INTRODUCTION TO THE BACK:
The Back consists of a number of interconnected, powerful muscles, like the latissimus dorsi (lats), rhomboids, trapezius and erector spinae. While specific isolation exercises target each of these muscles, creating a broad and well developed back requires multi-joint (compound) moves designed to hit all of these muscles. To build width in your back, focus on vertical pulling movements like pullups and lat pulldowns. And to build thickness in your back, focus on rowing movements like bent over rows and seated cable rows.
STRETCHES AND WARM UP
After injuring my lower back 2 years ago, I take my stretching and warming up far more seriously! I do a number of back stretches and I would recommend that everyone spends at least 10 mins stretching/warming up before every workout and before they lift weights.
SOME GOOD STRETCHES
- Knee to chest stretch
- Piriformis stretch
- Cat / camel stretch
- Cobra stretch / supermans
- Glute bridges
- Two knee twist
- Restful pose
WHERE DOES THE “BACK” RANK IN MY LIST OF FAVOURITE BODY PARTS TO TRAIN?
“Back” is my favorite muscle group to train, It was one of my weakest and least developed muscle groups and seeing progress over the years is a pretty good feeling! My favorite exercises have to be:
- PULL UPS – I think this is the best overall upper-body exercise and the best back movement. A lot of the time, experienced lifters dismiss it. If doing 15 pull ups is easy, add resistance!
- BENT OVER ROWS – unlike deadlifts, this exercise focuses almost entirely on the back.
- STRAIGHT ARM PULLDOWNS – It was only in the last 2 years that I’ve incorporated this exercise but I think it’s a great finisher on back day. With this exercise I’m really able to isolate the lower portion of my lats, but reducing the weight on this one is key!
MY TOP TIPS FOR WORKING OUT THE “BACK”
- Reduce the weight! Focusing on proper form and time under tension will get you far better results, especially for a muscle group like “BACK”, than just lifting as much weight as you can, and it will also massively reduce the risk of injury. Many people (including myself) who train consistently and with intensity have somewhere down the line, had a lower back injury. In my opinion, a lot of these can be prevented if you leave your ego at the door!
- Creating that mind muscle connection with the back muscles is difficult for most people as their biceps and shoulders end up doing a lot of the work. Rather than pulling with your hands, focus on keeping your elbows close to your body and pulling with your elbows and think of your hands like hooks. The arms should just be supporting the work that you do with your back. This is especially important when looking to work the lower part of the lats.
- Perform all back exercises with the maximum range of motion and contract your back muscles at the end of each repetition.
- The lats on average have an equal amount of slow and fast twitch fibers, so they respond best to medium reps.
- Think about your grip for your exercises; slight variations in the grip (neutral grip / underhand / overhand) will vary the stimulus on the lats.
- But if you want to see results in your back training, the most critical thing is proper nutrition. Remember, your physique is at least 60% diet, 30% training and 10% rest.
MY BACK WORKOUT ROUTINE
At the moment, I’m following a 4 day split:
- Day 1 back and rear delts,
- Day 2 – chest and abs,
- Day 3 – legs
- Day 4 – arms and abs.
has been training with dedication and passion for the last 10 years. His love for training inspired him to help others so they may reap the benefits of fitness. Dumindha along with his brother and best friend started their own fitness studio called THE MOVEMENT where they do circuit based weight training classes with an inclusive dynamic approach to fitness. THE MOVEMENT is located at 21/1 Bullers Lane and on FaceBook @themovementsl.
For advice, Dumindha
can be reached on
0777 419 914