Back Exercises For Beginning Bodybuilders
A ripped, thick back can be one of the most impressive features on a bodybuilder. Often, this muscle group is
the difference between first and last at a competition.
To ensure that you come out on top during your first show, you need a solid back workout routine comprised of
effective and efficient exercises.
In this article I will discuss the anatomy of the back as well as some great exercises that will surely have you
claiming that number one spot!
Your back is made up of many different muscles and can therefore be worked in a variety of different ways. For a
beginner bodybuilder, learning the anatomy of the back is a worthwhile pursuit. The more you know about the
location and function of the back muscles, the better you are able to target them and improve them.
The back consists of five major muscles; they are the: trapezius, rhomboideus major, deltoideus, latissimus
dorsi, and sacrospinalis. All muscles function to support the spinal column, move the neck and the shoulders, and
flex or extend the upper body. Be sure to become familiar with these muscles and their location. As I mentioned
above, knowing this will only serve to help you during your workouts.
You many often see professional bodybuilders workout using heavy compound movements combined with isolation
exercises, however this type of training is not ideal for the beginner bodybuilder.
The fitness community generally agrees that it is important to first focus on heavy compound exercises and only
once you have a solid base, add in isolation exercises. For the purpose of this article, I will agree with this
statement and only discuss major compound movements that are guaranteed to build mass and strength in your back.
The most effective, efficient, and perhaps convenient compound exercise for your back is the pullup. The pullup
works mainly the latissimus dorsi, but also involves a number of other assisting muscles. The rhomboids, deltoids,
teres major, trapezius, serratus anterior, biceps, and abdominals are all used during this movement.
For this reason, it is a great movement for overall upper body strength. For the best results, perform 4-5 sets
of 8-10 reps. Once you can lift your bodyweight for 10 reps, add weight using a lifting belt and gradually increase
The second greatest compound exercise for the back is the deadlift. The deadlift involves almost all the muscles
of the back (the list is long), as well as muscles in the leg and arms. These can be performed using barbells or
dumbbells, and can be modified in many different ways to target different areas of the back or legs. Deadlifts will
give beginner bodybuilders a thick, v-tapered back and help with muscle definition and size.
The last back exercise that should be in every bodybuilder’s arsenal is the row. This is an excellent exercise
for targeting the latissimus dorsi, rhomboids, deltoids, and trapezius. Try experimenting will different variations
(barbell bent-over row, one arm dumbbell row, etc), tempos, and positions of the weight.
Remember, for a ripped and defined back it is critical that you perform heavy compound movements and build your
routine upon the principle of progressive overload. These two concepts will ensure that you are getting the best
out of your workout!
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