Having a large back is one of the most coveted features of a muscular body. It was one of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s strongest points, and he was greatly admired for his wide cobra back.
Unfortunately, for me, it was one of my genetic weak points. I’ve had to work twice as hard to obtain my results, but the hard work pays off if you work smart as well.
In this article, I’m going to share with you the exercises you need to be doing to obtain an equally massive V-tapered back whether you’re working out from home or the gym.
Compound Exercises and Your Back Muscles.
Understanding the muscles in your back and how they work is the first part of the battle. Basic knowledge in human anatomy is a must-know for anyone wanting to build mass.
The second part of the battle is doing compound exercises to activate all your back muscles at once, which I’ll share with you below.
The 5 back muscles we want to target
- Erector Spinae
- Latissimus Dorsi
- Posterior Serratus
3 Best Compound Exercises For a Massive Back
These three exercises will be your go-to from now on during back days at the gym. They are challenging and difficult. That’s a good thing. Feel the burn and push yourself. Never, ever stop in the middle of a set just because you’re tired. I’m here to help you get real results, not be the nice guy.
Many believe deadlift to be the best exercise there is. The king at putting on mass. It’s a compound exercise which hits almost every muscle in your body. However, the main targets are your back and legs. It’s extremely important to workout your legs as well because they’re responsible for releasing growth hormone. If you want a bigger back you’ll need to hit legs and deadlift targets both muscle groups at once.
I must give a word of caution to all beginners, having proper form is critically important for doing this exercise correctly. Avoiding injury and using proper form is a bodybuilders number one priority. You may not be a bodybuilder but you don’t want to injure yourself either.
I recommend asking your gym or someone there who knows his stuff to show you the correct form. After you’ve done it right once, it’s easy and you’ll know how-to for the rest of your life. So don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and ask for help.
Before I explain the exercise in further detail I want to advise you please do invest in a weightlifting belt. It will help correct your form and properly distribute the weight so you won’t risk straining your back. If you’re the type with weak wrists you might need to invest in some wrist wraps to handle heavier weights on certain sets. Now let’s break down the deadlift.
Powerclean and Push Jerk
The powerclean is very similar to the deadlift, but has more movement involved. It’s an industry standard used in Olympic lifts, by athletes, CrossFit, Football teams, and everyone who’s serious about lifting. You have to be serious if you want serious results.
Aside from conditioning this exercise will strengthen your core to improve your run speed, improve your vertical jump, enhance your cardio and cause a great deal of growth hormone release. It’s the perfect exercise for growing a bigger back after doing deadlift.
Like the deadlift this exercise requires proper form. I recommend starting with very light weight, use the bar alone just to practice getting the form right. Ask a personal trainer in your gym for a minute of their time to give you a brief demonstration. Restrain from using heavy weights until you’re more experienced, lift at 30% of your maximum potential for the first week.
The combination of powercleans and deadlifts on a weekly routine like Monday, Wednesday, Friday, is enough to completely transform your body without any other exercises. People always asked me how I got big so quickly, the truth is I never skipped these two compound exercises because their key and my best secret.
Bent-Over Barbell Rows
I wanted to put pull-ups as number 3 but felt bent-over barbell rows have more benefit to building a bigger back. However, the three compound exercises we’ve covered combined with pull-ups is my secret formula for a massive cobra back.
It’s been proven bent-over barbell rows activate your upper and lower back equally. Most people fail to do the exercise properly though because they miss the last part of the motion. You have to pinch your shoulder blades together after the bar touches your chest for the last motion. That’s what’s going to grow your Trapezius muscle exponentially.
This is probably my least favorite exercise because it’s the hardest on the list in my opinion. It requires a weightlifting belt if you’re going to lift heavy, which you should be after you’ve learned proper form. Start off with just the bar and slowly increment more weight as you learn how to do it correctly.
You should start bent-over barbell rows first to warm-up before switching to deadlifts and then powercleans. It’s a warm-up exercise, but the other two are not. So make sure you exercise in the order I’ve described to avoid injury and be fully prepared.
Mass Back Building Workout Routine for All Levels of Lifters
Now that we’ve covered each of the compound exercises you should be doing for a bigger back, we’ll discuss repetitions and sets. If we add it all together it’s your path to building fast mass.
Your repetitions are very important. If you want cardiovascular endurance you should be doing repetitions of 12. For growth and ripped appearance, it’s better to do sets of 10.
In our case, we want mass so we want to lift really heavy at 80% of our potential with 6 repetitions. Make sure you understand how to do each of these exercises accordingly and have practiced them. I cannot stress this enough. Practice safe lifting always!
|Bent-Over Barbell Rows||3||6|
Pulls Ups – x3 sets – 10 reps
T-Bar Rows – x3 sets – 6 reps
Lat Pull-Downs – x3 sets – 6 reps
Want more from this series? Why not check out our chest exercises for mass article.