Back Workouts - Thicker Back

A lot of people’s favorite body part to workout might be their chest. A strong chest tells the world you're an alpha male, you're in charge, and you have the strength to back it up. But our favorite body group to workout is the Back. A strong Back not only looks great, but its also extremely useful. If you do back exercises correctly it will not only make you stronger, but it'll also help correct your poor posture. For those people who work at a desk all day having a strong back is imperative to combat that hunched over posture. We cant make just one list for best back exercises because it'll be too long. So we’re going to make two lists, one for a thicker back and a second for a wider back. In order to get a great back you have to attack it from different angles and thats why working out your back is so much fun. As always, remember to pick up your GYMCADDY™ today! Trusts us, its really annoying when you're on the lat pull down machine and your phone keeps getting in the way of the thigh pads. 

Alright, lets talk about how to get a wider back and why it matters. By getting a wider back you give the illusion of having a smaller waist. Which in turn will make people think you're slimmer than you actually are. In order to get a wider back you’ll want to focus on your Lat development. Also, working out your back will also simultaneously stimulate bicep development. So its a win/win situation. 

Lat Pull Down

Some great Lat Exercises for a wider back are your classic wide grip lat pull downs and all of its variations. But the number one thing we want you to remember is to never do behind the neck wide grip lat pull downs. The behind the neck wide grip lat pull down is not just extremely awkward, its also dangerous. Believe it or not you run the risk of tearing your tricep. For this reason we always tell GYMCADDY™ clients to do normal wide grip pull downs and hold for 2 seconds at the bottom. The added time under tension will help stimulate muscle growth. Another tip we like to give our clients is to imagine they are pulling with their elbows and not with their hands. As weird as it sounds, this tidbit of advice has helped multiple clients get a better contraction at the bottom of the movement. Remember, bodybuilding is all about the quality of the contraction and not the quantity of the weight. 

The V-Bar Grip Pulldown is also a great back exercise in general. Just like before remember to hold at the bottom of the contraction for a 2 seconds or so and remember to pull with your elbows. The V-Bar Grip Pull Down will put most of the emphasis on your lats and your bicep. Also, doing close V-Bar Pull Downs helps give you that wide back look from the front. 

Box Assisted Pull Ups
Assisted Box Pull Ups

As time goes on you should develop your back to the point where you can do proper pull ups. We have found through years of training clients that some people have the strength to do a proper pull up but lack the proper “activation pattern”. In order to start doing pull ups we like to have our clients do band assisted pull ups or box assisted pull ups. Doing either one of these assisted pull ups will allow you to practice the proper activation pattern when doing pull ups and you'll eventually start doing proper pull ups all on your own. Now you might be asking, “why don't I just use the machine assisted pull up machine that has a pad for my knees”. Well great question Sam, after years of training clients we have found that clients rarely were able to progress from machine assisted pull ups to unassisted pull ups. We believe the linear and unnatural bar path of the machine assisted pull up doesn't allow people to practice the proper activation pattern. But after a few session of doing band assisted pull ups or box assisted pull ups clients were able to progress to un-assisted pull ups. 

Band Assisted Pull Up
Landmine Single Arm Row

One of the best back exercises out there is the Landmine Single Arm Row. The Landmine Single Arm Row is a great exercise that not only workouts out your lats but also works out your core. Many people don't know this but adding single arm or single leg exercises into your workout routine is very important to prevent and or fix muscle imbalances. Whether you like it or not as time goes on you will eventually develop muscle imbalances. If muscle imbalances are never fixed you will eventually develop poor or odd posture, and in some extreme cases you'll develop asymmetrically sized muscles. 

And finally theres the Dumbbell Pull Over. The Dumbbell Pull Over is a great exercise that will target your Lats directly. Unfortunately many people at the gym are doing them incorrectly. Like we’ve said before, bodybuilding and muscle growth is all about the quality of the contraction. Thats why we advise if you decide to do Dumbbell Pull Overs you should go for volume instead of increased weight. Also, remember to keep a slight bend in your elbow. You also want to remember to go all the way down and only come up right before the point where the tension leaves your lats and get transferred to your shoulders. Again, we want to keep your lats under as much time under tension as we can. 

Dumbbell Pull Over

Hopefully with these 5 back exercises you'll be on your way to getting a strong wide back. Remember, having a strong back will help with good posture and give you a much more ascetic look to you physique. Stay tuned for our part two to this article for a Thicker Back.  

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