A big and strong back is something that can easily be ignored. There are people who have nice looking chests, shoulders and arms even without working out but nobody can ignore a large and thick back. The back is covered with a number of muscle groups that works well with each other to not just provide you a great look but makes sure that your spine has adequate support. Your back muscles makes sure that you have proper posture which is then important in ensuring your cardiovascular, digestive and circulatory systems are all in great shape. With all these advantage, let's not forget that a strong back can allow you to do a lot of things. With back, you can use both free weights and machines as long as perfect posture is followed. Here are a few exercises that will ensure that you have a back that is as muscular as that of a bull.
T-Bar Rows. This is a monster muscle builder exercise and a blast from the past. This is an old school exercise that has proven its worth until today. From the Arnold Schwarzenegger days all the way to Jay Cutler, the T-bar has been part of their mass building exercise and that just shows how effective it is. It hits a number of muscle groups like the inner lats, trapezius, and upper back. To start, stand over the bar and grip the bar or use a narrow grip cable handle and place it under the bar. Drop your torso to 45 to 60 degrees and keep that posture. Keep your lower back straight all throughout the exercise. Contract your back and traps then pull the bar to your chest. Hold that position for about a second or two then slowly lower the bar to starting position. That makes one repetition. The number of repetition per set depends on the weight you use and the goal you have.
Lat Pulldowns. This is probably the most recognizable back workout. It works almost the same way as the pull ups but this time, you are pulling the weight down. This is ideal for people who cannot do a lot of pull ups or are too embarrassed to show that they can't lift their own weight. Most lat pulldown machines have an anchor for the legs to make sure that you keep proper form. Pull the bar down to chest level and lean back just slightly and hold that position for about a second then slowly let the weight pull your hands up to full extension then start all over again. This makes sure that you can stretch your lats like pull ups would.
Pull Ups. This exercise is easily one of the best back exercises because it works every muscle in your back. Sometimes called chins, there are a lot of variations of this, (reverse grip, narrow grip, etc.) the pronated / normal grip. This exercise uses your own body weight for resistance and is generally avoided by a lot of beginners because they cannot do more than 3 at a time. Keeping proper form for pull ups is relatively easy since there is very little room to cheat. Start by hanging from a bar with your hands wider than shoulder width then keep your core tight and pull your body up to chest level. Then keep it there for about a second then slowly go down until your arms are fully extended. That is one repetition and if you can, do 10 to 12 repetitions per set.
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Deadlift. This has been called the grand daddy of all back exercise since it hits the majority of the back. It has to be done with mid-level weight. Not too light, not too heavy to ensure strict form. Done properly, this will give you that combination of mass and definition. Each repetition starts with a squat position with an overhand grip at about shoulder width distance from each other. You will them push through the heels slowly, keeping your lower back straight, until you are in the standing position. Then slowly lower the bar, keeping your lower back still straight until the bar reaches the floor and you back to your starting position. This is a power exercise that really gives a great pump to the back and increases size and strength. 8-time Mr. Olympia Ronnie Coleman swears by this exercise and all of his videos include him doing deadlifts and the size of his back is enough evidence of the effectiveness of the deadlift.
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