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Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Top 5 Muscle-Building Exercises for the Back

big back, you can guarantee they can jump up and kill 15-20 pull-ups without even breaking a sweat. See the connection? Pull-ups and chin-ups are two of the best mass builders for the back. Targeting the lats, shoulders, biceps and grip, these exercises have so many different varieties, you’ll never get bored.
  • Change the grip; wide, narrow, alternated
  • Change the grip again; towels, thick ropes, two fingers, three fingers, gloves
  • Overloaded; dip belt, med ball, sandbag, dumbbell, kettlebell
  • Change the movement; side-to-side, slow negatives, holds, explosive

2. Deadlifts

Sumo deadlifts, conventional deadlifts, beyond the range (from a deficit), rack pulls - it doesn’t matter, just do them. The back not only works antagonistically to stabilize the torso (and spine) it works to lock out the weight to finish the movement. Deadlifts, by definition, are an exercise where you can move big weight. 
  • Implement: barbell, trap bar, dumbbells
  • Stances: Conventional, wide
  • Range of Motion: Beyond the range (deficit), partial – rack pulls
  • Overloaded: Bands, chains, straight weight

3. Seated Rows / Bent Over Rows

Seated Rows
Don’t throw them, don’t hyperextend, don’t tuck your chins and many other bad technique flaws you see everyday in the gym. Do them correctly and you’ll be targeting your lats, rhomboids, biceps, grip and posterior delts.
Bent Over Rows
Biggest flaw? Being too upright. Most guys use this exercise with too much weight and either throw it up, don’t arch their back or have too limited range of motion from being too upright. Keep your torso as close to parallel to the ground as possible while keeping your back in neutral.

4. Back Extensions

Targeting the erectors, hamstrings and glutes. Stay neutral and don’t hyperextend or hyperflex your lower back. Head should also be in neutral with the back. You can overload this movement with a variety of implements like; kb’s, db’s, med balls, barbells or just holding an Olympic plate.

5. Face Pulls / External Rotations / Band Pull Aparts / Foam Rolling

Even though exercises 1-4 are super important for adding layers of muscle to the back, #5 is the key.
#5 is the difference between fighting through a crappy injury or lifting a long time with the greatest strength potential. Focus on the little muscles that balance and stabilize the joint and are responsible for the health of the shoulders and you’ll be golden.
Face pulls and band pull aparts target the upper and lower traps, rhomboids, posterior delts and teres major.
Foam rollers improve soft tissue quality and extensibility while releasing tension and removing scar tissue and adhesions.

Unfortunately, back exercises are not very popular because no one is meant to look at your back. But to stay injury free and to keep muscles supporting the spine strong you should spend sometime going through these exercises.

The back muscles support so much and also connect to so many areas that if there is injury in the back it very often affects the entire body.

Deadlifts start with the legs bent and you are bent at the waist. Drive with the legs until your legs are straight. Then bend at the waist until you are standing straight. No sudden movements. Don't bend your upper back. If the weight is too low then bend your legs and at the waist more - the back should not be overly arched. You are using the muscles in your lower back to pull yourself into standing straight. Don't rely on your arms to pull the weight so that you can adjust the position of the weight to make standing up straight easy. Nor should you use your upper back to fling the weight backwards to make the exercise easier. This is meant to train the lower back not the upper back. Actually, the upper back will be held stable so you do actually target it as well.

All types of row exercise the back. Rowing is an exercise that builds strength very quickly in the back. If you can change your body position you can hit the muscles from different angles. This is even more beneficial.

Back extension can be done with you lying on an exercise ball. Position yourself so that you are bent at the waist and part of your lower back. Then you raise you body so that you form a line (whole of back and legs lining up).

Face pull is like a row but because you are leaning backwards and pulling the bar or rope at your head level you target your rear deltoid muscles.

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