Most people prefer to focus on building up their chest muscles when they first start working out seriously. Sometimes people focus so much on their chest that their back workouts may suffer due to lack of dedication. But most people don't know doing back exercises is imperative to having good posture. This is especially true if you work behind a desk all day or are currently in school. Working out your back is a little more complex than working out your chest. Thats why we’ve broken this topic into two articles. For our article on How To Get A Wider Back click here. Today we’ll focus on how to get a THICKER back. As always remember to pick up your GYMCADDY™ Today! Trust us, its super annoying when you're on the T-Bar Row Machine and your phone falls out mid set.
First lets talk about why having a thicker and stronger back is advantageous for you. People these days are spending more and more time behind a computer screen. This has lead to an increase of people both male and female to have a hunched over posture. This hunched over posture is not just bad looking, it can even lead to constant neck and back pain. Having a thicker back can also help with your bench press by giving you a strong and stable platform to lift off of.
The cable row machine is a great and very versatile piece of equipment that you should be using to your advantage. The V-Bar Cable Row is a very popular exercises and is a staple for GYMCADDY™ clients. Like we’ve mentioned before, imagine you're pulling with your elbows instead of your hands to get a deeper contraction. Also slightly lower the weight and opt in for a 2 second pause at the contraction of each rep for added time under tension. One great variation of the cable row is the Single Arm Cable Row. In in order to perform the Single Arm Cable Row you'll first have to replace the V-Bar grip with a Single Arm Grip.The Single Arm Cable Row is great because the cable system applies constant tension, it incorporates core training, and allows you to get the fullest range of movement. Remember to rotate your wrist as you go through the movement. Another great option is the Wide Grip Cable Row. The Wide Grip Cable Row is another great exercise that allows you to fully contract the mid portion of your back.
If you've been going to the gym a few times you may have already seen people doing Bent Over Barbell Rows. The Bent Over Barbell Row is a great exercise if you know how to do it correctly. If done incorrectly you do run the risk of hurting your back. So here are a few things to look out for. First you have to make sure your hamstrings are properly stretched. Having tight hamstrings is the number one reason why people hurt their backs when doing dynamic back exercises. You also want to make sure you have a bend in your knees, your back is straight and is at a 45 degree angle to the floor. The Dumbbell Bent Over Row is another great variation you can do. The Dumbbell Bent Over Row will allow you to get a deeper contraction since you'll be able to row all the way back. You also work on your core and on your balance much more compared to the Barbell version.
Another great back exercise that you should be doing is the T-Bar Row. This piece of equipment should be available at almost every gym. The T-Bar Row is especially great because it allows you to truly isolate your back and not have to worry about form or foot placement. The T-Bar Row is an exceptional exercise when paired with 2-5 second holds at the top of the contraction.
The first few back exercises above are great to build up your major back muscles. But lets give some love to the smaller but just as important back stabilizers. Depending who you ask, these are called Supermans or Cobras. We like to the call them Cobras. Cobras should be preformed while lying flat on your stomach and should be held for 10 seconds for each rep. Usually we like to tell our GYMCADDY™ clients to do Cobras for 3 sets of 10 with a 10 second hold on the contractions. While in the contraction portion of the exercise you should be focusing and squeezing your upper back as much as you can. This minimal but very effective exercise is guaranteed to workout your neglected back muscles. Its also a very important exercise that helps combat bad posture. Thank us in the morning.
And finally we have Rear Delt Flies. The Rear Delt Fly is an isolation exercise that places a lot of focus on the back portion of your shoulder and the upper portion of your back. Just like other isolation exercises these should be done on the tail end of your workout. These would also be a great exercise to super set with a larger compound exercise like the T-Bar Row. And there you have it! These are some safe back exercises that you should be doing that will help you achieve better posture, and a thicker and stronger back.
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