs and not being strong enough to keep your scapula in place. Forcing your hands into a reverse grip will activate the lower lats and erector spinae to be worked more effectively than if your hands had a normal grip.   strong back

  • Set up cable pulley machine and place your hands with underhand grip a little wider than shoulder width apart
  • To start the movement, retract the shoulder blades down and back then follow this movement with your arms
  • Squeeze at the bottom of the movement and then slowly lower the weight back up to the top feeling the stretch right underneath your armpits

Sets and Reps: 4 x 10-12

Top Tip: The biceps will want to come into play, especially if you’re weak in these areas. Using straps will place a majority of the stress and load on the back muscles and not on holding the weight with the arms.


Exercise #2: Reverse-Grip Rows

One of the greatest thickness builders of the back is the barbell row. When performed with an overhand grip, the traps tend to come into play quite a bit. Since we’re forcing ourselves to go reverse grip on two of the main compound lifts for back. Ultimately using the correct muscles to move and pull the weight will result in greater muscle gains and range of motion.  strong back

  • Load up the bar with about 75% of what a normal set of 10 would be for you on barbell rows
  • Let the weight start just at your knees then pull through your mid-back- squeezing at the top of the movement for a good 1 count
  • Slowly lower the weight back down, maintaining constant tension throughout the movement

Sets and Reps: 4 x 10-12

Top Tip: Don’t let you elbows flare out during this movement because this is what incorporates the traps into the flow of the pull.


Exercise #3: Rack Pulls

Similar to the deadlift, the rack pull is a great posture-corrector and provides less pressure on the lower back due to it’s shortened range of motion. This short range of motion does not mean heavier weight however. Find a weight that you can control throughout the lift and focus on the squeeze of the lower traps as well as the lats and rhomboids that help pull the shoulders back.  strong back

  • Set up in the squat rack or on the smith machine where the starting position is about ¾ of the way down on a conventional deadlift
  • Take on a wider than shoulder width grip and flex the lats when the weight is pulled up
  • At the top of the movement squeeze all the muscles in your back to spread it out and pull it back as much as possible
  • Slowly lower the weight back down, maintaining constant tension throughout the movement

Sets and Reps: 4 x 8-10

Top Tip: Using a belt on this exercise is encouraged to take of even more pressure on the lower back to help you focus your attention to the meaty part of your back


Exercise #4: Straight Arm Pull-Downs

Straight-arm pull-downs are a great finisher for any back workout, especially when we’re focusing on weak areas like lat width. The pull-down or pull-up is great for building lat width but many are not strong enough to pull the weight with the correct muscles to build correct strength and size. The straight-arm pull-down will alleviate the biceps involvement, thus forcing you to just put the shoulders in a steady place to make the lats work alone.  strong back

  • Set up rope attachment on pulley cable machine on top notch
  • With arms straight out in front of you, retract the shoulder blades and flex the lats to start the movement
  • Pull the weight with straight arms all the way down to your midsection, squeeze for 1 second then return to the top of the movement.

Sets and Reps:  4 x 15-18

Top Tip: The focus on this exercise is to really pump up the muscle as much as possible from all of the compound movements we’ve done prior to this. Don’t be afraid to lighten the weight to more than normal to ensure the form is perfect and correct muscles are being used.



Tyler Stark

Tyler Stark

Writer and expert


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