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Build Back Better
No, this isn’t an advertisement for globohomo and deep soy — I’m talking about your actual back. The back is the hardest muscle group to build for many guys and for many reasons.
You can’t see your back.
The back isn’t a part of the mirror muscle group.
It’s hard to visualize your the muscles of your back working.
The deadlift is a poor back exercise. It’s great for the posterior chain and hamstrings. The bent over row is another poor exercise, poor for beginners who can’t feel their back muscles. Now, an experienced lifter can use the bent over row.
Recently, I watched a back training video with Marc Lobliner and I wanted to share a couple of the exercises with you because they are excellent for helping a bodybuilder feel his back. If you can’t feel your back, you’re not going to build back better.
DB Bent Over Row
Unlike the One Arm Row, you will use both DBs. The One Arm Row is a good way to hit the lats, but if do a DB Bent Over Row you can work on back thickness.
The key here is in the weight and the range of motion. You want to go way lighter than you normally do for rows. You’re not going to feel your back if the weight is heavy. Depending on your strength level, a 20-40lb DB is all you’ll need. Pick something that’ll get you 8-15 good reps.
You’re going to pull the DBs to your pockets and lower them back down. The focus will be on your scapula. Imagine someone has their finger on your back and you’re trying to crush the finger between your shoulder blades.
Once you try this out, you’ll understand why so many have trouble training the back. But do this movement for a few sets and you’ll get the back pump you’ve been searching for.
Behind the Neck Lat Pulldown
A lot of lifters avoid behind the neck movements and for good reason. The way this is setup however, will make it perfectly safe.
First, you’re going to get on the lat pulldown machine backwards. So your back will be facing the machine. Stick your chest out for the reps and only lower the bar to the back of your head. You don’t need to go lower than ear level. Same with the DB Bent Over Row, use 8-15 reps for the best muscle building range.
When you pull the handle down, the angle should allow you to squeeze your entire upper back. You’ll fe it all the way to your traps if you’re doing it right.
Plug these into your back day.
Spend some time with these two exercises until you can feel your back muscles working. Once you feel confident in them, you can try other back movements and see if you can bow actually feel your back working. If not, they may just be a bad exercise.