Back training techniques

Robert Wilson

Bodybuilder/Fitness Model
#1
It's great to be back on Greatest Physiques no pun intended. I hope everyone at Greatest Physiques are doing great!

I just read an intriguing back training tip from an old Joe Weider Muscle book. It made such an impression on me
that I'd like to share this advice with Greatest Physiques.

In the Chapter on Back training, Joe espouses some intriguing information on working the latissimus dorsi. These
are the largest muscles in the complex back musculature.

When training this muscle group, your spine should be arched. The structure of the lats can only be fully contracted
when the back is arched and the upper arm bones are completely down and to the rear. Initially, you may find using
this approach awkward, mind you, in time these techniques will be easier to implement.


Exercises such as Front Chins, Front Lat Pulldowns, Seated Pulley Rowing, other Pulley Rowing, Barbell Bent Rowing,
and Dumbbell Bent Rowing benefit from having the lower back arched.

Grip width is also paramount in the sculpting of the lats. Many a bodybuilder, when doing Front Lat Pulldowns use
a wide grip. This grip width does not allow for much in the way of the upper arm bones to the shoulder joints.

A grip that is narrower (shoulder width, or slightly wider) proves to be much more advantageous when creating
more width in the back. Keep in mind, when training your back, use a variety of bars e.g. a v bar. Changing hand
position, hands forward, palms facing you, a neutral grip (palms facing each other) etc......... Palms facing you, or
a neutral grip puts the biceps into it's strongest mechanical position, thus making the exercise easier.

Finally, stretching is very essential. Between sets, hold onto a pole with one or two arms and really feel a nice
deep stretch. These stretches should be done gently.

Robert Wilson

Former Personal Trainer


 

Robert Wilson

Bodybuilder/Fitness Model
#2
Thank you Amanda for liking my article on Back training! Please tell me what exercises you
do for your back.

Robert Wilson

Former Personal Trainer
 

Amanda

Bodybuilder/Fitness Model
#3
Hey Robert! That was a good one, keep them coming.
For my back to be as strong as it is, my lats aren't as big as I'd like. I'm going to incorporate a closer grip lat pulldown this week, I always forget about doing those.
A typical back day for me looks like this:

Pull ups
Lat Pull Downs
Bent Over Rows
Either Dumbbell Rows or Cable Rows
Pullovers
 

Robert Wilson

Bodybuilder/Fitness Model
#4
Amanda, that looks like a pretty through back routine! Keep in mind Amanda, when doing Pull ups and Lat Pull Downs,
focus on getting a good stretch at the bottom of each rep! You want to feel the scapula (shoulder blades) as if they are
almost pulling apart. In time, your lats will become wider and you will have that coveted v-shape.

Also Amanda, when performing these two exercises, on the concentric (positive phase) consciously flex your back
muscles for a count, then lower yourself slowly on the eccentric (negative phase).

I hope you will implement these techniques when training your back Amanda.

Here is my last back workout:

Deadlifts
Chin-up machine (various grips)
Barbell Bent Over Rows
T-Bar Rows
Seated Cable Rows

Total sets: 17

Your friend,

Robert Wilson

Former Personal Trainer
 

Aesthetic Agonist

Bodybuilder/Fitness Model
#5
This is nice work @Robert Wilson and @Amanda. Ultimately the lats are a triangular pennate muscle which means in order to hit it fully you need a variety of exercises that include vertical and horizontal movements. Great advice.

My favorite lat exercises are:

Bent over rows
Pendlay rows
Pullups
Pulldowns
Straight arm pulldown
Motorcycle cable rows (back at 45-60 degrees).

I really like ring pullups as they allow the humerus to move around freely and therefore maximize lat activation. A natural movement is palms forward at the top and palms facing inwards at peak activation.

AA
 
#7
This is nice work @Robert Wilson and @Amanda. Ultimately the lats are a triangular pennate muscle which means in order to hit it fully you need a variety of exercises that include vertical and horizontal movements. Great advice.

My favorite lat exercises are:

Bent over rows
Pendlay rows
Pullups
Pulldowns
Straight arm pulldown
Motorcycle cable rows (back at 45-60 degrees).

I really like ring pullups as they allow the humerus to move around freely and therefore maximize lat activation. A natural movement is palms forward at the top and palms facing inwards at peak activation.

AA
Pendlay rows are brutal. Love them
 

Robert Wilson

Bodybuilder/Fitness Model
#8
Eh AA, thank you for your input in regards to what I posted on training the back. Could you
please describe pendlay rows to me. This would be much appreciated! I will check out the
article on back training. Looking forward to hearing back from you, no pun intended!

Robert Wilson

Former Personal Trainer
 
#9
Eh AA, thank you for your input in regards to what I posted on training the back. Could you
please describe pendlay rows to me. This would be much appreciated! I will check out the
article on back training. Looking forward to hearing back from you, no pun intended!


Robert Wilson

Former Personal Trainer
Pendlay rows are accredited to S&C coach Glenn Pendlay and are a variation on bent over rows. Your torso stays horizontal to the floor and the bar rests between reps. It's a power movement but awesome for the upper back. I like it as it reduces lower back loading, which I struggle with.

Here's a video of them (not me in the video)...

 

Aesthetic Agonist

Bodybuilder/Fitness Model
#10
Pendlay rows are accredited to S&C coach Glenn Pendlay and are a variation on bent over rows. Your torso stays horizontal to the floor and the bar rests between reps. It's a power movement but awesome for the upper back. I like it as it reduces lower back loading, which I struggle with.

Here's a video of them (not me in the video)...

Nailed it @leemuscle16
 

Robert Wilson

Bodybuilder/Fitness Model
#13
Eh AA, when doing Pendlay rows does it really matter what position the head is in? i.e. the head in line
with the spinal column? Or done with the head up?

Robert Wilson

Former Personal Trainer