One of the most beneficial things you can do for your body is exercising your back through strength training. It will decrease and many prevent pain. Another great benefit is increased flexibility allowing you to do more everyday activities and exercises. Working your back out regularly also protects the spine to keep it in proper position and to take any stress that has been building off of it.
One last benefit that happens to be aesthetic is wider lats make your waist appear smaller!
Now that you know the background, let me tell you some of my favorite exercises to work this crucial muscle group!
3-4 sets of pull-ups 10-12 reps
Be sure to hold it for 1-2 seconds at the top.
Smith Machine Barbell Row
6-7 sets 5-8 reps
Set the barbell that is about 2 inches below your knees.
Bend your knees slightly and bring your torso forward, by bending at the waist,
while keeping the back straight.
You can do an overhand or an underhand grip.
Let it hang directly in front of you as your arms hang. This is your starting position.
While keeping the torso stationary, lift the barbell, keeping the elbows close to the body.
Squeeze the back muscles while holding for 1-2 seconds.
Row Cable Weight Machine
4 sets 10 reps
Use a “v-bar” for this exercise.
Place feet on the footpads with a slight bend at the knee.
Lean forward keeping your back straight gripping the handles.
Keep your back slightly arched with your chest pushed out.
Pull the handle towards you while keeping your torso stationary.
Keep your arms close to your side.
Hold for 1-2 seconds and return to starting position.
4 sets 10 reps
Sit on seat facing machine.
Using an overhead wide grip, hold the bar.
Lean back slightly as you pull the bar down.
Pull the bar down to your chest using your shoulders while pushing your elbows out.
Squeeze for 1 or 2 seconds before bringing the bar back up.
Dumbbell Row with Bench
3 sets 5-8 reps
Place hand and knee on bench.
Grab dumbbell and lower it/raise it without using any other muscle.
Keep your back as straight as possible.
4 sets 5-8 reps (for size)
4 sets 10-12 reps (for leanness)
Stand with your legs about 4-6 inches from the bar.
Place your feet shoulder wide apart with your feet facing forward or slightly out.
Squat keeping your back straight (VERY IMPORTANT) and grip the bar overhand/underhand or a mix of the two.
Keep arms fully extended and lift.
At the top, rotate your shoulders slightly until you feel a stretch.
Return the bar to the starting position keeping your back straight.
You can switch up the exercises each session to keep it fresh. If a strong fit back is what you’re after, work it out twice a week.