In this entry I would like to discuss what the optimal way is to train the
back. What are the best exercises? And how do you work different areas of the
back? Let's take a look.
When training the back we are talking about the latissimus dorsi, which are large muscles that run the duration of the back. Back training can be a little complex, and a bit exhausting to train. Many times clients have a hard time making the mind muscle connection with their back for the obvious reason of not being able to see the muscles work. So what are optimal exercises to train the back?
Without a doubt the best exercises to emphasize the back muscles are pull ups. I recommend doing 50 pull ups in the beginning of every workout. Weather that's 10 sets of 5, two sets of 25, Etc try to get yourself 50 pull ups. I recommend varying the grip either going with a reverse grip or an overhand grip a narrow grip or wide grip. So definitely make a point to add pull-ups into your back routine.
Next if your goal is to add size to your back muscles, I recommend using either barbell or dumbbell rows. Make sure to use strict form and avoid using too much weight if it causes you to lose correct form.
I also feel that pull downs are beneficial as well. Just like pull-ups make sure that you vary your grip and width to target different areas of your lats. A wide grip tends to work the width of the V taper where as a narrow grip tends to work more of the middle of the back.
So in conclusion, it is very important to try to establish a mind muscle connection with your back muscles. It tends to take some time but eventually you will begin feeling the muscles in your back through the range of motion. I recommend starting off with light weight until you are able to establish that connection and then begin pyramiding wait up. Pull-ups will always be the top choice, however, you may want to incorporate various rows and pull downs into your routine as well.