If you’re like most other people in the gym right now your there to build more muscle. Broadening your back would have to be at the top of the agenda, mainly because it’s such a big muscle group. I think a lot of guys struggle to get a big back because they can’t see it when they train so they’re less focused on the muscles they're working. This article should give some insight into how you can improve your back workout and get the most results out of your training.
- Unilateral (one handed) Movements
If you’re only focusing on one side of the back at a time; you’ll find you have a much more focal range of motion to play with. This means you'll be able focus on and train your individual muscle with every rep. Unilateral variations are great on dumbbell rows, single arm cable pulldowns and even seated cable rows.
Reverse your grip
Everybody has their favourite exercises and grips for pulldowns and rows. Whatever your favourites are, do the opposite for the next 4 weeks. When you use a specific grip you will recruit certain muscles off the back of doing that, so by swapping to the opposite grip you’ll train different muscle fibres in your back.
This is really important, because the back is such a vast muscle with lots of smaller muscles within it, doing as much as you can to train all of them equally is going to help you grow.
Hit Compound Lifts
Be sure to focus on good form and isolation there’s a lot of people out there forgetting that the fastest route to a big back are the compound moves members of the old school built their backs with! Bent over rows, single arm dumbbell rows, deadlifts, seated rows and rack pulls should always feature in your back workouts.
Below is a workout that will help you utilise these tips effectively:
Wide grip pulldowns: 3 sets, 14-18 reps - 3 second negative and 1 second isometric on these to REALLY engage the fibres in your back
Seated cable rows: 3 sets, 14-18 reps - 2 second negative and 1 second isometric on this exercise
Single arm dumbbell rows: 3 sets, 14-18 reps - 2 second negative, full stretch at the bottom and 1 second squeeze at the top
Straight arm pulldowns: 3 sets, 14-18 reps - 2 second negative with a 2 second isometric. This is a great finisher to really force the fibres to contract.
**MAKE SURE you use the tips above in this workout**