What exercises are best for your Back?
Few days ago we mentioned which exercises are good for your chest. Today, let’s take a closer look at your Back, considering your back muscles are involved in just about every activity you do each day. It’s one of the most important aspects of your body, so it is important that they stay strong enough to handle all the work. Not only strong back improves your physique, it also helps to correct your posture and prevent an injury.
1. Pull-Ups/Weighted Pull-ups
One of the oldest and respected back exercises is the pull-up. There are many variations to this exercise but the proper form that is know and used is with a pronated grip using your own body weight with added weight if you are experienced. Not only does it activate the belly of your latissimus, but it will activate every muscle in your back except for your trunk when it’s heavy enough.
The pull-up is a compound exercise that uses your body weight to work several large muscles of the upper body. Adding pull-ups into your regular workout routine can help you to strengthen your upper body and effectively build endurance in the target muscles.
2. T-Bar rows
This exercise will activate your mid-lower traps, rhomboids, and inner lats. T-Bar rows is a weapon of choice for adding back thickness. It also hits the rear delts, and although it won’t do as much as the number one exercise in terms of adding width; nothing compares in terms of adding thickness. T-bar rows is strength training
3. Bent Over Barbell Rows
The pronated grip for barbell rows make it similar to that of the deadlift. The weight should be light enough for you to raise the bar as high as the upper part of your abdomen. It will activate your lats, rhomboids, traps etc. it is performed as one of the first exercises in a bodybuilding routine, whereas many who still believe in the dead lift for bodybuilding perform it later in their routines when they feel it the most.
Bent-over rows are a highly effective exercise for building a strong, broad back. Done properly, they target your upper back, arms, legs, buttock and especially your lower back. Upright Rows
4. Upright Rows
Upright rows also fall under the conditional category; the reason is because there are tons of upright rowing machines out there that are just not right for producing tension time on your back. The most they seem to accomplish is putting your shoulders and biceps under tension from the pulling motion involved.
The exercises that allow upright rows to reach this spot are the hammer strengths that need to be loaded with plates. They fall short only to free weight exercises but are far superior to the exercises above in terms of stimulating multiple back muscles simultaneously. The upright row is a common strength-training exercise. Popular with bodybuilders, athletes and general exercisers alike.
5. Lat Pulldown
Lat pull-downs work your latissimus dorsi, the largest muscle in your back. The muscle is in the middle and outer part of your back, and it assists in shoulder and scapula movement.
This is probably the most popular exercise for back, and it’s responsible for development only under one condition: if performed correctly. Research has shown that grip width is not a factor in recruiting muscle fibres’ and pulling it down in front is more effective than behind your head (by the way behind the head can be dangerous for the rotator cuff).
6. Dumbbell Rows
Having dumbbell rows this low may surprise you, the rest of the exercises listed are more of a safe bet for growing your back. Dumbbell Rows are geared more towards function and strength than actual hypertrophy and development. Your back is a very complex group of muscles and it takes multi-joint movements to effective target all of them.
The dumbbell rows do hit your latissimus dorsi, but this particular ‘pulling’ motion mainly hits your rhomboids and your mid/lower trapezius. Before doing dumbbell rows, warm up your muscles with a five-minute cardio exercise to help prevent injury.
7. Seated Cable Rows
Seated cable rows have proven to be more of a staple in the routines of bodybuilders. It remains closer to the bottom of this list because it’s never going to be a primary movement for a simple fact that the seated position works against trunk (lower back, hips, and abdominals) activity. It hits your lats and rhomboids to some extent, but it is primarily responsible for working your mid and lower trapezius muscle (or traps).
if you look at the overall anatomical structure of this muscle you’ll see that majority of the muscle extends down your inner back to your lower back. Although this muscle is important for stabilization, and it supports your overall strength, targeting it won’t put seated cable rows in the top spot for back development.
8. Reverse Grip Bent Over Rows
This is a variation to the much more popular bent over rows, it is designed to target the lower latissimus dorsi. However, the lower lats are closer to the insertion point and far from the ‘belly’ or middle of the muscle. So because of the location of its target area it won’t do much to initiate overall back development.
It is great variation in a routine, or anyone who is looking to bring up their lower lats so that it can appear as if your lats are ‘springing out’ from your waist. It is also an effective exercise for those with shoulder or joint injuries as it is easier on your shoulders than a pronated grip.
9. Back Raise
You may think that the back raise solely as a lower-back exercise, and why not? Its name implies as much. But done properly, this classic back builder also strengthens your calves, hamstrings, and glutes. Executing these exercises properly will shore up weak muscles for an instant boost to your workout.
The Back Raise exercise is a maneuver utilized to work the erector spinae and other smaller stabilizing muscles of the back. Strengthening these muscles is important for many reasons. Performing the back extension exercise properly will reduce the likelihood of injury and ensure that the target muscles are being worked.
10. High Inverted Row
You get to use your body weight, and there’s no extra stress on your back. As an added bonus, you get decent core workout too. Inverted rows compliment the barbell chest press by working the opposing muscles in the back to create a balanced workout. Inverted rows are also known as, reverse pushups or reverse rows. This exercise will help to improve posture by equalizing strength gains in your chest with those in your back.
Side Note: The 10 best exercises for your back are probably all you will need to have a great back, which consists of muscle and helps to have great posture. But what also contributes to having a great back is a fat burning workouts that will speed the metabolic rate of your body. So go and check out the old post on fat burning workouts.