Don’t Forget About Your Back Exercises!

For a majority of guys chest, biceps, and abs are the focus of their workouts.  They are concerned with the front of the body because that is what they can see.  What they seem to not realize other people can view their entire physique.  Whether you are training for strength or aesthetics, a well built back is an impressive sight.  More importantly than that, if you focus on the pressing movements and neglect the pulling movements you are creating a muscular imbalance that can lead serious injury.

The best back exercise for overall mass is without a doubt the deadlift.  It is second only to the squat in the amount of muscle that it recruits.  The deadlift hits every muscle of your posterior chain from your traps to your calves.  Adding the deadlift to your training routine can make a huge impact.  One other great thing about the deadlift is that it is a great test.  If you are training for athletic performance, the deadlift can be used to check your progress.  If you deadlift is increasing then your program is working.  It is a better assessment tool than any other movement.

One thing to keep in mind is that the back isn’t just one muscle.  People use back exercise as a general term.  The lats, traps, rhomboids, and erector spinae are all muscles that make up the back.  When you are training you’re your back you have to dedicate a percentage of time to each area.  The easiest way to do that is to focus on upper back/traps, middle back, and lower back.  So what are some good exercises for each?

Best Upper Back Exercises

lower back exercises

Photo By Marcsiegert

  • Chin-Ups
  • Pull-Ups
  • Face Pulls
  • Lat Pulldowns

Best Middle Back Exercises

  • Bent Over Rows
  • One Arm Dumbbell Rows
  • Chest Supported Rows
  • T-Bar Rows
  • Seated Cable Rows

Best Lower Back Exercises

  • Deadlifts
  • Stiff Legged Deadlifts
  • 45 Degree Hyperextension
  • Good Mornings

Obviously with as many muscles as the back encompasses there are tons of options when it comes to training.  However the exercises listed above give you the best bang for your buck.  Many of the exercises you can modify your hand placement to hit new angles, and you can switch from a barbell to a dumbbell for more variation.(best dumbell set with rack)

The important thing is that you try to remain balanced in your efforts.  It doesn’t really matter if you train for looks, performance, or a combination of both; muscular imbalance is something to look out for.  Not only does an unbalanced physique not look aesthetically pleasing, it can lead to injury.  For every set of bench press that you do, you should be doing a row of a chin.  Not only will this balance out your physique, it will make you stronger.  Training opposing muscle groups has a synergistic effect that makes both muscles stronger.  So in effect adding more back work can make you stronger, safer, and look better. Also Check out Excellent Leg Workout | Squat Exercise Secrets