People usually focus on growing incredible-looking chests, and while that is certainly deserving of respect, it’s not the only thing in the world. You can have a great chest without working on anything else, but why would you want to leave your back behind and not have a detailed, muscular back that any champ would be proud of? Physique shows are usually decided by how developed the backs of the competitors are, with development meaning width and thickness, as well as muscular definition of the entire area. Of course you want a great-looking back, everyone does! Today we’re going to talk about how to get one.
Here is the workout that will help you in this quest.
- 6 sets of pull-ups, 8-10 reps each with 90 seconds of rest between sets. 3 wide grip sets, 3 neutral grip.
- 5 sets of pendlay rows, 5 reps each with 90 seconds of rest between sets.
- 3 sets of one-arm dumbbell rows, 8 reps each with 90 seconds of rest between sets.
- 3 sets of straight-arm dumbbell pullovers for 10 reps with 90 seconds of rest between sets. You can also do this exercise on a machine.
- 3 sets of barbell deadlifts for 12 reps each with 90 seconds of rest between sets.
Let’s get into a little bit of detail about all of this.
This exercise needs to be in this line-up for one simple reason – they’re great at pumping up your muscles and actually making them grow! You should do three sets with a wide grip and three with a neutral grip because you’ll be trying to hit as many angles as possible on your lateral muscles. If you can’t really do these, get someone to help you or get a band. Worst case scenario (or best, depending on your sources), use a pull-down machine. If you’re feeling too light, put some weight on you with chains, a vest or a belt.
2. Pendlay Rows
Normally, people will bend over just a little bit to do barbell rows, but this is the hardcore version of that exercise, where you have to pick up the weight from the floor instead. This exercise will activate your entire muscular system, from your toes to your head. If you think you can go extra-hard, get some straps but make sure to keep proper form and don’t jerk too hard. The first few times you do them, they’re definitely going to be hard, but after that you won’t want to stop doing them.
3. Single-Arm Dumbbell Rows
This exercise is in this routine because you need to work each side of your body, and it’s more efficient to do them both individually. Make sure to devote sufficient attention to the negative of the exercise here – you don’t want your weight to just drop down and you might even injure yourself while allowing that to happen. Get it to the bottom, stretch out your muscles and pause before lifting it back up. There should be absolutely no momentum in this exercise.
4. Dumbbell Pull-Over
You can also do this on a machine, which you should if your gym has them. It’s unlikely though, since gyms rarely have this machine lately, in which case you should do the dumbbell version of the pull-overs. Make sure you use your lats as much as possible and don’t worry so much about the weight you’re lifting. The rows and pull-ups in this list are more than enough for that. Make sure you stretch out as much as you can without hurting yourself –this will help you get your range of motion to a whole new level. Contract your muscles and make sure to give it a little squeeze before continuing with the exercise.
You’re probably thinking we shouldn’t have deadlifts at the very end of the routine, but here they are, and there’s a good reason for this order. You’ve already spent a lot of energy and your body won’t have the ability to lift a lot of weight, which means that you’re just going to have to focus on the way you do them instead of focusing on lifting a lot. After doing this for a long enough period of time, your technique will definitely improve, but so will your lower back muscle group, raising your maximum deadlifting weight. Your lower back should be able to handle all of these exercises pretty well, and if it doesn’t I suggest you get a rack pull and set the bar at about knee level. This will make your laterals burn, as well as your upper back and overall your entire body. Just make sure to always practice proper form so you don’t hurt yourself and you should be on your way to glory.