The Best Back Exercise Of All Time
Everyone wants that triangular shaped body with that distinct V-cut. Obtaining that sought after physique will come from introducing these back exercises into your workout program. Doing any of these on a regular basis will not only give you that taper but will also injury proof your back and shoulders.
To build this V-taper you will need to focus on developing your lats, deltoids and obliques. By improving these lagging body parts not only will get a bigger, broader back as well as looking stronger but you will also improve your posture and strengthen the neck and spine.
Perform the exercises below to improve functional fitness, build strength and size and prevent injury!
A great lift and one which should be included in everyone’s workout. Not only does it work the back but it also incorporates the legs, glutes, shoulders and arms.
To perform this exercise, stand shoulder width apart, feet under the bar and bending at the hips grab the bar. Keeping a flat back, lift the bar off the floor, driving with the legs and pulling with the back until lockout.
A great bodyweight exercise which takes some practice to master but is an essential strength goal to pass. These can also be performed weighted by using a belt or y putting a dumbbell in between your feet.
Hold onto a pull-up bar with a grip slightly wider than shoulder width. Pull yourself up until chin is above the bar ensuring to use lats and back.
These can be performed either with a barbell or a set of dumbbells. This is a great exercise for building the lower back, glutes and hamstrings.
Stand shoulder-width apart with a slight bend in the knees, move your bum back and lower your torso forward until you feel a stretch in the hamstrings.
This is one of my favourite exercises as it really isolates the upper back, lats and rear delts. Set a bench up on some steps, raising it off the ground. Lying facedown, ensure that the dumbbells aren’t touching the floor when your arms are at a dead hang. Pulling at the elbows, move the weight all the way up to your chest and squeeze at the top.
Incline Dumbbell Rows
Set a bench to an incline and lie chest-down. Holding a dumbbell in each hand, retract the shoulder blades and row the weights back. Squeeze at the top of the movement and then control back down.
Another great bodyweight exercise and one which is often used as a feat of strength. Hang from a pull-up bar with palms facing towards you. Ensuring to use your upper back and lats, pull yourself up until your chin is above the bar. Control yourself back down ensuring not to use your biceps.
`Hex Bar Deadlift
This is a slight variation to the conventional deadlift. It involves using a different bar i.e a hex-bar or trap-bar. The movement is the same as the regular deadlift. A great way to target your lower back if you are bored of conventional deadlifts.
Bent-over rows are great for building wide and strong back. This exercise can be done with either a set of dumbbells or a barbell. Bending at the hips, row the weight up and into your stomach then lower.
This is a bodyweight movement which is very rarely seen being done in the gym. Using a racked barbell or a smith machine at about hip height, lie underneath it. Grab hold of the bar at about shoulder width with heels on the floor. Start by hanging from the bar, next retract your shoulder blades and pull your chest to the bar, squeeze and lower.
Set a barbell up on the safety racks of a power rack slightly below knee level. With the same form as a deadlift lower yourself down until you can grip the bar. Performing the same movement as a deadlift, pull the bar up and off the racks, squeeze the glutes at the top and then lower back down onto the racks.
This exercise is the same as a standard pull-up but with a wider grip to get more lat activation and enhance that V-taper.
Set a barbell up with one end in the corner and weights on the other. Using a Y handle from the cable machine, hook it around the barbell. Stand over the barbell with it in-between you’re legs and you facing towards the weighted end. Bending at the knees at hips, pick up the handle and row the weight towards your chest.
Similar to the Y-bar, set the barbell up in a corner. This time stand to one side and grip the bar with just one hand. Keeping a flat lower back, bend at the hips, draw your shoulder blades back and row the weight to your ribs.
Can be done on a bench, seated on the ground or standing. Using the cable machine, set the cables at about chest height, grab the handles, retract the shoulder bales and row the weight back.
This is identical to the cable row but instead of having the hands in one position the entire time you aim to change their position throughout the movement. At the start of the movement, start with your palms facing downwards but as you move through the movement slowly rotate your wrists so that at the end your palms are facing upwards.
This exercise requires a specialist bit of equipment called the back extension bench. Bend forward, pivoting at the hips so that your torso is at 90 degrees. Using your lower back pull yourself back up to the top.
Supinated Row and Row To Neck
These are both variations of a barbell/dumbbell bent over row. Instead of having your palms facing downwards try with the facing upwards. This will increase lat activation.
Row to neck is the same movement pattern but just means instead of pulling the weight into stomach you pull it up to your neck. You will need to lower the weight for this exercise.
Lat pulldown and variations
This is the ultimate exercise for that wide back. Really focus on pulling with the lats, don’t go too heavy on this exercise and you don’t want to rock the body in order to get the weight to move. Pull down past the chest with an upright torso.
Variations of this exercise include Wide-grip, narrow-grip, supinated grip and reverse lat-pulldown.
A feeble body weakens the mind – Jean-Jacques Rousseau
If you’ve got any other favourite exercises you’d like to recommend to help develop your back then please either comment below or hit me up on social media!