Want the Best Back development? Add these 10 Back Exercises to your routine for better gains!
If you’ve ever watched a bodybuilding competition, you’d know that a well developed back brings a whole new level of aesthetics.
No physique would be complete without a strong and muscular back but this is only achieved through proper training and exercise selection.
The back is composed of several muscles such as the Trapezius, Latissimus Dorsi, Rhomboid, Erector Spinae (Spinal Erectors) and teres major/minor muscles. When developed, these muscles are a thing of beauty and contribute largely to an overall balanced physique.
Alright enough about the anatomy of the back, we know you’re ready to apply these “10 Growth-inducing exercises” for your aesthetic benefit…
1. Bent Over Barbell Rows
A King among back exercises… the bent over barbell row has earned its reputation as one of the “Ultimate mass builders”.
This compound movement’s effectiveness in adding strength and size is unchallenged.
Here are a few tips to maximize your “rowing” potential:
- Get your form down (You don’t want to risk a back injury)
- Start with a light to moderate weight
- Feel free to try different grips (Reverse/overhand/wide/narrow)
You’ll see amazing results if you include the bent over barbell row in your workouts as it has never failed to deliver. Studies show that barbell rows most effectively target the Erector Spinae (Muscle along the spine).
This powerhouse of a movement could have been number one on the list but it’s more than just a back exercise. The Deadlift works just about every muscle in the human body.
However, if you want to have a massive and powerful back… don’t avoid the DEADLIFT!
Follow these deadlifting tips if you’re serious about your gains:
- You must learn proper form (Deadlifting is serious business)
- Keep your reps to a moderate range unless you’re advanced
- Use a belt (Your back needs support for heavier training)
Deadlifting is something you really should be doing as it is a one-of-a-kind move for insane growth.
A proven bodyweight exercise…the pull-up is an incredible back building exercise that requires no resistance and can be done almost anywhere.
There are so many ways to do pull-ups and they are a true test of bodyweight strength.
What if you can’t do a pull-up? No problem, many gyms have a pull-up assist machine. Want another alternative? Try Australian pull-ups…
If you can’t yet do a pull-up, you have options. Another great way to get stronger is to get to the top position of a pull-up (Head at or above the bar) and slowly lower yourself down.
If you do as many of these as you can and keep practicing, you’ll be able to rep out pull-ups in no time!
4. V-bar Pulldowns
If you want a “feel good” exercise then this is one of those. This exercise will allow you to use as much weight as possible while really feeling the contraction of the back muscles. Your Lats and upper/middle back will feel really stimulated during each rep.
Tip for V-bar pulldowns – Don’t be afraid to use heavy weight but don’t get sloppy with form either (Too much rocking and/or overextending the arms).
5. Dumbbell Pullovers
A great upper body exercise as well as an amazing exercise for the lats.
Equipment you’ll need:
Performing the lat pullover – Keep elbows slightly bent and focus on a nice stretch while squeezing the lats throughout the entire movement. Start light as this exercise takes a little getting used to. Once more advanced, a heavier dumbbell should be used for maximum growth potential.
6. Standing One Arm Dumbbell Rows
A great alternative to the barbell row is the standing one arm dumbbell row. This is a popular mass builder and is great for building stabilizer muscles as well.
All you need is a bench/rack and a dumbbell.
Performing a dumbbell row – Use a challenging weight for this one. Stand in a bent over position while resting your free hand on a bench/rack. Your core should be tight and your lats/upper back should feel most of the work. If you don’t feel the lats contracting, grab a lighter dumbbell.
7. Rack Pulls
An incredible exercise for the lower back is the rack pull. Similar to a deadlift, this movement requires a shorter range of motion while utilizing a power rack and a barbell for optimum strength and muscle building benefits.
Performing the rack pull – Set up the power rack so the bar is off the ground but low enough to perform a pulling movement through a decent range of motion. Since the back should be the targeted muscle group, the legs should be secondary in the movement.
The rack pull is a phenomenal back exercise that should be utilized as a power move in your arsenal.
8. Wide-Grip Pulldowns
The wide grip pulldown is popular for developing the teres major as well as the lats.
Performing the wide grip pulldown – Get a nice full stretch and pull the bar down to a few inches away from the mid-chest. Lean back slightly and minimize swinging. Keep to a moderate rep range for optimum growth.
9. One-Handed Cable Shrugs
You need to work the traps if you want full back development. The one-handed cable shrug allows for a great shrug and constant tension.
Performing the Shrug – Use a single grip and lean in the opposite direction slightly. Squeeze the traps with every rep and get a nice stretch.
10. Barbell Shrugs
Long known as the king of traps exercises, the barbell shrug is used for pure mass. You can load the bar with weight and put extreme stress on the traps.
Tip for effective shrugs – Keep the knees slightly bent while using a weight that you can fully control. If you don’t feel the traps working, lower the weights to focus on the squeeze.
Add These Exercises to Your Routine if You’re Serious About Growth!
If you take your back development seriously, then you must use a variety of exercises to reach your full potential.
Moderate to heavy training will promote growth and increase strength which is necessary for continued progress. So taking your training seriously is imperative. Remember, your back is composed of several muscles so attention to detail will go a long way.
We know these “10 Growth-Inducing exercises” will serve you well in your pursuit of massive muscle growth!
Green Daniel J. Green Contributor Daniel J. Green is ACE’s Senior Project Manager and Editor for Publications and Content Development.
In addition to his work with organizations including the International Association of Fire Fighters and Agriculture Future of America, Daniel.
“Certified™: April 2018 – ACE-SPONSORED RESEARCH: What Is the Best Back Exercise?” ACE, www.acefitness.org/education-and-resources/professional/certified/april-2018/6959/ace-sponsored-research-what-is-the-best-back-exercise.
Ethier, Jeremy. “The Best Science-Based Back Workout for Growth (12 Studies).” Built with Science, 9 June 2018, builtwithscience.com/best-back-workout/.