If you want to have that v-taper look where your upper body is proportionally bigger than your waist then developing a wider back is a must.
Today I want to go over 8 of the best exercises that are going to help you develop a wider back faster,
and I’m also going to go over certain training techniques that you should incorporate, to make your back bigger in terms of both width and thickness.
At the end, I’ll also show you how many sets and reps you’ll need to do to incorporate these exercises into a workout.
As we go through these keep in mind that to effectively build a bigger back you’ll want to do 3 things for all of these exercises.
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First, you need to concentrate on actually targeting your back instead of your biceps, triceps, or forearms.
It will take some time to develop the neuromuscular connection between your brain and your back,
but for all of these exercises, you’re going to want to try to pull the weight with your elbows not your hands,
and really squeeze your back with each rep as if you’re trying to hold a pencil in between your shoulder blades.
Second, you’ll need to progressively overload all of these exercises over time. The best way to do that is by trying to always incrementally increase the weight load you’re using for all your back exercises as you get stronger.
And the third thing you’ll want to do is come to full extension and get a really good stretch at the negative portion of all your pulling movements.
#1. Now, let’s start with the first exercise, the long angle dumbbell row.
This is a variation of a regular dumbbell row and even though it’s extremely effective, it’s a shame that most people don’t even know this exercise exists.
To perform this exercise start by leaning against something lower than waist level. You want to bend down until your back is almost parallel with the ground.
Grab a dumbbell with your other hand in a neutral position and let it hang straight down. Pull your shoulder blades back and stick your chest out to maintain a neutral spine.
Now instead of pulling the dumbbell in towards your belly button like you would a regular row,
I want you to aim to pull the dumbbell back towards your hips like you’re trying to put the dumbbell in your pocket, and then bring it back down to the hanging position and repeat for reps.
This is going to take your biceps almost completely out of the movement and put all the tension on your back, your lats, and the back of your shoulder. Keep in mind you’ll need to use a lighter weight then you would with regular dumbbell rows.
I know that you might have never seen this exercise before, but trust me to try it, you’ll be feeling parts of your back working that you never knew existed.
#2. Next up are close grip and wide grip pull-ups.
Both grips will provide unique benefits for your back. A wide grip will recruit much more of your lower lats and it’ll take a lot of your bicep strength out of the movement.
To start you’ll want to grab a pull-up bar with your hands facing away from you, and your grip set fairly wider than your shoulders so that your body resembles a “Y” shape.
Next, hang straight down so that your arms are fully extended. While keeping your chest out and your shoulders pulled back to pull yourself up concentrating on pulling up with your elbows until your chin clears the bar.
Try to think about keeping your elbows behind you the whole way up, and squeeze at the top before lowering yourself back down to a fully extended position and repeating for reps.
With close grip pull ups everything remains the same except you’ll want to grab the bar with your hands set shoulder width apart or even a little closer together.
Because you’re taking a closer grip you’ll be able to incorporate more of your biceps and a few your pecs into the exercise allowing you to do more reps or more weight.
It’ll also help you hit your inner lats. Remember to strap a weight to your body once you start getting stronger, and if pull-ups are too difficult for you right now then you can use resistance bands to assist you on your way up.
#3. Moving on we have the standing cable pullover.
Here you’ll want to set your cable cross machine at its highest point and grab a straight bar with a grip about 6 inches wider than shoulder width.
Keep your arms straight and maintain a slight bend at your elbows. Bend forward to give yourself a longer range of motion, and step back with the weight to remove all slack.
While keeping your shoulder blades back and your arms straight, bring the bar down until it meets your hips, then control it on the way back up and repeat for reps.
A great tip for this exercise is to keep your hands open the whole time, it’ll help you take your arms and your forearms out of the movement, putting more tension on your lats.
#4. Next, you’re going to want to do reverse grip rows.
Regular barbell rows will target a lot more of the middle of your back around your shoulder blades,
while reverse grip rows will help you hit more of your lower lats. To start you’ll want to grab a barbell with your palms facing away from your body and your grip set slightly wider than shoulder width.
Pull your shoulders back and stick out your chest to maintain the natural curve in your spine.
Bend down by about 75 degrees or until your back is almost parallel with the floor while keeping your arms fully extended.
Pull the barbell in towards your belly button and lower back to the starting position remembering to pull with your elbows and to squeeze your back with each rep.
To prevent a lower back injury make sure that you do not slouch forward at any point during this exercise.
#5.Next, we have the deadlift.
This is seriously by far one of the best exercises to develop a thicker wider and stronger back.A lot of this has to do with the fact that you’re able to lift a lot more weight in a deadlift than any other exercise,
so make sure that you try to go heavy after you’ve mastered the proper form with a lightweight.To begin to step up to a loaded barbell, with your shins close to the bar and plant your feet a little wider than hip-width apart.
Hinge your hips and bend down to the bar. Grip the bar slightly wider than where your shins meet the bar.
Stick your chest out, and drop your hips down, while squeezing your shoulder blades together to pull all the slack out of the bar.
Don’t lean too far forward, you want your shoulders in line with your hands. When lifting the weight, don’t pull with your lower back.
Instead lift the weight up by squeezing your abs, pushing your feet into the ground, and hinging your hips by driving them forward until you’re standing upright, then repeat for reps.
While some trainers recommend that you maintain a double chin position to ensure good posture,
I’ve found that many of my clients especially beginners are able to maintain the natural curve in their spine easier by keeping their head up, and their eyes straight ahead but do what works and feels more natural for you.
#6. Moving on we have dumbbell and barbell pullovers.
This exercise can be very effective for building up your back as long as it’s done correctly.
Some people will lay perpendicular to the bench thinking that they’ll get a much better stretch for the lats by dropping their hips,
but the only advantage to this is if you’re going really heavy and need to drop your hips to counterbalance the weight.
So you can position yourself parallel with the bench as well. Grab the dumbbell with both hands by forming a triangle position between your thumbs and fingers and then overlapping one hand over the other.
In this position both hands will be holding the plates at one end of the dumbbells, you’re not holding on to the bar in the middle that connects the plates.
Bring the dumbbell over your chest with your arms extended and a slight bend in your elbows.
Drop your hips to counterbalance the weight, take a deep breath and lower the weight above and behind your head in an arch-like motion,
until you feel a nice stretch in your chest and your lats. Then return the weight, but don’t go back to the starting position over your chest
because as soon as you bring your arms perpendicular to the ground most of the tension goes from your lats to your chest.
Instead stop right before, when the dumbbell is in line with the top of your head and repeat for reps within that shorter range of motion.
While performing the exercise try to relax your forearms and imagine that you’re pulling your elbows into your chest.
Like I said you can perform this exercise with a barbell too by gripping the barbell with your palms facing away from you at about shoulder width.
Many believe that the barbell pullover will put more tension on your lats, which I agree with, but it’s debatable, so I would mix in both into your routine.
#7.Up next we have the lat pull down.
To begin you’ll want to grab the bar with a grip width set wider than your shoulders.
I’ve found that hooking my thumbs over the bar along with my fingers rather than going under the bar helps me focus on pulling with my lats instead of my biceps.
While holding the bar with your arms fully extended sit down and put your legs under the pads if you have them.
Stick your chest out high and pull your shoulders blades back before pulling down. Pull with your elbows and bring the bar right under your chin or to the top of your chest,
do not pull the bar under your chest as you’ll disengage your lats and put your shoulders in a bad position. Also, do not swing back and forth and use too much momentum.
You can use a little momentum to help you squeeze out the last couple of reps, but the rest of your reps should be controlled.
Lastly, every so often you’ll want to switch between performing this exercise with an overhand grip and an underhand grip as they each provide a unique challenge for your back.
#8.The last exercise that I want to go over today is the seated cable low row.
You can do this exercise with a wide bar, or a close grip doubled handle.In either case, straddle the bench and sit down with your feet up on the front platform with your knees slightly bent.
Bend forward while keeping your chest out and your shoulders back and grab the d handle.
While keeping your arms straight sit back upright to a 90-degree angle from the floor with a BIG chest.
While keeping your elbows tight to your body, pull your elbows back, until the handle meets your lower abs and then extend your arms back out to repeat for reps.
Again you can use a little momentum at the very end of your set to squeeze out the last couple reps, but you should not be swinging back and forth like a madman because that’s how you’ll get a lower back injury.
Now even though you can perform all of these exercises I don’t recommend doing them all in one day.
Instead, just select 4 or 5 of these exercises and perform each for 3 sets of 6 to 10 repetitions with a 2 to 3-minute break in between, aiming for a heavy challenging weight load.
Always start with your biggest lifts first like deadlifts and barbell rows, before moving on to lighter exercises like the standing cable pullover.
That’s it guys I really hope this video has helped you out. Also, a big thing to keep in mind is to build bigger back muscles,
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