Full Back Training

A lot of people don’t like to train their backs because they can’t really see the muscles being worked. It’s an “out-of-sight, out-of-mind” thing. But the back is the key area you can train to significantly change the proportions of your entire body, so people notice even when you’re fully clothed. A well-developed back is at least as visible under your clothes as a strong chest, and definitely more visible under most clothes than say, your biceps. Strong lats (the large muscles of the back or “latissimus dorsi”) help create that classic V-shape; the wider your back and shoulders, the smaller your waist appears.

Another good reason to devote serious attention to the muscles behind you is that they greatly assist with developing the muscles in front. Want maximum results from squatting, curling or pressing exercises? All of these require a strong back Back strength also promotes proper body mechanics (and prevents injury) as you bend, twist and lift throughout the day. With all this in mind, isn’t it time to pay a little more attention to your back.

pull-ups

This is a very versatile exercise, and one which you can do anywhere you can find a straight bar that will hold your weight. Because of the difficulty of the exercise, and the fact that the weight can’t be reduced, it’s best to perform this exercise first in your workout
Starting Position: Reach up and grab the bar with a firm overhand grip.Your hands should be roughly twice your shoulder width apart. Straighten your arms and let your body hang from the bar. Bend your knees and cross your feet at the ankles

wide-grip lat pull-down

this is a classic machine exercise with many shaping and strengthening benefits. By simply changing the width and position of your grip, you can target different muscles in your back, especially those which are underused in other exercises
Starting Position: Start with your legs positioned snugly under the knee-pads of a pull-down machine.Your feet should be flat on the floor. Grasp the wide bar firmly with an overhand grip.Your hands should be almost twice your shoulder width apart

one-arm dumbbell rows

Starting Position: Begin with your right foot flat on the floor and your left knee resting on a flat bench.Then lean forward so that you’re supporting the weight of your upper body with your left arm on the bench.Your back should be flat, almost parallel with the floor.

Reach down and pick up a dumbbell with your right hand. Your left arm should be locked at the elbow so it will support the weight of your upper body. Before starting, look straight ahead instead of at the floor in order to keep your back straight

Tighten your abs to keep your body from turning to the side as you lift the dumbbell. Concentrate on pulling your elbow back as far as it can go. The dumbbell should end up roughly parallel with your torso. After you’ve “rowed” the dumbbell up as far as you can, slowly lower it to the starting position. Complete the planned number of reps for your right arm, then follow the same instructions for your left.

This is a great exercise for isolating the muscles of your upper and middle back. TIP is to pull the weight up to your shoulder while turning your body slightly to the side The dumbbell should actually be “rowed” until it’s just about even with your rib cage on the side.

seated cable rows

Sit down at a low-pulley rowing machine with your feet flat against the footrests and your knees slightly bent. Bending only at the waist, lean forward and grasp the pulley handles in front of you.Your palms should be facing each other. The Exercise: Keeping your back flat and looking forward, slowly draw the handles to your stomach while simultaneously leaning back at the waist until your torso is perpendicular to the floor. The handles should reach your stomach just as your upper body reaches the upright position. Pause, then slowly lean forward from the waist while extending your arms in front of you until you return to the starting position.

Training tips: Record your weights to see your progress.

back extensions

Lay face down on the bench, tucking your ankles securely under the foot pads.Then lean your upper body forward to make sure the wide pad is properly adjusted for your body.Your upper thighs should lie flat across the wide pad, leaving enough room for you to bend at the waist without any restriction. Once you have adjusted the bench, return to an upright position with your body in a straight line. Cross your arms in front of you; or, for added resistance, place your hands lightly along the sides of your head. The Exercise: Slowly bend forward at the waist as far as you comfortably can while keeping your back flat. Do not round your back. Slowly raise your torso until your legs and upper body form a straight line again.

Straight-arm pull downs

This is a great exercise to finish off your back workout because it works the back without involving the biceps.: Stand in front of a lat pull-down bar with your arms outstretched towards the bar. Place your palms flat on the bar and pull it down to shoulder level. The Exercise: Keeping your elbows slightly bent and your wrists “locked,” pull the bar down towards your body in an arcing motion. Once you’ve contracted the lats fully and the bar has touched or come close to your thighs, slowly allow the bar to come back up to the start position

Nutrition Tips: Drink your PostWorkout shake immediately after your training, and then take your PostWorkout Meal to you (30 to 40 minutes after the shake)

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