Want a stronger back? Here’s what I would suggest

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If you are looking to build a stronger back you cannot concentrate on just the Latissimus dorsi which in case you are wondering is the biggest back muscle. You need to pay equal attention to neighboring muscles as well such as the rhomboids, middle and lower traps, teres major, rear delts, spinal erectors and so on. So how do you do that? Well here are my top 5 suggestions to you.

Opt for the best exercise

According to me there are none better than the one arm dumbbell row. I prefer a dumbbell over a barbell because it allows me to stretch my arm further and also pull it up more due to which more muscle fibers are engaged.

Here’s a small hack. Next time ditch the exact form and dip and pull a little more. It pushes your muscles to the limit and makes your workout more effective. For newbies, here is how you do a dumbbell row.

 

 

 

Improve your upper lats

For better upper lats you will need to extend your grip. So next time you are doing a pull up just widen the grip a little for a more effective upper lats workout.

By widening the grip your fascia is stretched and when you pull up it contracts. When you move back down you can switch between doing it with force and doing it slowly with a slight pause.  Both work in different ways so remember to switch.

 

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Improve your mid back

With your lats workout sorted out the next thing you need to focus on is your mid back which can be seen when you stand sideways. Here too wide grip exercises such as pull ups are helpful. Even seated cable rows and T-bar rows work well.

Switch between free weights and machines

Though I believe free weights are more effective as compared to machines I often find it tough to pause when working out my back with them as they are heavier and this where machines are helpful. Yes your movement becomes static but you will be able to concentrate on the pause better. So make sure you balance your workout between free weights and machines.

Mix it up

You have a bucket load of exercise for a stronger back but when you setup your routine make sure to add in exercises that affect your muscles from various angles and grips. Most of the row pull workouts are similar so remember to add in a few reverse grip and overhead grip workouts too. Here’s what I followed as a beginner.

 

 

Always end it

There are no magic ways or secrets to a stronger back but one must follow rule is that you should always end each workout tired and exhausted. We all know how it feels after tough workouts don’t we? So while you’re at it give it your best. The pain and soreness today will make you stronger tomorrow.

5 things I did to make my workouts effective and tough

If you aren’t seeing your body grow and develop it is mainly because you are not pushing yourself enough.  Following the same workout routine each week can at times turn into a rut but the good news is that the solutions in simple.

All you need to do is take things up a notch and today I am going to share with you the changes I made to my workout routine to end the rut and make it more effective and tough.

I used bands when training with a barbell

Though an unusual way of making your workouts tough bands and chains are as effective as any weight if not better and by ignoring them you let a really good equipment pass you by.

These bands and chains are effective because these are lighter at the start and only add more resistance as you lift higher due to which more muscle fibers are incorporated into each lift while in a regular barbell or dumbbell exercise the weight remains constant throughout. See video for more help

 

 

I used the extended set technique

In simple words the extended set technique means doing 2-3 versions of the same workout in the same set. For example if I were doing let’s say 10 reps of seated front raise after 10 reps rather than putting my dumbbells down I got up and did 10 more by standing.

This is easier than the seated version since you can engage your knees and hips while lifting and though this technique is tough it works and is exactly what you need to grow faster.

 

I switched to the dropset technique

The dropset technique means reducing the weight and doing a few extra reps rather than stopping at 10. Just make sure you do not rest too much and to save time have a friend or your trainer change weight plates with you.

This technique is not restricted to barbell movements you can also do it with dumbbells but remember to keep the dumbbells close to you beforehand. Still confused? Here is some help

 

 

I improved the density of my workout

I often workout my abs at the end of the session but as my workout got more intense I found myself too tired and willing to skip it and this is where density training is so useful.  Density training is working out the other muscle groups such as your abs in between sets of other muscles such as legs, chest etc.

This is ideal since you would be working out different muscles groups in the same amount of time. Just make sure both muscles groups are not dependent on each other.

 

I switched from machines to free weights

Free weight training as compared to working out on machines is more effective and harder. This is because when you lift free weights your body needs to stabilize and balance the weight and thus it engages more muscle groups and also burns more fat.

It also improves testosterone rotation in muscles. So the next time you have the choice opt for free weights for better growth.

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