If you not only want to have strong back muscles, but also have them be big and defined, you will need specific exercises that are targeted to grow muscles of the back. In order to clearly understand what you are striving for, you need to review the structure of the muscles of the back. Now we’ll talk about back muscles and the best back exercises.
First, there are trapezius muscles (traps), which are located in the upper part of the back and are best seen from the front – they extrude to the side of the neck. Next, there are the lateral dorsi muscles (or lats), which also look quite impressive. These muscles form the conical shapes of the body and are very strong, proportionally developed, very wide muscles that deserve admiration. From the point of view of athletic form and strength, the most important muscles of the back are spinal erectors, which are often overlooked because they don’t train very easily and are not located in a very obvious place. If you want for the strength of your back to be proportional to the size of your muscles, then the lower part of your back needs to be well trained.
The first exercise is recommended for the development of all of muscles of the back and is done without additional weights – at the beginning, your own body weight will be enough.
This exercise is time tested to be great for muscles of the back, but not many recognize its potential for widening the back and training lateral muscles.
How do you pull up correctly? Place hands wider than shoulder-width apart on top of a horizontal bar (top grip). Breathing in and controlling your movement (this shouldn’t be too slow), pull up until your chin touches the bar, or a bit higher. Breathing out, slowly return to the initial position, but don’t touch the floor with your fee. Repeat the exercise. Complete three sets with the maximum amount of repetitions. The break between the sets should not be more than two minutes as the muscles should not cool down.
Deadlift or powerlift.
This is a great exercise to grow back muscles and back strength. Deadlifts have a deep effect on muscles of the back and will help you add muscle weight. It should be performed with a heavy barbell without forgetting about the technique – there is no point in an exercise if you don’t do it correctly. Let’s talk about the technique: bend down and take the center bar of the weight with your hands placed on top of the bar (top grip); legs should be slightly bent; back straight, not rounded; eyes looking in front of you. Breathing in, straighten up with the weight in your hand; breathing out, slowly return down. Complete three sets of ten repetitions. Powerlifts will help develop muscles of the back and is especially good for training the spinal erectors.
Bent barbell rows.
Heavy bent rows are great for development of back muscles, especially for developing the lats. They also allow for additional arm training. Place feet shoulder-width apart, grip the barbell with top grip, hands placed a bit wider than shoulders, and bent forward. Back should be parallel to the floor. Breath in and hold your breath, slowly pulling the barbell towards you until the bar touches your torso. Breath out and slowly lower the barbell down until your arms are completely straight. This exercise can be done using a top grip for upper lats training, or bottom grip for lower lats training. Complete three sets of ten repetitions.
Incline dumbbell rows.
This exercise can be completed while asymmetrically training the lats (wings).
Stand to the side of a bench with one hand and knee on the bench. Take a dumbbell into the other hand. Breathing in, pull the dumbbell up; breathing out, lower the dumbbell to the initial position. All movements should be slow and controlled, without jerking.