Transform your back into the ultimate wings.
Fred “Biggie” Smalls is back with another pro workout that is sure to put your muscles to the ultimate test. This week Smalls aims to destroy your back with some exercises that are guaranteed to build you up to a pro-level physique. Get some instructions and insider tips on every exercise so that you can get that edge on the rest of the bodybuilding competition. Who needs a trainer when you can get a pro level workout straight from the source. Check it out in the video above!
The progress made in the back is equally as important as that made in the front, and while your back may be slightly overlooked by your pecs and biceps, those monster wings that can unfold should not be ignored. With so much time spent at a desk or hunched over on a computer, the vulnerability of our back muscles grows. But we can work to strengthen our backs to aid in our overall health, fitness, and physique.
Of all of our muscle groups that make up our bodies, the back is one of the most important. Back muscles can not only add to our overall physique by letting our upper bodies pop, but can also increase posture and balance, as well as sheer overall strength. Working on stabilizing muscles can also lead to increased performance with exercises like the squat and the deadlift.
Fred “Biggie” Smalls is former pro bodybuilder who has competed around the world. He has placed in the top three in events like the Arnold Classic Asia and Vancouver Pro, and is a 3-time Arnold classic best poser. He is now a personal trainer, nutritional consultant, and contest prep coach who works with people to help them stay healthy and fit. His workout routines and tips are great for people to reach their goals.
Smalls brings us this fantastic back workout to really get your lats fired up to work your entire back, both upper and lower. With just four exercises mixed with helpful hints and tips, Smalls gives us the inside scoop on how to grow a huge back.
Rack deadlifts are a deadlift variation that focuses on top-end range of motion by limiting the starting position. It is great for developing stronger hip and back extensors. Starting on the rack above the knee allows for more emphasis on the upper back. Push through the hips and get a good squeeze at the top with retracted shoulder blades. Lower reps will build strength and stimulate muscle mass.
How to: Set the rack to your desired height and grab the bar with your hands facing towards you. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart. With a straight back, push your hips through the movement and lift the weight. Pull back your shoulder blades at the top and reverse the motion back to lower the bar on the rack.
Total: Rep Range- 3 to 25 reps
Close-Grip Pull Ups
Pull ups are great for working the lats from top to bottom as opposed to the traditional wide grip and are an effective upper body exercise to develop pulling strength and muscle mass in both your back and biceps. With only a bar needed, it is a convenient and easy exercise to learn. It is important to contract the scapula before you pull up to activate all of the muscles.
How to: Grab the bar with a grip closer than shoulder-width apart with your hands facing away from you. Let your body hang and pull yourself up until your chin is above the bar. Pause slightly at the top and lower back down to repeat more reps.
Total: 4 to 5 sets- 8 to 10 reps
Hammer Low Rows
To build lat thickness, especially in the lower lats, hammer low rows are a great exercise. Keep your elbows tucked in and retract your shoulder blades to keep under tension longer. As a great exercise for those of all experience levels, hammer low rows will really target your back, but other upper body muscles as well.
How to: Sit on the seat and grab the handles with a comfortable grip. In a strong position, pull the handles toward your chest retracting your shoulder blades as you do. Slowly return your arms to the extended position and repeat for your desired number of reps.
Total: 4 to 5 sets- 10 to 12 reps
These rows are great for re-establishing poor posture and strengthening your back, as well as your core and lower body. Using an overhand grip, keep your torso still and focus on contraction to really feel the muscle work. Doing this exercise from a dead stop each rep will really work the lats. Lower reps and more sets will really promote growth.
How to: Load the barbell with your desired number of weights. The bar will be about mid-shin level and your feet at shoulder-width apart. Grab the bar with the same distance of shoulder-width apart. With a flat back and solid core, squeeze your lats and lift the bar off the floor as if it were a deadlift. Once off the ground, pull the bar towards your upper abdomen by driving with your elbows towards the ceiling.
Total: 8 sets- 6 reps
Our backs are often overlooked and that neglection can lead to muscle imbalances, poor posture, and weakness. But with a strong back we can change all of that around. Fred Smalls shows us how to get huge wings with this great back workout. By following his helpful hints and tips, we can all work hard like this former pro to really make our physique pop.
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*Images courtesy of Envato