What guy doesn’t want a lean, muscular back? With some hard work in the gym and kitchen, you can get the ripped back you’ve always wanted. Incorporate these three moves into your weekly weight lifting regimen, and you’ll have a ripped back before you know it. Get ready for a toned, sculpted, and shapely back.
1. Middle back
Alternating renegade row
This fantastic exercise is a bit of a doozy from Body Building, because it really challenges not only your middle back, but also multiple muscles (abs, chest, lats, triceps, and biceps) and your balance. All you need for this one is motivation and two kettlebells.
How to do it:
- Best done on a hard surface. Take your two kettlebells and place them shoulder width apart on the floor. Get ready to get into push up position, with your feet and hands in proper position (but you may need to keep your feet wider apart than normal for extra support), keeping your body straight and extended. You will be using the handles of the kettlebells to support your upper body.
- Starting with either side, keep one kettlebell pushed into the floor and row the other one. Retract the shoulder blade of the side you’re working as you flex your elbow and pull it to your side.
- Lower the kettle ball slowly to the floor and switch to the opposite side. Do each side several times.
2. Upper and middle back
Lateral pulldowns puts to rest the common notion that using weight machines can cause muscle imbalances and do little to strengthen stabilizing muscles. Stephen Bergeron, a certified strength and conditioning specialist and contributor for Built Lean, argues that “lat” pulldowns play an important part in any well-rounded strength training program. Lateral pulldowns really do a lot to help build upper body strength and allow you to strengthen your pull-up game, while also targeting a variety of back muscles that work as spinal stabilizers to assist in posture for other workouts such as deadlifts (see below).
How to do it:
While using a machine is little bit easier, here are some quick tips on how to position yourself and move correctly.
- Be sure to sit up straight, chest tall and bring it to the bar keeping your elbows pointed straight down.
- As you pull the bar down, squeeze your lateral muscles while you pull from your armpits.
- Pull the bar down and lower it to your chin or right below it.
- In terms of positioning, grab the bar just outside the length of your shoulders or just a bit wider and don’t hesitate to try using the V-grip handle.
3. Lower back
Axle deadlift (or thick bar deadlift)
Yet another fantastic exercise, courtesy of Body Building, this is a compound exercise that works several muscle groups (glutes, hamstrings, quads, middle back, forearms, and traps), with the main one being the lower back. For this exercise, all you need is a weight bar. The weight you place on it is at your own discretion.
- As you line yourself up with the bar, keep your feet about hip width apart and center yourself so that the bar is over your feet. Next, bend slightly at the hip so as to grip the bar at shoulder width, which will allow your shoulder blades to protract. Use an over grip.
- After you’ve set your grip and your feet are aligned, inhale looking forward and keeping your head and chest up, lower your hips and flex your knees until your shins touch the bar. With your chest up and back arched, start driving though your heels in order to move your weight back up.
- As soon as the weight bar passes your knees, pull the bar back, while also pulling your shoulder blades together as you drive your hips forward into the weight bar.
- Lastly, lower the bar to the ground by bending at the hips in order to guide it to the floor.