I’m hitting back today and felt inspired to quickly write an article describing some of my favorite back strengthening exercises.
Back strengthening exercises are kind of complicated and convoluted until you get a handle on them. It’s not as simple to work out your back as it is to work out your biceps. For instance, it’s a concentrated little area where your bicep is located, and you can see it with your own two eyes as well(which helps)!
It’s hard to get a good look at your back, except in the mirror. Your back covers a large area. There are the big muscles on both sides of the back, which are called the latissimus dorsi, the rhomboids and trapezius muscles, which are the upper back muscles, and the erector spinae, which is the lower back.
It’s critical to work out all the different areas of the back when you’re weight lifting, so attempt to pick from a variety of exercises to target the lower, mid, and upper back areas. Let’s take a look at some back exercises. There are at least a dozen, and variations increase that number, but we’ll just cover a handful.
One-armed rows are excellent for working out the lats with bigger weights, but you are able to give your lower back a bit of a challenge when you do them with both arms simultaneously. You might need to use a less heavy weight than with just one arm rows, and you have to make sure the knees are bent to safeguard the lower back. If you detect any back pain, return to one arm rows, which will allow you to support the back with the arm that’s not working.
Close Grip Lat Pulldowns
This exercise will target the teres major and the lats on both sides of the back. As with all pulling exercises, this exercise will also heavily involve the brachioradialis, brachialis and biceps brachii. With your torso leaning back slightly, inhale as you bring the the bar to your sternum and exhale at the end of the movement.
As I’ve said many a time, these are the king of muscle builders as they work nearly every muscle in the body. They are particularly effective for developing the lumbosacral and traps. These also work your quadriceps and butt (gluteal muscles) quite effectively.
Pullovers Using Dumbbells Plus Resistance Bands
Pullovers are great for the back, and they’re great for the chest and triceps too. You can ratchet up the intensity by using a resistance band, and it will create a whole lot of tension for the duration of the exercise.
Bent Over Barbell Rows
This is one of my favorite back exercises. This exercise really blasts the lats (latissimus dorsi, teres major, posterior deltoid and your forearm flexors (brachialis, biceps brachii & brachioradialis).
Facing forward, gripping the barbell with your hands wider than shoulder width apart and with your back straight, you’re going to stand with your legs slightly bent and leaning forward at the waist about 45 degrees so the bar is just about knee level (slightly below).
Inhale as you contract your abs and back, then pull the barbell up to your chest. Exhale after you return to the initial position.Â
Pull ups initially require a certain level of strength to even attempt. They are excellent for developing the lats, traps, teres major and at the top of the movement, the rhomboids. You’re going to hang from a fixed bar with a wide overhand grip. Inhale as you pull your chest up to the bar and exhale as you reach the top. In a controlled manner, return to your original position.
These back exercises are just a small sampling of what’s available.
Follow detailed instructions for the way to do the exercise after you read them from an online source even this particular online source. A couple of great weightlifting resources (books) would be Strength Training Anatomy & Easy Strength.
You will then have a firmer idea of how to do the exercises, versus just going at it haphazardly and potentially inadequately with workout machines and a couple of dumbbells at the gym.
-David “Back Strengthening Exercises” Aston
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