Do you always find yourself doing the same workout on back day? If so, we can help. How? We give you Thr Best Back Workouts For Men that will get you ready to achieve all of your back specific goals.
Sometimes change can be a good thing. If your back workout day is right around the corner and you’ve been doing the same back workout for a while, then why not try something new and give your back muscles a challenge?
After all, not every back workout is created equal. Some are meant to build strength, some are for size and some are just full of back breaking washed up exercises that cause pain and even injury in the long run.
Don’t ruin your back while trying to build it up. We’ll give you the most effective and safest workouts you can do to help you meet your goals, even if it’s upper back exercises, building mass or strength.
Are You In It For Strength, Size, Power Or All Three?
The answer to that question is a deciding factor in which direction you’d like to take your workout.
If you are leaning more towards strength, then you’re going to want to lift heavy and keep your reps low. On the other hand, if you are working towards making those muscles pop, then you can do that with lower weight and by keeping your reps in the 10 to 15 range. If it’s all about the power, you’re going to want to go hard with a mix of heavy low reps and take on some high set, high rep exercises as well.
Of course, no matter what route you take, it’s inevitable that you are going to increase your strength and the size of your muscles over time because this surely isn’t a Jane Fonda workout. This is a close relationship with iron multiple days per week!
Watch Your Back
The back is made up of many muscles that all work together to keep you in line, help you lift heavy objects and enable you to perform everyday tasks.
As you exercise to strengthen and build your back, it naturally becomes stronger and, over time, you are able to carry more of a load. But if you’re performing certain exercises that put too much strain on the back and cause it to be placed in unnatural positions, then you are doing yourself a huge disservice.
As you’re performing certain exercises, you should focus on your form. I know this can be hard to do during a 350-pound (or whatever is heavy to you) deadlift, but it’s extremely important. Safe and effective exercises can quickly go south by not performing them properly. So try the following tips to help you check your form.
Do A Few Warm-Up Reps
Don’t load up the bar or pile on the tension and just go for it before you are properly warmed up. Instead, do a few light reps and make sure you get your form down. These types of reps are great practice and will help you get a feel for things.
Ask For Help
Don’t worry about looking like a rookie by asking someone to check your form. It’s important that you are getting it right. Either ask a certified trainer, a long time lifter or someone who at least looks like they know what they’re doing over by the weight racks. Just don’t ask the guys doing CrossFit across the street.
Simple, they don’t really care about form. I’m going to get an earful for that one.
Make A Video
If nobody is around to assist you, turn on your camera and face it towards yourself as you bust out a few reps of whatever exercise you’ll be doing. Go back and watch it to see if there’s anything that looks like it needs correcting and try again until you get it right.
Work Out Near A Mirror
Yeah, I think the self-loving mirror magnets are annoying too, but sometimes a mirror comes in handy when you need to check on what your lifts look like. It may not always be possible to look in a mirror depending on what exercise you are doing, but it can be an option for getting a good side view. There’s always a way to check on and improve your form to help you get better in your lifts and various back exercises.
Back Workouts For Men & The Most Effective Back Exercises
It’s not hard to hit the back muscles with some of the most traditional back exercises, but it can be hard not to screw them up.
Sometimes people have little twinges about them that cause them to perform certain exercises incorrectly. It could be due to a lack of strength in certain areas of the lift such as the eccentric (the lowering part), they could be speeding through it and not completing reps fully or they might even be working with too much weight to allow them to perform the exercise properly.
We don’t want you to be that person!
To ensure that won’t happen, let’s go over some of these awesome back exercises and describe how to do them properly.
This is how to deadlift properly…
Start with the barbell on the floor right in front of you. From there, step up to it. Make sure that you have your feet centered right under it and that you keep your legs hip-width apart. Bend at your hips, soften your knees and grab the bar with your arms about shoulder-width apart. You will be using a straight-armed narrow grip. You should bend your knees to the point that your shins make contact with the bar.
Lift your chest and straighten out your back. Do not drop your hips. You also shouldn’t be moving the bar at this point. Instead, you should stay in position. Pull the bar and take a deep breath. From there, you should hold it and then come to a standing position for your deadlift. You will have officially completed the deadlift when your knees and hips are locked. Return the bar to the ground by pushing your hips back and bending your legs right when the bar reaches the knees.
Bent Over Barbell Row
Here’s the best way to perform the barbell row….
Start with the weight on the floor. Hinge at your hips and push them back as if you are closing a car door with your butt. Slightly bend your knees and keep pushing the hips back till you can reach the bar. You will feel a stretch in the hamstrings at this point. Keep your chest lifted to a 45-degree angle. Your grip should be about shoulder-width apart and your palms facing towards you.
Begin the exercise by pulling the barbell about one to two inches off the floor. Let it hover there for just a moment. Pull the weight up towards your chest by moving the elbows towards the hips. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and take a quick pause. Return to the starting position, making sure you extend your arms fully after each pull.
Here is the best way to do a pull up….
From a standing position, grab the bar with your palms facing away from you and about shoulder-width apart. A proper pull-up begins from the hanging position, so lift your feet off the floor, bend your knees and let your body hang in mid-air.
Squeeze your shoulder blades together and pull your elbows down towards the floor to lift yourself. Pull until your chin reaches above the bar, then slowly lower yourself back down to the starting position.
Lie face down on the bench and tuck your heels under the foot pad. Adjust the upper pad so that your thighs lie flat across it and you are in a position to bend at the hips. Keep your body straight and cross your arms over your chest. This is your starting position.
Slowly bend at the waist while keeping your back flat. Keep bending forward until you feel a good stretch in the hamstrings and until you get to the point where you can no longer bend forward without rounding your back. Slowly raise your torso back to the starting position while keeping your back in a straight line.
While performing this exercise, the empty end of the barbell should be placed in the corner of a room or against a stable object that will not allow it to slide back or side to side. Load the other end of the bar with the amount of weight desired and straddle the bar.
Hinge at the hips until your torso is at about a 45-degree angle to the floor and your arms are extended straight down. Keep your back flat, pull your shoulder blades together and lift the bar until the plates touch your chest. Lower the bar to the starting position to complete one rep.
Let’s Get To The Best Back Workouts For Men!
What follows are some of the very best back workouts you can do. Be sure you begin each one with a proper warm up and stay faithful to them for the best results possible.
This workout is meant to help you put on some size. You should do it two or three non-consecutive days per week and increase the weight every four to six weeks. Always start with a warm-up to get your muscles ready for exercise and to help you get a better range of motion.
Deadlift 4 sets of 10, 8, 6, 4 reps
Pull-up 5 Sets X 10 Reps
Seated Cable Row 4 sets X 10, 8, 6, 4 reps
Wide-Grip Pulldowns Behind The Neck 3 sets X 8 reps
One-Arm Cable Row 3 sets X 10 reps
Power And Strength
This back blasting workout is for those of you who want to bust through and gain some tremendous strength in your back. Choose your days, warm up and get to work!
Deadlift (warm up) 4 Sets X 8 Reps
Deadlift (Heavy) 4 Sets X 6 Reps
Pull-up 4 Sets X 12 Reps
Lat Pulldown 4 Sets X 10 Reps
Seated Row 4 Sets X 12 Reps
T-Bar Row 4 Sets X 8 Reps
Hyperextension 6 Sets X 15 Reps
Are you ready to bulk up?
If so, then try this workout and get your wings. Not bingo wings, but the good kind.
Heavy Deadlift 4 Sets X 6-8 Reps
Pull-up 4 Sets X 12 Reps
Bent Over Barbell Row 4 Sets X 8-10 Reps
Seated Cable Row 4 Sets X 10-12 Reps
Lat Pulldown 4 Sets X 12-15 Reps
Hyperextension 4 Sets X 12-45 Reps
The Definition Of Definition
Carve out all the muscles of your back with this one. Get ready to feel the burn.
Rowing Machine Warm Up for 3-5 Minutes
Bent Over Barbell Row 3 Sets X 10 Reps
Lat Pulldown 3 sets X 10 Reps
Bent Over Dumbbell Row 3 Sets X 12 Reps
Close Grip Cable Pulldown 3 Sets X 12 Reps
Reverse Flye 3 Sets X 12 Rep
Back Fat Blaster
For those traditional gym junkies, this may seem like the strangest workout ever, but boy does it burn some major calories and get your back burning hotter than a metal slide in summer. It’s a 500-rep workout (you are obviously going to use lighter weight). Good luck trying to move the next day! Start with a good warm up (you’re going to need it)!
Dumbbell Pullover 1 X 50
Rack Pull 4 X 20, 15, 10, 5
Wide Grip Pulldown 10 X 50, 40, 30, 20, 10, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50
Seated Row 100 Rep Drop Set
We all have workout goals. For some, it’s to build enormous power. For others, it is to build massive muscles. We understand that. That’s why we have equipped you with all of the workouts you need to achieve your goals. Now that you have some new back workouts to try, throw back some protein, put on your favorite tank and let’s get it!
By Heather Neff, CPT
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