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Making up a large percentage of muscle in your body, the muscles that make up your back are a serious group of fibres. That means it's time to start treating your back workouts with some respect, make these five back exercises part of your next workout.
Ladies, don't worry. These aren't just the best back exercises for men, they're good back exercises for women too, strengthening the posterior chain and adding muscular definition.
Training your back is a great way to add some mass and definition to your physique, along with reaping the rewards of the physical benefits, including improving your body posture and sporting/lifting performance.
Switch up pull day with these essential back exercises.
Here are 5 of the best back exercises:
Scroll down to find out more about each of the back exercises, and how to do them.
- Bent-over Barbell Row
- Renegade Row
- Dumbbell Shrug
1. Bent-over Barbell Row
Although the Bent Over Barbell Row exercise can be performed with dumbbells, using a barbell means you can add more load, which in tern helps recruit more muscle fibres.
Progressively increasing the load will help to constantly challenge the muscle fibres, promoting an increase in strength and muscular growth.
The Bent Over Row is one of the best back exercises, targeting the majority of your back muscles. Placing a key emphasis on the Rhomboids, Teres major + minor, Posterior deltoids and Trapezius. The Bent Over row
Form is key on the bent over row, ensuring the spine is kept in a neutral position. Hand grip can be pronated or supinated, whichever feels more natural to you. Focus on keeping the shoulders retracted throughout the exercise and imagine trying to touch your elbows together behind your back, at the top of each rep.
A fundamental back exercise for developing the lats, the pull-up is an excellent bodyweight back exercise that can be modified dependant on your individual strength. To make it easier, you can take advantage of resistance bands to start building strength in your back muscles. If pull-ups are easy, add weight by wearing a weights vest, belt or holding a dumbbell in-between your feet.
Lat pulldowns are also a great way to build initial strength before moving on to pull-ups. Alternatively, lat pull-downs can also help increase training volume, as more sets and reps can be completed, lowering the resistance as your muscles begin to fatigue.
Lattisimus dorsi and Teres major are the main muscles targeted during the pull-up.
When you think of back exercises, the deadlift is probably not the first thing that comes to mind. However, the deadlift is one of the best free weight back exercises there is.
The movement requires engaging your back muscles, from your rhomboids to your erector spinae, in order to prevent any injury.
Not to mention it is a great compound movement that challenges your whole body – great for if you’re looking for a killer resistance workout when you’re short on time.
4. Renegade Row
An excellent full body challenge, the renegade row really isn’t for the faint-hearted.
Keep the movement slow and controlled and retract your scapula as you pull the dumbbell upwards towards your chest, keeping your elbow tucked in through the movement. This will really help to challenge those lats (as well as your abs and glutes).
Add this workout into your next HIIT circuit to feel the burn.
5. Dumbbell Shrugs
This is one of the best exercises to target the upper portion of the Trapezius, a strong muscle at the top of your back.
Well developed traps help create a prominent posture, with the Trapezius upper muscle peaking between your shoulder and neck. The main function of the trapezius is to lift the shoulder blades and support the neck during movements, helping contribute to performance on bigger compound lifts such as the deadlift and row.
This exercise looks simple, but be sure to complete a full range of motion and pause for 2-3 seconds at the top of each rep to achieve the muscular contraction need to train the muscle efficiently. This one can also be performed with a barbell or trap bar, to help load more weight!
Want more traps exercises? Check out 5 of the best exercises to build bigger traps.
Bookmark this article and add some of these exercises to your back workouts to really work those back muscles.
What are your go-to exercises in your back workout routine?
Let us know in the comments below.