Body + Mind is reader-supported. We may earn an affiliate commission when you buy through some of the links on our site.
Everyone loves the look of a toned muscular back. Not only does it look great, but it is important to build strength in all areas of your body. When you head to the gym, you should include one day of lifts that focus on strengthening the back. If you aren’t sure what to include on that day, here are the three best back workouts for your routine.
Keep some things in mind when deciding what back workouts will be best for you. First, you should structure your workouts to get the maximum benefits of each. It is best to pick compound movements for the beginning of your training since they involve multiple joints, targeting other muscles and using the most energy.
Next, you should pick workouts that you enjoy doing. One of the main reasons people build muscles is by staying with a consistent routine. Finding exercises you want to do will excite you to step into the gym on your back workout day.
The lat pull-down is a great exercise that trains your lats, biceps and traps all in one. This is a great option since it is essentially a reverse pull-up, so if you are a beginner, it can help you build strength to do so in the future.
To perform this workout, you will pick an attachment of a wide grip, neutral or single arm attachment. Stand up and grab the attachment while keeping your thighs snug under the pad with your feet flat on the floor. Pull the bar to your chest to at least under your chin.
Imagine you are pulling your elbows to the ground for a mind-muscle connection. Repeat the movement for eight to twelve reps. It is best to pick a weight that has you feeling tired with only one of two reps left in your tank once completed.
The single-arm dumbbell row allows you to focus on one side of the back. This means you can lift more weight on each side than if you were doing a barbell row. Since you are allowing yourself to use more weight, you will be able to reach progressive overload quicker and increase the chances of gaining muscle.
For this movement, you will hold a dumbbell in one of your hands and bend over, putting the opposite hand and knee on a flat bench. Keep the other foot planted and extend your arm with the dumbbell to the floor. Keep your back neutral and lift the dumbbell back towards the side of your torso. Repeat the movement for the desired amount of reps. This workout is best towards the middle or end of your lift.
Since the dumbbell is working against you, you may notice it is difficult to grip, especially if it is a higher weight. Using grips is a great idea to help you increase your weight or hold onto the weight better.
Cables are excellent since they keep consistent tension on your muscles each rep. Sit on the pad with your feet shoulder-width apart. Use the “V” attachment and lean back with your arms fully extended in front of you. Pull the attachment toward your belly button and control the movement back to the starting position.
It is best to add this exercise near the end of your back day and use a higher rep range. Focus on the range of motion instead of weight for this exercise.
Like any muscle group, building strength takes time. You will notice a change in a couple of months with the right workouts and hard work.