In this guide we explain the most important aspects for back training. We give you four tips for a strong back.
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A strong well defined back is not only aesthetically impressive; it is also the cornerstone of a well-balanced, fully functioning body. Looking good is important to many of us but good posture and a pain free lower back for life should be more important long term.
Unlike the other muscles of your upper body that can be trained with pressing and curling movements the various muscles of the back needs a bit more variation and stimulation to get the most out of your workouts.
Support Your Spine
Strengthening the muscles that supports the spine have a beneficial effect on all other muscles. A strong and well supported spine means that your ability to push and pull during other movements is improved. Radiating strength will increase your lifts for the whole body.
Start With a Deadlift
Being one of the most complex & taxing exercises you should start a back workout with the deadlift when you are fresh and at your strongest. Be modest and train your muscles not your ego with a weight you can handle with good technique. If your back is arched it means the weight is too much and you’re putting stress onto your disks increasing the risk of injury (remember you want to strengthen not weaken your spine).
When getting into position for a deadlift imagine your pelvis is a bucket of water. Pour water out of the front of the bucket by tilting your pelvis forward (sticking you bum out) and bending at the knees. This should put you in the correct bent over position with a straight back and the bar over your toes ready to lift.
Take a Seat - Latisimus dorsi
After a few sets of heavy deadlifts your lower back will be tired, let it rest before doing any bent over rowing movements by doing your next exercise seated. The lat pull down is the back exercise that most people will recognise. It works your upper, outer back and helps you get that V-shape you’ve always wanted.
The key to this exercise is to lock yourself into position with the leg pads & point your chest up as you pull the bar down towards your upper chest. This will ensure you pull with your back and not just your arms.
Don’t Neglect Core Strength
Core strengthening can help relieve lower back pain. It is an area that people to tend to overlook especially if you only want to look muscular. Unfortunately big muscles are not the be all and end all of strength and good aesthetics. A strong core can be the difference between being strong and being functionally strong & durable.
When a coach refers to having a strong core or spine they refer to the basis of the strength to work around. Simply put core & lower back strength translates throughout the whole body as it becomes the foundation from which all other forms of training should be centred around.