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  1. #1
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    Jun 2016
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    Back exercise for upper, middle, lower back muscles.

    Hello! I am somewhat new to weight traning and I need some pointers.

    I really want to work on my back because of;

    A: Good strong back is always a good thing to have.
    B: I want to be able to pull my self up by my own strenght atleast 10 times (personal goal)

    I would like to know what kind of exercises is best to use to target the back muscles (Upper, middle and lower groups etc). Any recomended exercise people suggests?
    I also know that back isnt the only thing that needs to be worked on so any other pointers would be nice.

    Any links to routines by people would also be welcommed.

  2. #2
    Senior Senior JEFIT Member John Rippon's Avatar
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    Jan 2012
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    Rowing and pulling movements. Cover all directions of pull relative to your torso by including at least one exercise from each of these groups:


    • Upward pull = barbell/dumbbell/kettlebell deadlift, barbell rack pull - for good overall strength development,
      barbell/dumbbell/machine shoulder shrug - more specifically for upper trap development
    • Downward pull - e.g. pull-up, chin-up, lat pull-down, cable straight arm cable push-down
    • Horizontal pull - e.g. cable seated row, iso lateral row machine, dumbbell one arm row, inverted row;
      rear delt fly machine, dumbbell lying rear delt raise, cable rope rear delt row - for rear deltoids
    • Angled UPWARD pull - barbell bent over row


    If you're up to learning proper technique, barbell power cleans and snatch-grip high pulls are fantastic for developing explosive power!

    Back extension movement:


    • hyper-extension or weighted hyper-extension


    250m sprints on the indoor rowing machine (learn the technique) are also good for overall strength development as well as improving your cardio-vascular efficiency.

  3. #3
    Senior Senior JEFIT Member is304's Avatar
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    Oct 2011
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    New York
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    I'll second John here with a few pointers:

    1. For pull-up, try to finish off with 2-3 negatives - basically grab the bar and jump up into pull-up / chin-up position and then go down as slow as you can.
    2. To develop back muscles focus on your elbow motion as opposed to your wrist motion. For example, on the pull-downs I see a lot of people trying to pull the bar as far down as they can. Think of bringing elbows to your sides instead.
    3. If you want to emphasize back muscles instead of overall strength, take biceps out of the picture. So, if you are doing dumbbell one-arm rows, flex your triceps at the bottom of the move (this immediately relaxes biceps and makes your lats work harder to initiate the move) and work on bringing the dumbbell to the hip.
    4. Eliminate hip hinge on isolation movements. Too many people go too heavy on pulldowns and seated cable rows and start the pull by leaning back. This is fine when you want to replace deadlift with cable moves (some people do it because of joints problems and that's fine), but leaning back is done with glutes and hamstrings, so your back gets a lot less of the workout. Some people actually lean back so fast, that for the rest of the movement the weight just moves by inertia. It may give them good feeling that they are lifting lots of weight with their lats, except they don't.
    5. Deadlift.

    Good luck!

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