4 Awesome Muscle Building Back Exercises

By Vince Del Monte, WBFF Pro Fitness Model, Certified Fitness Trainer and Nutritionist and author of No Nonsense Muscle Building.

Why You Need To Train Your Back


Your back is the second largest body part in your body, after legs, and is used to bend, lift and carry heavy objects.  Whether it’s pulling up your body weight, picking up your girlfriend or slugging heavy barbells, your back is a critical part of your everyday life.

You might as well make it look good in the process. Face it, a strong, symmetrical back separates a serious bodybuilder from a wannabe bodybuilder.  You can have big arms and a big chest but a thick and massive back stands out far more than anything else.

Back training plays a critical role in maintaining proper posture and protecting you from a rounded back position that occurs from everyday life and too much chest training.

Building a strong big back will help you stay leaner and more ripped because you’ll burn a strong amount of calories compared to training smaller muscle groups.

And if for some reason your boat flips in the ocean and you need to row yourself to safety while a shark chases you home, you’ll stand a better chance of winning.

What Defines A Beautiful Back?

A striking back has two characteristics: density and wideness. That means you need to do vertical pulling exercises for wideness and horizontal pulling exercises for density.

A strong mistake is relying on only one movement pattern that creates imbalance in your back that results in you looking funny in your shirts and getting girls and young kids to stare at you like you’re a mutant.

The 4 Best Muscle Building Back Exercises For A Big Back

#1: Barbell Bent Over Rows

This is characterized as a horizontal row and allows more demand and stretch to be placed on your back than anything else in this plane of movement.  I recommend being able to row the same amount you can press.

So if you can bench press 225 pounds then you should aim to row 225 pounds or chances are you’ve spent more time on your front side than back side.  Don’t increase your bench press until your back muscles catch up.

Bent over rows will also challenge your conditioning, core strength, glute and leg strength, while blasting your biceps.

While doing this, focus on keeping your back flat so you could rest drinks on it, and keep your abs and legs tight to ensure your elbows are turned in when pulling.  To get an extra contraction, find a weight that allows you to squeeze your shoulder blades together and pull the weight right into your belly.  If you can’t meet these requirements, drop the load. Also be sure you control the weight on the way down.

#2: Behind The Back Barbell Shrugs

This is excellent for getting strong traps to create a diamond shape to flow into your V taper.  Strong traps demand attention and put the final touches on an almost perfect body.

It’s quite easy to get strong traps with this movement because you’re unable to cheat or use your body to shrug the weight.  Focus on bringing your traps to your ears and focus on full range of motion rather than load.

Tilting your head down slightly, not excessively, will help you target your upper traps even more.

#3: Barbell Deadlifts

There are many tips in coaching the deadlift so we’ll cover the main ones. You know you’re doing them properly because you’ll be sore in your upper back, glutes and hams the next day.

First, focus on keeping your shoulder blades over the bar, and shins against the bar before lifting. Next, push through your heels on the way up and keeping your back flat and bar close to the body, squeeze your glutes to come to the standing position. Be sure to also keep your core tight on the way down and lock your hips out at the top of the move.

#4: Wide Grip Pull Ups

I love pull ups because they reveal the honest strength of a man. You can’t cheat and are able to assess a guy’s real strength relative to his bodyweight.

The key is to pull yourself up over the bar from a fully stretched position and return to fully straight arms before beginning another rep. Most guys turn this into an arm exercise by not returning to lock out and miss out on critical development of the entire lat.

To get strong lats you need to keep your elbows flared slightly to take the stress off your biceps and target the back muscles that will suit you up with a V taper.

There are many variations of pull ups depending on your fitness level. These include chin ups, neutral grip, narrow grip, weighted pull ups, lat pull-downs and assisted pull ups.

I believe everyone should be able to do at least 1 set of 10-12 reps as a basic fitness requirement

Exercise Sets Reps Rest
Deadlifts 4 5-7 120 sec
Bent Over Rows 3 8-10 60 sec
Wide Grip Pull Ups 2 As Many As Possible 60 sec
Behind The Back Shrugs 1 25-50 60 sec

***Add this workout at the start of your upper body day and give yourself 4 weeks to get a big back and big traps to intimidate just about anyone.


Want to get a big back that bristles with power and defines you as a serious bodybuilder? Or would you rather have a pathetic looking back that typifies you just as an average guy? 
Check out the links to the side if you’re ready to look like a real man and make the most of your back and the rest of your body.
Vince

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