Building a physique that is worthy of your own acceptance is no easy task when you place so much pressure on yourself to be better with each day that passes. With every training session that ends, the hope is that what was accomplished in the gym that day will suffice and new growth will occur. You have undoubtedly found that some of your muscle groups respond better to the training stimulus than others while also noticing that you are able to establish that all-important mind to muscle connection with those muscle groups much more readily too. Chances are, these are the training days you look forward to the most and can’t wait to see the fruits of your labour. One muscle group, however, that seems to be a concern for most and one that certainly takes a long time to develop by comparison to other muscle groups is the back. This complex unity of muscles takes a ton of heavy and hard training to build up and attaining the type of width and thickness you are after takes years of performing monster moves in the gym. The good news is that building a monstrous back can be attained and you can find the exercises you should be utilizing to build your back right here in the first instalment of the Brickhouse Training Series.
Exercise #1: Pull-Ups
As rudimentary as this exercise may be, it could prove to be a game-changer for you and your back development. This basic movement allows you to train your back for both width and thickness depending upon how you perform it. If you want to work on lat width, pull with an overhand wide grip. If you are looking for thickness, narrow your grip and pull up from there. Want to exaggerate the stretch in the lats? Take an underhand grip then and allow your scapulas to really open up prior to pulling your chest up to the overhead bar. Even if you can’t perform a bodyweight pull up, you can easily use the assisted chin machine to help you complete your sets. This would be a great exercise to start your back day off with as you can make use of the overhand, underhand and neutral grip options, as well as getting a good stretch, giving way to fully warming up your back for the heavier stuff to come.
Exercise #2: Bent Over Dumbbell Rows
One of the classic back building exercises that you have probably seen performed many times is the standard bent-over barbell row. This exercise has a lot of potential for helping you achieve massive proportions in your back but there’s another option to this exercise that might even be a little better; the bent-over dumbbell row. The reason it might be better than its barbell counterpart is due to the heightened contraction you can get at the top of the repetition. With a barbell, you can only pull so far back until the barbell hits you in your lower abdominal region. When using dumbbells, you don’t run into this problem and you can really drive your elbows back nice and far thereby creating an even greater contraction in the lats. It is also advantageous to be able to move your hands and wrists in different positions throughout the movement which is why this exercise gets the nod for me over the barbell version.
Exercise #3: Machine Rows
Incorporating machines into your back training should be a priority. Yes, you are moving through a fixed plane, but the advantage to that is you can specifically isolate different parts of your back while not having to worry about stabilizing at the torso. All you have to do is just put all of your attention into driving your elbows back and exaggerating the stretch and the squeeze of the movement. Whether you decide to pull from an overhead position, a mid-level position or you work from the bottom up focusing on your lower lats, machines certainly have a place in your program. With equipment such as Prime and Arsenal Strength which you will find here at Brickhouse Gym, the innovation and technology is so great with these machines that the movements are natural, highly effective and extremely conducive to building new muscle. So find back machines that fit your goals and give them a spot in your program.
Exercise #4: Dead Lifts
Last but certainly not least, the greatest overall exercise for creating a back monstrosity is the deadlift. You will never attain the type of mass you are after with your back development if you don’t spend a considerable amount of time doing one of the most primitive movements a human can do; picking something up off the ground/floor. When I say a considerable amount of time, I mean years and years, week after week of pulling the weight up and off the floor; it’s a simple as that. It doesn’t matter if you take a standard grip, a staggered grip, a close stance, a wide stance or you do it all. All that matters is that you perform deadlifts all the way through your training if building a barn door back is what you’re after. Place this single exercise in your training plan and keep it there for a solid five years straight and then let me know what it’s done for your back development. Spoiler alert-you won’t be disappointed!
So there you have it my weight training friends, four monster movements for building up a monstrous back. There are of course many other back exercises you can perform, all of which have a place in your programs, but the ones mentioned here in this article will most likely prove to be the exact exercises you’ve been needing to trigger some new growth for yourself in that area of your physique. There’s nothing really fancy about these movements whatsoever but monsters aren’t really all that fancy anyways right, so find a spot for these exercises in your plan and build your back to monstrous proportions.
Author: Dana Bushell
Gym Star Team Member