Here Are the Best Back Exercises!

Here are the most effective back exercises to help strengthen your back, improve your posture, boost your metabolism and assist your weight-loss efforts. They are basic back exercises that may be performed at almost all training facilities.

Since the back is composed of various muscle groups, it important that each group is trained properly in order to get the best possible results.

The best way to train any muscle group is to firstly examine the muscle's action/ function and then select exercises that duplicate those actions/ functions. By doing so you maximise the number of muscle fibres being worked and therefore get the best results from every workout you perform.

Here Are the Best Back Exercises

As a result, when you have a back workout it is imperative that you perform exercises that work all the different functions/ actions of the muscles involved and that you understand all the actions of each muscle.

Here are the best back exercises:

  • Deadlift

  • Seated row

  • Chins

  • Lat pulldown

  • Barbell row

  • Pullover

  • Hyperextension
  • It is believed that the deadlift is the second most effective exercise after the squat. It works a large number of muscle groups and has a high 'carry-over benefit' to everyday activities. Therefore, it is recommended that it is incorporated into as many of your workouts as possible.

    The main problem with most compound (more than one joint involved) back exercises is the fact that they involve the arms, which are a synergist (assisting) muscle group when performing your workout.

    Unfortunately, the arms are a 'weak link' in the back exercises because they can often fail before the back muscles get worked thoroughly. For example, the forearms, which control grip strength, often give out before the back does.

    However, 'Figure 8' or 'Eye and Tail' straps may be used to help overcome the forearm weakness.

    When performing any compound back movement it is a good idea to emphasise using a close, underhand grip. This allows the biceps to be placed in a more favourable position and also allows the back muscles to work through a longer range of motion. Working through a longer range of motion means that a greater number of muscle fibres may be worked.

    However, this doesn't mean that a wide grip should not be used as well. Since one of the primary actions of the lats is adduction of the humerus, which means moving the upper arm towards the midline of the body, performing wide grip movements for either chins or lat pulldowns in your back workout is also beneficial.

    Always keep in mind though, lat pulldowns behind the head should be avoided because of the stress this exercise places on the shoulder joint and the cervical vertebrae.

    When performing most back exercises the rib cage tends to expand during the lifting phase of the movement. As a result, it is best to change the breathing technique on these exercises. This means, during the lifting phase of the movement (when the weight goes up) breathe in as opposed to breathe out, which is different to the standard way to breathe on most exercises. There are several back and shoulder exercises where this breathing exception rule applies.

    The pullover is a great exercise to include in back workout for several reasons. Firstly, it stretches the lats against resistance, which means that more muscle fibres get broken down and this stimulates more muscle growth. Also, is avoids the weak link (arms), which is present in most back exercises because it is an isolation (single joint) exercise.

    Here's a video by Tony Thomas thay demonstrates some of the back exercises mentioned in this article:

    For more detailed information on how to perform all of these back exercises correctly, get a copy of Strength Training Anatomy, 3rd Edition.

    It will provide you with all the information you need in order to get the best results possible in your workout routines.

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