Don’t overlook the gains you can get from having a rock solid back and really work to elevate your overall performance and physique with these great exercises to bring your gains to the next level.
It’s too easy to look in the mirror and see the progress made in the front. The pecs that pop, the biceps that bulge out, and those washboard abs you’ve made happen with strict attention and dedication. But your back needs love and the gains made from producing a rock solid back are waiting for you to expose. Not only can your back help give off that toned aesthetic you’ve hustled for in the front, but the benefits to your posture and overall strength are endless. So, why limit yourself with what you can and cannot do when building muscle.
We often spend so much time hunched over a desk or a computer, not realizing the detriment we’re producing to our backs. That weakness not only hinders our overall growth but stunts your progress from those workouts in the front you desperately want to improve. The stronger your upper back, the more stable your shoulders become, thus allowing more weight for upper body workouts, like the bench press. Seems like you take out two birds with one stone so why not work the back to its optimal capacity for muscle growth.
So while the front gets all the love, the back struggles for attention and ultimately can bring you down, hurting all other elements of your workouts. With these 8 workouts, you’ll notice a huge difference in your overall strength and posture and that V-shape you so desire is just around the corner. So give these a try and really start to see the gains grow and that much desired V-shape taper come into full effect as you work yourself to oblivion.
A shredded back is what separates the men from the boys, especially in the gym. A good back training session should be as brutal as a hardcore leg day and leave you sore and wanting more. You should be running on fumes by the end of your back workouts and seeking the next back workouts to really enhance your overall growth. Don’t be just another person working out in the gym. Be a force that everyone can jealous of every time you grab a weight. Knowing what to do and actually doing it are two totally different things so make those rock solid back goals come true with a serious boost to your training and muscle growth.
If you want a cobra back, you need to constantly shock your muscles with different exercises. Hitting a training plateau is one sure way to stunt your gains and waste your time in the gym. Your back is one of the biggest muscle groups and you need to target it from every angle for optimal results in the most safe and effective way. We have put together the list of workouts you can try during your next workout to really turn your back into a serious strength specimen.
Here are 8 training exercises to help you get that rock-solid back.
Band Bent Over Row
The band bent over row is perfect for those at-home workouts. Either as a warm-up or a workout, the band bent over row will provide great range of motion while still challenging you, all while forgetting that weights exist. Providing constant tension, it allows for various grip options while sticking with a natural range of movement. Improving not only grip strength but also mobility is more than key when looking to progress with your overall goals with a good back workout.
How to: Grab a band and place it on the ground, standing in the middle. Take the band with both hands with an overhand grip, bend at the hips, keeping a good, solid posture with your feet shoulder width apart. It’s crucial that your back remains straight and not rounded. Pull the bands towards your chest, squeezing your back, ending with a slight pause at the top. Return to the original position and keep working against the band’s resistance.
Single Arm Dumbbell Row
The single arm dumbbell row is great because it allows you to lift more weight with a greater range of motion. The ability to focus on weaker points of your back is just one benefit to this workout. Your lats will work hard and other muscles like the rhomboids and traps will jump to their defense.
How to: There are two ways to do this workout and each will provide solid benefits. It is important to keep the core engaged with both so as to protect the spine and provide solid stability.
Using a bench, place one knee down toward the back with the same side hand towards the front. Provide support with the leg that is on the ground and using your free hand, grab a weight. Maintaining a flat back is key as you lift the weight in a rowing motion to avoid lower back pain. Repeat with the other side by placing your other knee on the back of the bench with the same side hand on the front.
The other way to do this exercise is to place one hand in the middle of the bench and hinge at the waist with both feet planted firmly on the ground. With the core engaged, grab a weight with your free hand and lift to your chest in a rowing motion, keeping a flat and stable back.
The renegade row is the perfect challenge for it combines both the pushup and plank, mixed with the added bonus of weights. Keeping a tight core is critical for the integrity of this position so as to not injure yourself. Start light and work your way up to heavier weights. As a full body exercise, the renegade row will work to push you to new heights with your overall strength goals. Planks work to target your core and offer balance and stabilization for the lower back while push-ups can really work your chest, arms, and core. The row will target the back making this a serious contender for one of the best full body workouts for your back muscles.
How to: Grabbing a pair of dumbbells, get into a plank position with feet spread shoulder width apart. The dumbbells should be parallel to each other as you squeeze your glutes and brace your core. It is important to keep the core engaged the entire time.
Lift one weight up in a rowing motion to your chest, pause for a second, and return the weight to the ground. Reset, check your core, and repeat with the other side. Control is key with this workout in order to keep your body stable and your core engaged.
Chest-Supported Dumbbell Row
The chest supported dumbbell row is a great for those who may struggle with keeping a strong chest and straight spine with some others. The chest-supported dumbbell row lets the bench do all of the work while you can efficiently move the weight. Often times we lose our form and balance throwing us all out of whack. Supporting ourselves is key when it comes to working a full body exercise for those vulnerable joints and smaller, overlooked back muscles can become targets for injury and unwanted pain, like those in your lower back. Really take advantage of this exercise and work to benefit yourself overall.
How to: Using an incline bench, lay on your stomach and let your arms hang. Grab the dumbbells and squeeze your back to pull the weights with your hips. Your elbows should be at a 90-degree angle. Make sure to squeeze your shoulder blades, pausing at the top for a second or two, and returning to the start.
Seated Cable Row With Pause
The seated cable row with a pause is a great workout to see big gains. Sitting up tall and keeping your shoulders back is key in strengthening those muscles. Unstable shoulders can limit your movement resulting in not as much growth. It is crucial to keep your shoulders back and down in order to avoid injury. The great benefit to this exercise is that you can start with light weight and slowly add more weight to maximize your gains. Working a drop set with this is also something that can really enhance overall muscle growth and huge gains with your back muscles.
How to: Sit upright across from the bar. Grab the bar and pull towards your upper abs. Set your shoulders blades together and tighten your abs before beginning. Sitting up tall, let your arms slide out following the cable. Your body should remain straight and firm throughout the entire movement. Repeat with desired number of reps.
Wide-Grip Seated Cable Row
The wide grip seated cable row is really just a variation of the seated cable row, but is important for those who want more specific focus on the lats. The same applies with keeping a tight core and stable shoulders. Similar to the normal grip seated cable row, this exercise can elevate all aspects of performance and growth by playing with weights to really trick your muscles and alleviate lower back pain.
How to: Sit upright holding the bar with a wide grip. Hinge at the waist while maintaining a tight core and flow out with the cable. Pull back towards the upper abs and pinch your shoulder blades together.
Close-Grip Pull Down
The close grip pull down is great for it allows a longer range of motion and increased time under tension, forcing your muscles to work a little harder. The close-grip and the regular grip act very similar to one another so it’s really a personal preference. Keeping this movement slow and controlled will only add to the resistance and tension and a good squeeze will only amplify the effects of a stronger back.
How to: Sit upright with your knees placed under the pads and keep your back upright with your arms straight. Reach up and grab the grips, bracing your upper body. Pull down to your chest and hold for a moment before releasing back up to the top.
Pullups or Chin-ups With Variations
Pullups and chin-ups are staples in any workout especially for those looking to get a V-shaped torso. Pull ups and chin ups work the lats and that flared shape can make you appear more slim without shedding a pound. There are many variations with these, but here are some good ones to try. Find on that is comfortable for you and really work the reps while mixing in new ones to trick your muscles and diversify your training.
Chin-up: Grab the bar with an underhand neutral grip shoulder-width apart.
Mixed Grip Chin-up: Grab the bar with hands shoulder-width apart, however one is underhand and the other is overhand.
Pullup: With an overhand grip, repeat the same motion as a chin-up to really get a great pull ups exercise for muscle gain as you build muscle.
Towel Pullup: A fun take on the pullup, drape a towel over the bar and grab the ends with your palms facing each other. This can help improve grip strength and is great for the forearms.
These are sure to fire up your physique so you see huge gains in your back. A strong back can provide not only strength but also support and stabilization for big lifts so you stay strong and injury free. Having a rock solid back means you know what you are doing and not just in the gym wasting your time. Taking the time to really work your back muscles and give your body the best benefit possible is something you should applaud yourself for because many people overlook it. Don’t let the same old routine ruin your chances at great gains and work to add some diversity into your back workouts with some simple or more advanced exercises. Try these today and see what they can do for you to advance all of your bodybuilding, fitness, health, and wellness goals in your quest for optimal performance.
*Images courtesy of Envato