There are various exercises and their variations for back muscles. Some of them works, some of them not. But here are top exercises to build a huge back.
Wide Grip Lat Pulldown
This is the number one open chain exercise that should be used to progress & finally be able to do a pull up. This is the most important exercise which will help you to build huge back.
Because it mimics the exact motion used in a pull up, therefore: if you get and strong at doing pull downs & you’ll be able to create a strong base to be able to do pull ups. Pull ups are the way to build a huge back.
Just like any back exercises, shoulder blades play major importance. Actually in most exercises but with an emphasis for the ones involving the back!
Anyway, let’s get to the tutorial. Shall we?
Once gripped the bar at a medium width (which is the best width you can pick for hypertrophy purposes or you can keep slightly more width than shoulder width.) let your arms straight, there’s no tension. You’re sitting, with your quads locked under the pad with your arms straight.
At this point you want to retract your shoulderblades back & down together: your lats are engaged and ready. As you can notice, when you do so, your chest naturally comes up as a response, through thoracic extension.
If it doesn’t comes up it means you’re not doing it correctly. Try doing this step UNTIL you can see that your chest is coming up. This is actually the most crucial part.
Start to pull the bar down WHILE keeping your shoulderblades down. Nothing moves except for your arms, which are driven by your elbows, towards your back, sticking your sternum up. The bar should touch your upper chest/clavicle area. You will lean back a little but that’s completely fine.
SINGLE DUMBBELL ROWS
Probably one of my favorite exercises for the lats (together with the barbell variation). It is also known as bent-over rows
Let’s see Bent over rows to build a huge back.
I said lats and not upper trap, so make sure you do this exercise properly if LATS are your target.
If you want to do it right, you need to pay attention to where you put your legs too, since in this case – that can mean greater or shorter ROM for the dumbbell depending on how you set up.
If you keep your leg slightly behind you will allow the dumbbell to have more space for the proper rowing movement. While pulling your arm up, pay close attention to your scapulas and always retract them BEFORE the pull, just like a lat pull down. The lower back is nice and neutral, inhaling and bracing the core as you pull and exhaling on the descent.
On the other hand, if you keep your leg too close forward, the dumbbell won’t have enough space to move. This means that the arm will most likely move vertically and instead of becoming a lat focused movement, it turns into an upper trap cringey-shrug fueled by momentum (typical of the bros), without actual lat engagement.
Please drop the load and make sure to do things correctly, not just for safety but also for actual muacle development. If you’re trying certain exercises without knowing how to do them you’ll most likely end up not targeting the wanted muscle.. which is why it’s lagging on its growth.
PULL UPS: The best weapon to BUILD a HUGE BACK
Definitey one of the greatest exercises for the lats (but not only) that allows for great progression & overload.
When we try pull ups or pull downs or chin ups, the number ONE thing we need to do (both for safety and back development) is to LOCK those scapulas down and back before starting the pull. It’s the most important thing you need to remember, if you want to develop those wings because that’s actually “how” you engage your back muscles.
I always like to start with a protraction of the shoulder blades (letting them lose) and then proceed to retract and depress them (lock them down and back) before I pull mysef up. –
If you don’t go through this step, chances are you’ll get some form of shoulder injury in the long term because of the internal rotation of the shoulder, oh and with no actual lat development.
T BAR ROWS
In my opinion, a great overall back muscles builder that allows for progressive overload. Just like any other back exercise, depression & retraction of the scapula (pulling them down and back) will play maaaaajor key.
For the set up, I’d personally suggest to always using smaller plates (5/10kg ones) since their smaller diameter will allow greater range of motion.
The set up: Hinge at the hips, pushing them back while maintaining your chest up, sitting strong and stable, approximately at a 45 degrees angle.
When it comes to performing the exercise, after setting up the proper scapuar position before each rep, pulling through the elbows while maintaining a neutral spine and NOT using momentum will be the most important things to keep in mind.
I know it feels good and probably attracts many eyes when the bar is stacked with plates, but I promise that people will be able to tell whether you’re fueling your ego or your muscles with this exercise. Don’t fool yoursef. Don’t cheat.
Personally I don’t like T-Bar rows since weight which we lifting during exercise is moving circular and gravity acts in straight line
The traps are one of the most dominant muscles on a humans body. They signify strength, power, and dominance.
If you really want to achieve that strong and “powerful” look, packing size and thickness onto your traps is something that should be treated as a priority rather than an after-thought.
The dumbbell shrug is a variation of the traditional barbell shrug that effectively targets the upper trapezius, while creating symmetry throughout the upper back region.
The biggest mistake I see in the gym is guys are using way too much weight and swinging the weight up with no proper contraction at the top. Doing this is just purely working your ego and not at all working the desired muscle.
Lower the weight and perform the movement properly to maximize growth.
Holding the peak contraction at the top of the movement is critical for achieving growth. Slow the movement down and increase the “time under tension.” At the top of the movement hold it for 2 seconds and squeeze it.
One of the most common exercise mistakes is rolling your shoulders on the shrug.
Rolling the shoulders creates an unnecessary horizontal movement that has no benefit (since free weights are made useful by gravity and gravity works up and down) and causes stress on your shoulders and neck.
Instead, just go straight up and down, with a slight curve in the back with pinched shoulder blades. (arched back and retracted scapulae)
Additionally, relax your arms, lifting only with your traps and high as you can and drop it all the way with control.
Keeping your chin high is another way to keep stress off your neck and can prevent any long term injuries.
So these are the best exercises to build a huge back.
Let’s list out all the exercises:
- Lat pulldown
- Single arm dumbbell rows
- Pull ups
- T-Bar rows
Deadlift also a great exercise for Back muscles. But it won’t contribute much in hypertrophy of back muscles. It’s great for strength. Therefore I don’t mention Deadlift in this guide to build a huge back.
Which is your most favorite exercise to build a huge back??
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