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Human body is built around the torso. Torso holds most vital organs in the body. The strength and support needed for making even small movements is provided by Torso. You muscles will be balanced in addition to being strong, if you work continuously on your back, having good back workout routine. Strong back muscles have a lot of benefits some of which are:

  • You will be able to lift much heavier weights from dead lift.
  • You will develop a higher rate of calorie burn as compared to standard exercises and lifting.
  • You body will be able to move easily as your back becomes stronger.
  • Your spine will become stronger and more balanced which in turn will provide protection from getting injured while lifting and moving.

It is very beneficial to know the muscles which you are going to work on. Our back has the highest number of muscles after the legs. The high concentration of muscles is needed in the back as it supports the moment and function of all of the limbs in the body.

  • Lower Back
    The lower porting of the back is labelled Lower Trapezius. It covers the portion from scapula to the start of the buttocks. Its function is to depress scapula.
  • Middle Back (Rhomboids)
    It is connected to the spinal column and the scapula in the middle. Its main function is to rotate scapula downwards and its retraction.
  • Lats (Latissimus Dorsi)
    It sits in the lower six thoracic and lumber vertebrae. Its function is to assist medial rotation, extension and adduction.
  • Traps (Trapezius)
    It starts from neck at the very top and extends upto the end of the spine just above the buttocks. Its main function is to support adduction, depression and elevation of scapula.

Best Lower and Upper Back Workouts

The Breakdown

There are only few exercises which specifically target the back muscles. It means that you need to plan your back workouts in such a way that the exercises for your back muscles should not put too much pressure on the other muscles as they are already strained due to the other exercises.

1. Bent Over Rows

This exercise has also been prescribed earlier for muscles in other parts of the body. But it is included here due to its ability to push the upperbody mass in an effective way. In this exercise, all main muscle groups in the back are worked on with the help of a properly utilized weighted barbell.
To start with, stand straight up and keep you feet apart with width approximately equal to the shoulders. Now you need to slightly bend your knees but at the same time keeping your head up. The knees now need to be bent to an angle but they should not bent too much. Now move the weight straight down the chest. Ensure that the palms are facing you while lifting the weight. Now make use of the back muscles to pull it level to your chest. Elbows should be tucked in. Now keep repeating after lowering the weight in a controlled fashion.

It should be noted that pull-ups work great for the upper back.

2. Chin-ups and Pull-ups

This exercise utilizes the upper back muscles for lifting the body weight and controlled lowering. It is also good for working out arms. Since this exercise involves lifing full body weight, it is also a challenge to test your strength. A beginner can also make use of the assisted pull up machine to use the weight in the machine to act as a counterweight to the body weight.

Pull ups can be slightly tougher than the chin ups due to the grip position. You can use a bar to start and jump to reach the level of the bar. For chin-ups, you need to go palms up, which mean they should be facing you whereas you do the opposite for the pull ups. The hands should be at shoulder width while doing pull-ups whereas for chin ups, you want to keep your hands just outside of the jawline width.

3. Barbell Shrugs

This particular exercise is very focussed and it is designed to target traps. While rotating exercises, you need to remember that you not providing any additional training to the upper back muscle group.

For this exercise, you will make use of a barbell that is weighted. You can use an adjustable rack to set it up at thigh height. Extend your full arms while the weight remain hung at your thighs. The back should be straight at all times. Your chin should be up and shoulders should be held as high as possible. Keep raising the weight with a few seconds pause at shrug height. Now, bring down the weight and keep repeating. Individual dumbbells can also be used for the shrugs but they are just not as effective as individual barbells.

4. Dumbbell Row With Single Arm

This exercise is designed to provide contraction which covers a wider motion range as compared to the exercise with the barbells. This exercise also is a way to work both the sides of the back in an isolated and focussed manner where one side rests while the other is being worked on.

Take a bench and kneel while keeping the other hand on bench for support. Now move to get your torso in line with the floor. The dumbbell should be now hanging on the extended arm. Keep the elbows tucked in. Start pulling up the weight to the level of your chest and the plams should be facing you. Now let the weight go in a controlled manner. The difficulty of this excercise can be manipulated with the grip, weight and body angle.

5. Barbell Deadlifts

This exercise is very popular and there are good reasons for the popularity. This exercise requires the coordinated use of almost all the muscles, which includes back muscles too. For this reason, this exercise is part of every weight training program worth its name. No exercise other than Power squat surpasses the effectiveness of this exercise in building muscles and calorie burning.

In this exercise,the back is not being lifted. To start with, you should stand up and keep your feet at shoulder width. Now bend the knees for grabbing the bar, which is lying down. For heavy weights, keep one of the hands in facing you and the other one out for stability.

Focus on the muscles in the hips and legs while lifting the weight with legs. The arms should be straight at all times and the arms should be kept fully extended but kept close to the body. When you are up completely, keep the weight on hold for a few moments and then lower it in a controlled manner.

Intense Back Workout Routine:

Beginner Workout:

Pull-Ups – 2 Sets / 10 Reps
Chin-Ups – 2 Sets / 10 Reps
Barbell Deadlifts – 2 Sets / 8 Reps
Bent Over Rows – 2 Sets / 12 Reps

Intermediate Workout:

Pull-Ups – 2 Sets / 12 Reps
Barbell Deadlifts – 3 Sets / 6 Reps
Chin-Ups – 2 Sets / 12 Reps
Single Arm DB Rows – 2 Sets / 8-10 Reps
Barbell Shrugs – 2 Sets / 10 Reps

Advanced Workout:

Barbell Deadlifts – 4 Sets / 5 Reps
Pull-ups – 2 Sets to Failure
Bent Over Rows – 3 Sets / 8 Reps
Chin-ups – 2 Sets to Failure
Single Arm DB Rows – 3 Sets / 10 Reps
Barbell Shrugs – 3 Sets / 8 Reps

That’s all for now guys. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about good back workouts and you are ready to implement all or some exercises to your routine.