When it comes to developing an aesthetic back, the two major regions to focus on are thickness and width. For best outcomes, the thickness should be in the form of muscle with minimum body fat. You won’t be able to get the look if you have a lot of body fat.
Aside from all of these considerations, symmetry is critical. A well-formed back, with each muscle group proportionately developed, simply looks better. Furthermore, overdeveloped muscles generate imbalances, which might result in minor to major issues. With this knowledge in mind, it’s critical to select a diverse set of exercises that span the entire back from top to bottom.
Why Should You Pay Attention to Symmetry?
While the lats are a large muscle group that deserves respect and attention, disregarding other upper back muscles is a mistake. Even the muscles in the lower back can be overlooked.
There are various advantages to developing these tiny muscles, including:
- Aesthetically, a more rounded cut/3D appearance is achieved.
- Strong upper back muscles provide the foundation for large horizontal presses, while strong lower back muscles aid in hinging actions.
- Improves range of motion in the shoulders and upper back.
Horizontal and Vertical Pulling
It’s critical to understand what each of these motions does and what you’re aiming for when performing specific exercises.
Vertical pull movement patterns are used to increase back thickness, whereas horizontal pull movement patterns are used to develop back width.
When deciding which back exercises to employ in your programming, it’s important to keep these points in mind. Aside from the lats, which are typically found in the mid-back region, the traps, rhomboids, and rotator cuff muscles are also important to develop.
The rotator cuff muscles are primarily responsible for shoulder stabilization, although they can also be observed on a well-developed upper back. This area will be defined by a well-developed erector spinae group in the lower back.
With these considerations in mind, let’s move on to 5 back exercises that target various parts of the back and provide strength, mobility, and muscular development.
The number of muscles used during the lift makes it a true compound lift. From the traps to the calves, and everything in between, there’s a lot to see. It’s a fantastic exercise for increasing the size and strength of your lower back.
The hinge movement pattern, along with the capacity to gradually overload with weight, strengthens and builds muscle in the lower back like no other.
It’s a technical practice that takes time to perfect, so take it slow and easy at first. As you are more comfortable and competent with the action, start adding weight. It’s not an exercise to take lightly, especially if you’re lifting a lot of weight. When the technique is poor, the chance of injury is very significant!
Aside from the standard barbell deadlift, you can do a variety of modifications. Rack pulls, landmine, sumo, and trap bar are among other alternatives. When using the barbell, you also have the option of adding bands and chains.
A trap bar can be safer to do because the weight is distributed more to your sides rather than out in front, whereas the rack pulls the target more of the upper body and take more of the lower body out of the equation.
They’re a challenging but worthwhile back exercise that, when done correctly, can help you gain muscle and width. A good place to start is by tying a heavy resistance band around a bar where you can place one or both feet. The bands provide a level of assistance in completing the exercise.
Another way to improve your push-up game is to jump up to the bar and slowly lower yourself. For 3 to 5 seconds, concentrate on lowering yourself.
Negative pull-ups aid in the recruitment of more muscle fibres and the development of strength.
When it comes to push-ups, the main goal is to perfect technique. The two points mentioned above will assist you in achieving your goal. Additionally, the further your feet are out in front of your torso, the more your core will be recruited.
The exercise is mostly felt in the lats when done correctly, but depending on the body angles and grip used, it can also engage other upper back muscles. Weighted pull-ups can be added as a progression once you’ve mastered the movement. You can wear a vest or a weighted belt.
Progressive overload builds genuine strength over time, and they make bodyweight pull-ups a lot simpler to do. Incorporating weighted pulls makes power development even easy. You might as well be a gymnast if you can take your hand off the bar as you lift and catch it on the way down!
3. Blackburns/Handcuffs for YWTI
A terrific bodyweight exercise for shaping the upper back muscles that aren’t obvious. Because you’re moving from one position to the next, it feels more like a mobility flow. It’s not difficult to do and doesn’t require much technical knowledge, as long as your shoulders are in decent shape.
Unquestionably, a back exercise that develops upper back muscles while also promoting mobility.
Because the exercise is performed from a prone posture on the floor, using a mat is recommended. The name of the exercise comes from the position of your arms. It is possible to perform it daily if desired. It doesn’t put as much strain on the central nervous system as a big deadlift does.
If you want to add a little more difficulty to band pull apart in the Y position, you can use a resistance band. The workout is quite beneficial and will place your arms in unusual places to target your upper back muscles.
4. Rope Pulls While Sitting Hand Over Hand
When it comes to horizontal pulls, this exercise is tough to beat. It’s ideal for a sledge with the ability to attach a rope at either end. What’s the use of having a rope on both ends? So, once you’ve finished pushing the sledge towards you, go to the opposite end and pull it back in the opposite direction.
In this manner, you continue to alternate. You will be able to finish fewer rounds as you add additional weight to the sledge. With this workout, you may work on both strength and conditioning. Not only does it target the back, but it also strengthens the forearms and improves grip strength. This is a great all-around workout!
Keep your core tight and your back upright to keep maximum tension on the lats, and avoid leaning back throughout the pulls.
My favourite back superset also includes sledge pulls. A superset is when you do two exercises in succession with no rest between them. Pull-ups are the other exercise in the combination. This is a fantastic horizontal and vertical pull superset. When these two workouts are superimposed, complete as many rounds as possible in the allotted time.
This is a great isolation exercise for the trapezius. When executing this exercise, don’t let bad form get in the way. The only thing you have to worry about is raising the shoulder blades and holding them there for a few seconds before lowering them.
Dumbbells, kettlebells, resistance bands, machines, cables, and barbells are all options for performing the exercise. I like to employ a range of techniques. Barbells provide a decent option for progressive loading, whereas resistance bands and barbells provide superior options for targeting different parts of the traps.
Because the trap muscle fibres flow in different directions, you’ll need to focus on separate locations to achieve symmetry.
Loaded carries in a shrugging position are a good development to think about. Normally, your shoulder blades will be in a natural position. Elevate your shoulder blades and keep them there for the duration of the carry. After the load is heavy, it isn’t fun, the effort level rises, and you feel a significant burn in your upper back muscles when you’re done.
When it comes to developing an aesthetic back, the back is made up of several muscles, and each muscle group must be treated separately. What method is used to quantify this appearance? In the absence of fat, by width, thickness, and muscle.
The workouts listed above can help you reach fantastic results in terms of strength, muscle mass, and mobility. You can’t sleep on mobility; you need to be able to move freely to target all of the muscle fibres and achieve that perfect look!