Back muscles are incredibly important for overall strength, health and of course for the jaw-dropping physique.
Well developed back muscles are contributing to V shape physique the most. Combine great back with small, lean waist and your physique will look incredible. Apart from that back muscles have big strength potential as they are one of the biggest muscle groups on our body. They protect your spine and contribute to stabilization.
Back muscles consist of multiple muscle groups, but in order to make them strong and well developed, they should be trained using compound movements that engage all of them or at least a majority of them.
So, here are the best back builder exercises.
Properly done pull-ups, without swinging and other weird movements are crucial in developing a strong back and well-developed physique. Unfortunately, they became less popular in the gym and replaced by lat pull-downs or other machines that imitate pull-up movement.
The truth is that pull-up and all its variations require more strength and stabilization that machines and that is why they are more effective than machines and more difficult. Another good characteristic of the pull-up is that it requires a certain level of leanness. The more excess weight you carry the harder it is.
Pull-ups are great for developing back muscles, they engage a great portion of the back (if not entire back) and are worth having it in every back workout.
If there are any two exercises that can make entire back workout it would be pull-ups and rows. Traditional barbell rows are a great tool in building back. Again this exercise engages entire back allows for use of big weights and good control of the movement. But there is one better version of rows than barbell rows – Front lever rows. This is an advanced variation of the bodyweight row but it does the same what barbell row and more. It engages core muscles to a greater degree, small stabilizing muscles and definitely put lower back in “zero” injury risk. If this variation of the movement is too hard I would suggest doing front lever pulls. In this variation, you start in a pull-up position and finish the move in front lever position. It is important to retract your scapula and keep arms straight for the entire time. To make this exercise easier simply use a band. As you get stronger try to pause at the top and do them without the band. Even though this is not a row it engages the same muscle as the row but due to lack of biceps engagement can be considered isolation movement. It will add a great strength and help you put on size on the entire back.
Bridging are very underestimated nowadays. They are probably one of the most important exercises to do when it comes to spine health and lower back development. Perfect bridge requires elbows and knees to be locked. This puts great tension on back muscles. Bridges also improve ventilation and stretch the entire front of the body. They can be performed as a static exercise or for reps and sets. To easy? Try doing them from standing position without wall support.
Nowadays most of us spend to much time in a sitting position with our spine leaned forward and this contributes to poor posture. Bridging can help prevent poor posture and improve your current posture.
What about deadlifts for lower back?
Deadlifts are great. But if you’re not a powerlifter or you care more about health and look than deadlift PRs then they are not necessary for back training. The problem with deadlift is that the amount of risk is not necessarily worth its benefits. They engage lats in a mostly static manner which is alright but they also put lower back at a lot of risk.
So if your goal isn’t deadlift PR then give bridging a try your back will feel amazing and over time will get stronger and more flexible, your posture will improve and all that without too much risk.
That’s it! This is all you need to develop great back. Of course, there are other good exercises. But this is the base that should be included in every back workout. Just remember to always start from the most difficult exercises for you. This way you can put a lot of focus in that exercise and execute proper form.