If you want a wide, thick and strong back, then you want to do these exercises and workouts. I used to be like most guys in the gym, working out just my arms and chest and never touching my back or legs, which was a big mistake. As many individuals do, I learned from my mistakes and worked on making myself proportionate. First, you must understand the back muscles.

The four muscles that make up the back that we need to focus on developing are:

  1. Erector spinae
  2. Latissimus dorsi
  3. Trapezius
  4. Rhomboids

The smaller muscles are:

  1. Teres major
  2. Teres minor
  3. Infraspinatus

The chart below shows where these muscles are located:

So let’s start with basic rules pertaining to training the back, and then we can get into two of my favorite back workouts. First, I want to go over some of the biggest mistakes when it comes to training the back:

  • Shrugging, which causes you too use to much upper trap
  • Not maintaining retraction with row movements
  • Neglecting the lower back
  • Over-reliance on machines
  • Not paying attention to grip adjustments

Before we take it any further, I want to go over my biggest objective when it comes to training any body part. It’s not about the weight, but the mind and muscle connection. Don’t neglect your form for the amount of weight you lift – leave your ego at the door! I prefer to take a time under tension approach when I train. I do a 3-second negative followed by a 1-second positive. This allows for a better tension on the muscle that I am working.

A great back workout will train all the major muscles of your back, including the lower back. Getting enough rest between sets is important; it allows your muscles to fully recover their strength. I prefer to wait 2 minutes between my sets.

1. Deadlift, 3 sets of 8-10 reps
2. Barbell Row, 3 sets of 8-10 reps
3. Wide-Grip Pull-Ups, 3 sets of 8-10 reps
1. Wide-Grip Lat Pulldowns, 3 sets of 8-10 reps
2. T-Bar Row, 3 sets of 8-10 reps
3. Reverse-Grip Barbell Rows, 3 sets of 8-10 reps
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