How to Build Muscle: Back
- Author Bryant Towell
- Published May 26, 2012
- Word count 527
If you really want to know how to build muscle, focus on building your back. Experienced lifters who know how to build muscle respect a big back because it exudes strength and power like no other body part. Strong lats will also help stabilize your body during every exercise, giving you a stronger bench press and squat. Here are the few key tips on how to build muscle on your back.
Get Your Deadlift Up
No other movement works the lower and upper back like the deadlift. It's also the simplest exercise you can do: put a bar on the ground, grip it tight, and pick it up. If you do it right, you'll feel every muscle in your body working hard to keep that bar moving in the right direction.
If you want to know how to build muscle with the deadlift, follow a few basic rules. First, keep your lower back arched. As long as you keep this sturdy position, your spine will stay safe. Second, use an alternate grip to keep the bar from rolling out of your hands. Third, lean back into the lift like you're trying to fall backwards. You'll never actually fall when the bar is in your hands, but trying to do so will keep you in a powerful, safe position.
Pull-Ups for Width
If you want to get your lats as wide as possible, you'll have to get strong on pull-ups. Make sure to use a full range of motion, extending your arms completely at the bottom and getting your chin over the bar on every rep. A properly-performed pull-up is one of the best muscle-building exercises for the back.
Once you're strong enough to knock out fifteen or twenty reps with just your body weight, start adding extra weight with a chain belt. If your gym doesn't have one, hold a dumbbell between your feet. Just like any other exercise, you've got to keep adding weight on your pull-ups to build muscle.
Rows For Thickness
Heavy rowing will build your rhomboids and traps, making your torso look thick from front to back. The best rowing exercises are barbell rows and one-armed dumbbell rows. Don't worry too much about textbook form, but don't get sloppy, either. Keep your lower back arched, tug hard, and keep going until you can't get another rep. Make sure to use straps if your grip can't hold out, and wear a belt for added stability.
Frequent Back Training
Ask any big guy how to build muscle, and he'll tell you how important it is to consistently train your back. It seems every gym newcomer wants to bench press and curl all the time, but you've got to devote equal time to every body part and exercise if you want to get big.
A good rule of thumb is to train your back as often as you chain your chest and shoulders. This means once per week for most people, but you can train it more often if you like. Overall, the most important thing is to get stronger on deadlifts, pull-ups, and rows. Do that, and your back will improve by leaps and bounds.
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