It does not matter who you are. Your physical will NEVER be highly functional, or useful if you do not have a developed, strong back.
If you do not believe me, I’ll pause this article for a moment while you’re trying to learn more.
I assume you’ve returned.
Long story short, your back – all parts of it – are a staple for athleticism, strength, and physical goals.
Without it, you would not get far in any department, and would probably risk injury.
With that said, we recognize the importance of training for strength through choice movements, but here we are going to take a look at what it takes to make it grow.
Put these guidelines for use and you’ll be happy with a shield for a backside.
Tip 1: Row A LOT & for High Reps!
To bulletproof your shoulders, and it is imperative that you become okay with a lot of variations in volume. It’s okay to add rows to other isolation workouts as well, because in my books, you can not overtrain the upper back.
Also, when you consider the programs of the biggest guys, you’ll never see people doing row patterns of any sort for sets of 3-5 reps. They’re geared towards volume and high reps, and they respond to a protocol.
The reason why is the muscles of the back muscles, geared towards endurance. This is the reason they’re jam packed with slow twitch muscle fibers due to their slow-fatiguing nature.
Tapping into this by way of 10-25 reps will work for the muscles of the lower traps, rhomboids, rear deltoids, teres, and upper lats. In truth, this is your bread and butter directive for upper back training.
Exercises that are my go-to for high rep row patterns:
BB Bent Over Row – 10-12 reps
Inverted Rows – Max reps
Single Arm DB Row – 12-20 reps
Seated Rows (various grips) – 12-25 reps
Face Sweaters – 12-20 reps
T-Bar Row – 10-12 reps
Tip 2: Do Pull Ups & Chins the Right Way!
When they get started, they are more likely to get pulled over, they’re angled to get their hands on the bar. It’s more about the production force and less about the commitment.
For a lifter who’s generally OK at doing pull ups, but having trouble making his back growing from them, it’s time to look more closely at the technique being used.
In truth, there is a way to do that (which can be beneficial for bracing, core strength, pulling strength, and more), and there is a way to go back to the future – specifically the lats – are the most involved. And honestly, it’s kind of difficult to have it both ways.
Doing pull ups that get the back involved the most comes from firstly initiating the lift by way of depressing the shoulder blades. This is a direct role of the lower traps, and the lats will also pre-commit to the overhead position of the arm while performing this action. If you’re not good at this skill, you’ll have a hard time engaging your back to get the most out of your pull ups. Use this video as a guide.
If you’re ready to graduate to the real thing, then use that piece of the pie and apply it to full range of motion chins. Including a thoracic extension and possibly a change of motion can be just what the doctor ordered to get the best stimulation for your lats.
And I do not mean high by the armpits. The meat of the lats is below your shoulder blades. If you really want to V-type, it’s imperative you train for that width.
All of this means that the weighted chins you are doing for a lot of right places of it.
Tip 3: Deadlift Smart!
Read most training articles on the web, and you’ll probably find that the deadlift is a hallowed to oblivion the quintessential posterior chain movement that is an absolutely necessary staple for a strong back.
Without arguing its importance as a concern, it is also important to review your goals and circumstances.
What’s the Rest of Your Program Look Like?
If your program is very low-back dominant as it is, especially on back day, it’s worthwhile to reconsider the set volume, rep range and variation you choose for your deadlifts.
Related: The Ultimate Muscle Building Split Reference Guide
You may also want to consider whether or not to move your body or your body, but you should be able to do this by working with your combined efforts.
The Time of Day You Train!
This may sound silly, but there will be a lot of points where you will be at your physiological peak compared to others – and if you like to train at 5:30 AM, there’s a massive chance that you ‘re not in that peak zone at that time.
Truthfully, training early in the morning, relatively soon after waking, can be a contraindicated time for some lifters to the spinal discs holding a bit more fluid at this point, yet to naturally drain from being vertical and moving around. Adding heavy external loads in this circumstance can be riskier for spine health, especially if you have a history of back issues.
If you’re a taller, a longer legged lifter, a deadlitter will be more important than yours. The effects of a program of deadlfits, bentover rows, back extensions, and hip thrusts will have the same effect on you.
Keep track of this, and make sure you place heavy deadlifts in your routine, if you do at all. Remember – the world will not end up for you.
Your Physique Goals!
No one else will say it, so I will. There are many physical competitors who do not include deadlifts in their programs (or at least not often) due to the fact that they are not looking for hypertrophy of their lower back, obliques and trunk over much to create a wider waistline.
Although this decision is strictly for cosmetic purposes, there is still something that can be learned from this. Many people who swear by the big three lifts for function and physics may be missing out on the benefits that diversifying training can deliver for them.
A strong, healthy trunk can be developed through many other lifts, and incorporating them in a way that is likely to lead to improved performance and physical improvements.
As a guy with a 550 deadlift PR, discogenic back issues, and a 6’4 “frame, at this point in my training journey sometimes conventionally).
Based on the above, of course, there will be many people who will prefer a different method and more frequency. But if the goal is to be able to train and maintain a good physical life for the long haul, you’ve done what works best for you.
On Upper Traps
The upper traps are an often neglected component of completing a developed back. They’re important to train and can make or break a person who’s strong, athletic and able to do real work.
I wrote all about training in this series, and you should check out the link right here.
To wrap things up, these pointers are simple.
Row to oblivion, learn how to pull up the right way, and be smart with your deadlifting.
You’ll have a brick wall for a back in no time, and you’ll be standing taller and wider.
The best part is the fact that it will improve your dryness strength, make your chest more prominent due to your posture, and finally create the imposing physics you seek.