Total Back: Development and Strength!


DuaneBrickhouseBackBack development and strength is crucial in any type of physique competition, as well as life in general. With that being said, you need to focus on both thickness and width in your back when training. There is constant focus given on creating that great v-taper, but you also have to make sure that your physique does not disappear when you turn to the side, and that there is detail, and not just width from the back. Also, from a functional standpoint, many people suffer from lower back pain. Strengthening those muscles while using proper form to prevent injury can help alleviate that issue. Here is a workout that should help put focus on both.

Wide grip pull-up – Performed by grasping a pull-up bar with a wide grip and your palms facing away. Go to full extension and come to a full stop at the bottom of every rep. Use the assisted pull-up machine if you are unable to get the desired amount of reps. 4 sets of 8-12 reps

High cable row – Using a lat pull-down station and the normal wide grip bar, stand with one foot on the floor and the other against the seat to brace yourself. Grasp the bar with a wide grip, and pull it to your chest. Return to the starting (arms extended) position and repeat for reps. 4 sets of 20 reps

Bent-over barbell row – Hold a barbell with an overhand grip while bent at the waist with a flat back. While keeping your core tight, pull the bar right below your chest, hold for a count and then extend your arms to your starting position. 4 sets of 8-10, while increasing the weight on each set.

Cable Row – Using a close grip (palms facing each other) at a cable row station, slowly pull the cable to your midsection by contracting your back and biceps while keeping your core tight and back straight. After holding for a count, extend your arms and repeat. 4 sets of 12-15 reps

Bodyweight rows – Lie underneath a bar that is set up (around the height of your waist) on a rack or a smith machine. Grasp the bar with a grip (palms facing away) outside of your shoulder width and your body straight with your feet on the floor. While contracting your back, pull your chest to the bar, hold for a count, and then return to the starting position. This exercise can be made more challenging by putting your feet on a bench and/or by adding weight plates. 4 sets of 10 reps

When it comes to training back, I think form is extremely important. Often people probably focus on moving as much weight as possible, but the key is moving that weight while maintaining proper form. So make sure that when you are working to improve that back detail that you are focusing on the muscles that you are trying to work and not just moving weight.

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