Top 5 exercises for overall back gains

Trying to build muscle can be hard, so we're here to help let you know which exercises to avoid and which ones you should use.

When lifting some exercises are more effective and worth your time. In today's blog I'm going to list some exercises and ways to go about training to give your back a better chance at growing.

So to get started let’s talk about your back!

To achieve overall back gains, you’ll want to incorporate workouts that will increase back width and increase back thickness as well. Your back is such a complex area of muscles and it can benefit from a lot of different exercises; however, you should incorporate some horizontal and vertical movements to get the best results. By horizontal and vertical I mean some kind of mix between row and pulldown variations. In my personally experience: T bar rows, rack pulls, bent over rows and lat pulldowns have been staple workouts for the majority of my back training

What are some techniques that I can utilize?

One of my favorite ways to boost intensity/focus on my back days is by using negatives. In general, negative training has been proven to enhance the cross-sectional area of a muscle and give you more size. For the upper body lots of studies have shown that the mind muscle connection has been shown to create better growth, but not as much in the lower body sadly. When I’m doing most of isolation work for back, I try to really focus on squeezing with full range of motion to really get a good stretch on the muscle.

Does grip positioning matter?

There's a lot of different grip positions and attachments you can use and that makes the upper back one of my favorite workouts. You can use supinate, pronated or neutral grip for many different exercises depending on the attachment you have. For the most part I like to use neutral grip and sometimes a pronated grip depending on what the exercises are.

Sometimes I'll use attachments like mag grips and use supinated hand positions (more on machines/cables where it’s safer) to help me target a specific area but be careful with grip positions like these because your wrist can get hurt easier so you don't need a lot of weight when doing any kind of underhand work.

Here’s a list of 5 exercises I believe are most effective in overall back development

  1. Barbell bent over rows
  2. Rack pull
  3. T bar rows
  4. Lat pulldowns
  5. Iso hammer strength row (neutral grip I really like to utilize with a full stretch and 1 second squeeze)

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Author: Patrick Reckner- Certified Personal Trainer/ Sports Performance Specialist


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