When it comes to building muscle a solid back routine is absolutely vital if you want to build a symmetrical, balanced, muscular, aesthetically pleasing physique. There are many different forms of back exercises, each with their own various advantages and disadvantages, but two of the most popular are two which we’ll be looking at here:
- The seated cable row
- barbell bent over rows
Here’s how to perform each one.
Seated cable rows
- Begin by taking a seat of a low pulley rowing machine, equipped with a v-bar.
- To get into position, sit down and firmly place your feet on the platform of the machine, making sure that your knees are not locked and are therefore slightly bent.
- Grab the handles of the V bar, and lean forward slightly, making sure to keep the natural alignment of your back.
- Extending your arms, pull backwards until your torso forms a 90 degree angle compared with your legs. Your chest should be slightly sticking out, and your back ever so slightly arched.
- Keeping your body as stationary as possible, pull the handles of the v bar back towards your body, until you lightly graze your abdominals. As you perform this movement, ensure you breathe out and squeeze the muscles in your back hard.
- Slowly return the bar back to the starting position and repeat for as many reps as necessary.
- Make sure that you keep your torso as straight as possible, and never rock back and forth in order to gain momentum.
Barbell bent over rows
- Begin this exercise by holding a barbell with an overhand grip, your knees ever so slightly bent, and bring your body forward by bending at the waist.
- Whilst making sure to keep your back straight until it is close to being parallel to the ground, lift up your head and keep it up, and ensure that the barbell hangs down in front of you, as your arms hang perpendicular to your body and to the ground.
- Next, keeping your body still, exhale and slowly lift up the barbell until it grazes your stomach. Make sure to keep your elbows as close to your body as possible.
- At the top of the movement, once the bar is grazing your stomach, hold this contracted position for a second and squeeze the back muscles.
- Inhale and then slowly lower the barbell back down to the starting position and repeat for the required amount of repetitions.
- Make sure to use a weight you can manage, and ensure your back remains still as you perform this lift.
- If you need to bounce your body in order to get the bar up, the weight is too heavy, so go lighter.