If you want to learn what it takes to create the “best back workout”, then you need to read this article.
I used to be like most other gym-goers; focus on training the muscles everyone can see and neglect the ones they can’t. We spend all our time focusing on the chest, shoulders, and biceps yet we tend to neglect the back and legs as a result.
And aside from just not taking their back workout seriously, most people end up choosing the wrong combination of exercises. This is a huge mistake since well-developed and proportionate back muscles contribute A lot to an aesthetic physique.
✅ What Creates an “Attractive” Looking Back
One all too common mistake people make with regards to back training is utilizing too many isolation exercises and failing to target all of the back musculature. This includes both superficial and deep muscles. The four main muscles that make up the bulk of the back and the ones we want to focus on developing are:
- The trapezius (which have an upper and lower portion)
- The rhomboids (which lay under the trapezius muscle)
- The latissimus dorsi (lats)
- The erector spinae (the lower back muscles)
🚨 Top Exercises
✅ Exercise #1: Deadlifts OR Rack Pulls
If deadlifts currently aren’t somewhere in your lifting routine, I highly suggest you start doing them. It’s a great compound movement to target virtually all of your upper and lower back muscles.
They mainly add thickness to the back by heavily stimulating the trapezius muscles, but will also contribute to growth of the lats since they will be assisting throughout each rep. In addition, the ability to easily overload this exercise and work up to heavy weights with it makes it a no-brainer to include for overall back hypertrophy.
Exercise 2: Pull-Ups
This is probably my favourite exercise for several reasons. First of all, not only does it work pretty much all of your back musculature like your lats, lower traps, and rhomboids, but they also greatly increase the role of your all-important shoulder and scapular stabilizers like the teres muscles and the infraspinatus.
And the fact that it’s a closed chain exercise (meaning that the hands are held at a fixed anchor point) suggests that it may result in greater motor unit recruitment of the back muscles. This has been demonstrated in several studies that compared open-chain exercises like lat pulldowns with closed chain exercises like the pull up.