While a lot of people are training for six pack abs or bigger biceps, few things show you’re serious about your training quite like a well-developed back. A thick, wide back tells the world you lift heavy, and having a strong back can help ease and prevent any potential future back issues. So to help you build a bigger back we’ve put together this killer back workout for size and strength.
The Target Areas
In order to build an impressive back, it helps to know what muscles you’ll be targeting so you can help bring them up if any areas are lagging behind.
- The traps will help establish your upper back, and will give you that ‘strong as hell’ look.
- Developing the lats will give you width and help create a v-taper
- Thick rhomboids to help with definition
- Separation in the teres muscles and infraspinatus
- A thick, strong lower back
There are dozens of lifts designed to help target each of these areas, but to really build size and strength effectively the heavy compound lifts are the best approach. Lifts like the deadlift and the barbell row allow you to target most of the muscles in the back with big weight, and will help increase your strength levels as well as adding size.
The workout is based around 3 big lifts to build strength, followed by a couple more to help stimulate hypertrophy and get a nice pump and the end of your session.
- Bent Over Barbell Rows 3 x 5
- Deadlift 3 x 5
- Pull-Up 3 x 10 (add weight once you’re comfortable hitting a set of 10)
- Lat Pulldown 2 x 12
- Seated Cable Row 2 x 12
Bent Over Barbell Rows
- Set up with your feet roughly shoulder width
- Bend over until your back is parallel to the floor
- With an overhand grip, grab the bar just outside of shoulder width
- The starting position is when you’re holding the bar at arms length
- Raise the bar slowly until it touches the lower part of your chest
- Pause at the top of the movement briefly, then lower the bar to the starting position
- Your feet should start off under the bar, roughly shoulder width apart
- Bend at the waist while keeping your back straight, allowing for some bend in the knees
- Grab the bar with a double overhand grip, with your hands approx 16 inches apart
- Holding the bar at arm’s length, straighten your back until you’re fully upright
- Lower the bar until it’s just above the floor, then repeat the movement
- Grab the pull up bar with both hands using an overhand grip
- While hanging from the bar with your arms fully extended, adjust your torso to around a 30 degree angle while sticking your chest out. This is the starting position
- Pull yourself up until you touch the bar with your upper chest by drawing the shoulders and upper arms down and back
- After a brief pause at the top of the movement, slowly lower yourself back to the starting position
- Set up the cable pull down machine with the wide bar
- With palms facing forward grab the bar with a wide grip
- With a tight core and a straight back pull the bar down to your upper chest
- Pause at the bottom of the movement before returning the bar to the starting position
Seated Cable Row
- Set up at the low pulley machine with your knees slightly bent and your feet on the footrests
- With a tight core and a straight back lean forward slightly to grasp the pulleys with an overhand grip
- While sitting upright slowly pull the pulleys back towards your abs. Keep your elbows in close to your chest
- Pause, then return to the starting position in a controlled manner