There is nothing wrong with post-workout selfies but it is boring seeing the same old ab and chest shots. There seems to be a real lack of well-developed backs out there. Things like dense lats, 3d traps, a wide v-taper, capped rear delts and lower-back musculature that makes foothills on each side of the spine. It is very hard to build that kind of back with your workouts.
It is no wonder so many people take pictures from the front. If you wish to stand out from the crowd, you are in the right place, the four techniques in this article are definite winners for unparalleled back development. Use them to take your back size, strength and symmetry to new heights, you will soon be snapping selfies at your better side.
Deadlifting causes you to use pretty much every muscle in your body as you move the bar up from the floor and transition to an upright position. In the chain of muscles involved in this process, nothing is left behind and everything is forced to contribute.
It begins with your lower back. Nothing builds your lower spinal erectors like the repetitive action of heavy deadlifting for reps, the deadlift is more than a lower-back exercise though. As you move through the full range of motion and transition from the lower part of the lift to the lockout phase, your grip, lats, traps and other upper back muscles take over.
When you lock the weight out, you are holding a very heavy weight in a dead-hang position, which places anabolic-spiking pressure on your traps, creating a synergistic combination that builds thickness in your upper back and shoulders.
This movement is a tried and tested bodybuilding basic but this is a unique spin on it. Instead of following a normal formula of 3 sets of 10, instead do as many reps as possible for a given amount of time. Your goal here is to go for 30 seconds. For a 30 second set on each side you’ll want to use a weight at which you can perform about 10 reps.
You will likely reach failure (normally 2 seconds per rep) so you’ll continue with partial reps until you hit 30 seconds. Don’t stop your set at failure. Start with your weaker side and match the number of reps on your stronger side.
This is one you wouldn’t expect to be on the list of big-back moves as it is a single-joint exercise but it was a firm favorite of powerlifting bench-press world champion record-holder Doug Young, a man built like a bodybuilder and even became a training advisor to a younger Arnold Schwarzenegger. On every upper-body workout, not just back day, Young included 6 sets of straight-arm pull-downs.
Some pulling movements make your biceps the limiting factor but when you do a single-joint movement like this one, the biceps are taken out of the equation which allows you to better isolate your lats and this exercise does that very well.
Straight arm pull-downs can be performed with a lat bar or rope attachment on a cable lat station. Put them out for one minute straight, don’t worry about reps with a weight around your 20 rep max. Go at a controlled pace, focus on range of motion, work the muscle and control the negative.
I think most of us are familiar with the overhand grip pull-up. A neutral grip is simply your palms facing each other. Here, you want them about shoulder-width apart. This movement is much more friendly on the wrists, elbows and shoulders than either overhand or underhand chin-up versions.
The main function of the lats is to pull the humerus (upper arm) down and into the body, they also have a synergistic role in extension and lateral flexion of the spine. Both of those functions take place with the neutral grip pull-up which is why so many bodybuilders feel it is the king of lat-building movements.
Begin the pull-up from an arms-extended position and hold the bar keeping tension in your lats and shoulders whilst squeezing your glutes. Pull your chin over the bar by dividing your elbows down, lower your body under control to the starting position.
I have put together a back workout below that puts all four of these champion making monsters together in a single routine. Try it for a month and you will see and feel a big difference. After a few sessions, you will dying to pull out your phone.
Photo Worthy Back Workout
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