In a study conducted by the researchers at the Western Illinois University, women rated a muscular back as one of the sexiest male body parts. We don’t need a study to prove men dig a sexy back in a woman – Justin Timberlake, anyone?
If you’re a competitive bodybuilder, your back can be a deciding factor in where you place in a contest. Arnold recalls losing to Sergio Oliva in his first Mr. Olympia contest because he got overwhelmed with how wide Sergio’s back was.
Arnie mentions Oliva’s back literally blocked all the light in the room. If a strong and wide back can have such an impact on one of the best bodybuilders of all time, imagine what could happen to you when you encounter one such back yourself.
The Ultimate Back Attack
Your back is the biggest muscle group after legs. You should be as exhausted – if not more after a back workout as you’re after a nasty leg workout. At the end of a good back workout, you should have nothing left in the tank. You should be running on fumes and drenched in lactic acid.
Just like legs, your back can be a stubborn muscle group to develop. Since you can’t look at it directly, it might be a little harder for you to establish a mind-muscle connection with your back. It might take some time for you to be on track to build a wide and thick back.
Apart from setting a mind-muscle connection, if you don’t have an effective back workout plan, you won’t get anywhere. For many people, a back workout includes a few pull-ups and some deadlifts. By doing this, they’re leaving so much on the table.
You need a workout program which focuses on all the parts of your back and works on the width and thickness of your back from all angles. If you have no clue how to do any of this, don’t worry, we’re here to help you.
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Focus On Your Entire Back
Width – You can work on the width of your back by focusing exclusively on stretching your lats and upper back. The best example of this are pull-ups and lat pull-downs. Have a full range of motion to make the most of these exercises.
Thickness – You need to have a thickness in your back to make it stand out. Width with no thickness is like having a muscular upper body with chicken legs and we’re sure you don’t want this. Exercises like deadlifts and rows focus on the thickness of your back.
Get A Wider And Thicker Back With These 3 Easy Exercises
1. Weighted Pull-Ups – 3 Sets 12 Reps
Pull-ups are a great exercise to build width in your back. Not only your back, this exercise focuses on your entire upper body. If you’re a beginner, you can start by doing assisted or body weight pull-ups. As you build strength in your arms, you can switch to weighted pull-ups.
This variation will make you work harder and help in building a V-taper. You can try different hand grips while doing this exercise. For example, an underhand grip will work your upper back and traps while a wide overhand grip will only work your lats.
2. Overhand Barbell Rows – 3 Sets 12 Reps
This exercise will be detrimental to the success you have in building a back the size of the Great Wall of China. Overhand barbell rows focus on the thickness of your back. This rowing movement will add to the girth of your back.
Hold the barbell at shoulder width with an overhand grip. Stand at a 70-degree angle from the floor and pull the bar to your waist. This will target your lats and upper back. Some people like to be parallel to the floor while doing this exercise. Doing this will take off some stress from the lats and put it on your middle back.
3. Seated Cable Rows With A Long Bar – 5 Sets 12 Reps
Seated cable rows are an incredibly effective exercise when it comes to building width and thickness in your back. In addition to this, using a cable will make sure you have constant tension on your muscles throughout the exercise. If you want a Christmas tree when you hit a back pose, this is your exercise.
Hold the bar at shoulder width and keep your elbows flared out. Pull the bar to your upper abs and squeeze your lats and back at the top of the movement. Hold the bar wider to recruit more of lats if you’re looking to add width to your back. A close grip will target your back and help in adding thickness.