Having a strong back is going to do much more for you than just helping you look great from behind. A strong back will also help you build a solid foundation that assists you in lifting as much weight as possible with every lift you do, which contributes to an overall muscular and strong physique.
In order to develop the best back possible, you want to combine exercises that target the major muscles of the latissimus dorsi (lats) and the trapezius (traps), as well as the muscles that run along the length of the back — the erector spinae. If you fail to hit all three muscle groups, muscular imbalances can develop and this can lead to back injuries and even make it difficult to execute other exercises.
We’re confident that you’ll find the following five moves for a strong back beneficial.
1. Bent-Over Rows With a Pause
The first exercise for a strong back is the bent-over row with a pause. This move will really help you build up your overall strength levels since you can lift a lot of weight during it. This exercise can easily be performed at home with a set of dumbbells, so it’s convenient wherever you prefer to train. To increase the difficulty of this exercise, add a very brief pause at the very top of the movement. This helps to eliminate any use of momentum throughout the exercise and will also help to add a bit more stress on the muscles causing them to react by growing stronger. Aim to work in the 5-to-8 rep range so that you can keep the weight lifted high.
2. Lateral Pull-Downs
The next of our five moves for a strong back is the lateral pull-down. These are going to help increase the width of the back and really boost the overall look you obtain. These can be performed either in front of the head or behind for variety to keep your body responding.When executing the movement, aim to bring the bar down to the sternum region in order to work all the muscle fibers. Be sure, however, not to go a lot lower or you may place excess stress on the shoulder girdle. It's also important to maintain the upright position while executing this move so that you aren't allowing momentum to do the work for you by leaning too far backward.For this exercise, take your rep range slightly higher, to the 6-to-10 area, to really get those muscles working hard.
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Another exercise that helps increase the overall width of the back is pullovers. This move will completely stabilize the body so that you're placing a very large focus on just the lats, which are the muscles that run primarily down the sides of the back.When performing this exercise, it's vital that you keep the movement path in a comfortable range in order to prevent shoulder strain. If you aren’t very flexible, it may make it slightly more difficult to do this exercise properly. If you find yourself in this situation, be sure to spend some time on stretching. Add a couple of sets of these using an 8-to-10 rep range after performing your lateral pull-downs.
4. One-Arm Dumbbells Rows
While the bent-over row is going to help you maximize strength development, the one-arm row is fantastic for working on any weaknesses in the back and ensuring that one side of your body is not stronger than the other. Since you must lift each weight with just the single arm, a stronger side will not be able to compensate for a weaker side.As you pull the weight upward and toward the body, be sure to squeeze the oblique muscles at the same time to help give you a great core workout and get more benefits with each rep performed.
5. Twisting Weighted Supermans
Finally, the last exercise that you should consider adding to your workout program for a strong back is twisting weighted Supermans. These will help to work all the muscles lining the spinal column as well as the core and glutes to a very small extent as they contract for stabilizing purposes. As these muscles grow stronger it will help you maintain proper posture, which can dramatically improve the way you look overall.Aim for 2 to 3 sets of 12 to 15 reps right before you finish up in the gym.
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You don't necessarily have to perform each one of these exercises during every single workout, but by making sure that you regularly rotate through them you will help to target all areas of the back and see continual strength gains. You should aim to perform 4 to 8 sets of back exercises twice per week.