Build your best back ever!
Want to bring sexy back? Well, who wouldn't? It would be an understatement if we say that building the perfect back is one of the toughest challenges your body ever has to face.
Your back is one of the biggest muscles in your body and to build it well, you need to work hard. The most wanted V shape won't be coming on its own. To build back you need to work on upper and lower back both. Since these muscles are connected so they require an equal amount of training. In this blog post, you will find exercises that can miraculously transform your back. Make it stronger, bigger and wider.
No surprises here. Deadlifts are hands down the best all-rounder exercise you can do for your back muscles. It is the best exercise for your whole body as it involves hundreds of muscles and allows for tremendous overload (if done properly of course). Research proves that a deadlift is the only exercise that can transform your whole body. Many people avoid it because they think it will put a strain on their lower back. Learn the proper technique before you attempt deadlifts. Well, lifting all that weight off the floor and letting your lower back take all the strain sounds disastrous right? It's vice versa according to research. The key lies in the technique; let us break it down step by step to give you a clear understanding.
- Position your feet so they're slightly narrower than shoulder-width apart. (Your feet can be pointing sharp in the front or be slightly turned out, go with whatever you are comfortable).
- The bar should land somewhere between your shins and over the middle of your feet. (At this point, your shoulders should be aligned with the bar or even slightly behind it). This will allow for maximum leverage when lifting the weight and putting it back eventually.
- Stand up tall with your chest out, sucking up all the air in your diaphragm (not in the lungs).
- Brace your abs as if you are about to get punched in the stomach.
- Move down towards the bar by pushing your hips backward, do NOT squat down straight!
- Place your hands on the bar just outside of your shins.
- Now, keeping your head in the front and neutral, lift the bar and come back down as quickly as you can.
- Build momentum and perform the deadlifts in one go.
- As you descend, maintain a slightly tight core and keep your lower back stiff. Keep your shoulders down.
Follow the instructions and you will never fail at deadlifts!
2. Wide-Grip Bent-Over Barbell Row
Rows are great for developing strength and density in your mid-back. Moreover, the wide grip emphasizes the outer areas on your lats as well as your upper and mid-trapezius. While taking position for bent-over barbell rows:
- Stand with your back straight.
- Hinge the hips and lean forward into 45-degree angle. This is the ideal standing position for attempting bent rows.
- Now that you have taken the position, hold the barbell and lift it till it touches your lower abs.
- Take it back, do not drop the barbell as yet, and complete the set by lifting and going back.
- On your final set, perform a triple drop set. That means you will be dropping your weight after the fourth set and go as heavy as you can for the final set. As many reps as possible (AMRAP). Roll in more weight and repeat it two times. (Attempt this step if you're past the beginner level).
Now, pull-ups are hated by many at the gym, people find them hard because of course, you're lifting your body against gravity which means you need extra energy to pull yourself up. But pull-ups are one of the best exercises for building and strengthening your back muscles. Pull-ups, as the name suggests, requires you to pull your weight with the help of your arms and shoulders.
- Stand straight in front of the pull-up bar.
- Jump and hold the bar. (You can also use help if you are doing it on the machine).
- Now that you've held the bar firmly. Squeeze your back fully and pull yourself up.
- While coming down, release your lats fully before coming up again.
- Repeat this for as many reps as you can.
4. Single-Arm Dumbbell Row
As explained before, rows are known for providing strength to the upper back. Single-arm dumbbell rows are also beneficial for the upper back. Here's how you do dumbbell rows:
- Pull up a bench nearby you and put your knee bent on it. Extend the corresponding hand and rest in on the bench extended.
- Now, get a hold of the dumbbell from the hand hanging in the airlift it, bringing it to the end of your waist bending your elbow.
- Complete the set in the same position, switch to other hand and do the same.
- Remember to keep your back straight and steady, do not swing your body, it's just your arm and back that needs to be engaged.
5. Reverse-Grip Lat Pull-Down
Underhand lat pulldowns target the lats. Who doesn't want bigger lats? Everyone does. Pulldowns will give you those dreamy lats. To perform pulldowns:
- Your hands should be shoulder-distance apart.
- Hold the bar and then sit yourself down.
- Focus on maintaining a straight back.
- Now pull down your elbows as much as you can, distributing weight equally on your arms.
- At this point, you should feel the burn in your lats.
Remember, the key to achieving the best results for any muscles you're working on is the reps. Stay motivated and hit the failure point while working out, where you can no longer perform the rep. That's where the real fat burn starts. You burn more calories and gain muscle definition.
Pro tip: Screaming while performing the last and the difficult most rep can help motivate you.