Back Strengthening Exercises
Back strengthening exercises are an important part of any serious bodybuilder or weightlifter’s workout. There are different parts of the back to work, which requires performing a variety of exercises to achieve maximum results. Strengthening the back will also help you increase your proficiency with the rest of your weightlifting routine.
- Pull-ups. This exercise is one of the ways you can work on the v-shape of your back. Place your handles on the pull-up bar slightly wider than shoulder width. Pull your body up until your chin is near the bar, and cross your feet behind you right near your ankles. Slowly lower yourself down until your arms are almost fully extended, then pull yourself back up for the next repetition. Try to do at least ten pull-ups on your own, or have a friend assist you by placing his hand under your feet and giving you a slight boost.
- Barbell Rows. For building strength and adding mass to your back, make sure to include this exercise in your workout. You may want to wear a weight belt for lower back support. Place a barbell on the floor and put some light plates on each side to test the weight to make sure you can handle the amount. Stand behind the bar with your feet at shoulder width. Bend your knees slightly and reach down and grab the bar with your hands in front of your feet. Your back should be almost parallel to the floor. Pull the weight up to your chest, hold it there for one second and then lower it down to an inch from the floor. Do ten repetitions to finish the set.
- Barbell Shrugs. Shrugs work on the upper back and help pop out the trapezius muscles. Use the same barbell you worked with for rows for this exercise. Bend at the knees and place your hands on the bar at shoulder width. Slowly stand up straight and hold the barbell with your arms fully extended downward. Raise your shoulders up toward the ceiling and squeeze your trap muscles. Lower your shoulders down to finish.
- Seated Rows. This back strengthening exercise focuses on the middle of your back. Find the cable machine used for seated rows and select the number of plates you want to use. Sit on the small bench and place your feet on the support sands. Lean forward and grab the handles of the bar with both hands, then slowly lean back and pull the handles toward your chest. Hold the position for a count of one then lean forward until the lower weight plate is near the remaining stack. Do at least three sets of ten to blast your middle back.
- Cable Pulldowns. This is another exercise to use for creating a v-shaped back. Sit down at the cable pulldown machine and choose how many plates you want to lift. Reach up and grab the bar with both hands at shoulder width. Pull the bar down in front of you until it is at chin-level and then let it rise back up until your arms are fully extended to finish the first repetition. Do three sets of ten for this exercise to finish off your back workout.