How beginners can build a massive back – Guide discusses the back, its function, and exercises. Try these 2 great back workout programs for size.

If you are one of those people who only like to work out your “Show Muscles” (chest, arms, abs and some shoulders) then move on, but if you are looking to have a thick, dense and well-balanced upper body then stick around. Today we are going to discuss how to turn your baby back into wide thick wings of muscle.

Look in the mirror and most people have a hard time contracting the back when they first start working out, so the majority of beginners do a few halfhearted sets of pull-downs and low cable rows and move on to something else. We are going to change all that for you, read on …

In the article below we will discuss the anatomy of the back, its function, location in the body and some exercises for each area of the back. Finally, what you have been waiting for, We will include 2 of my favorite workout programs to help turn your tiny back into massive slabs of muscle.

Lower Back (Lower Trapezius)

Function: Depression of the Scapula

Location: From the Scapula all the way down to the top of the buttocks – or basically the lower portion of the back around the spine

Exercises: Hyperextensions and Stiff-Legged Good Mornings

Middle Back (Rhomboids)

Function: Retracts the Scapula and Downward Rotation of the Scapula

Location: Connected to both the Scapula and the Spinal Column in the middle of the back

Exercises: Bent-Over Barbell Rows and Seated Cable Row

Lats (Latissimus Dorsi)

Function: Extension, Adduction and Medial Rotation

Location: Inserts in the lower 6 thoracic and lumbar vertebrae. Also inserts in the middle side of the arm pit area (humerous)

Exercises: Pull-ups and Wide Grip Lat Pull-downs

Traps (Trapezius)

Function: Elevation of the Scapula, Adduction of the Scapula and Depression of the Scapula

Location:  Inserts at the top of the neck travels all the way down the spine and inserts just about the buttocks

Exercises: Barbell Shrugs and Upright Rows

As you can see the back is made up of many muscle groups and takes up a large portion of your upper body, so why don’t people spend more time developing their back? There are two reasons: first one is, “out of sight out of mind.” When you look in the mirror the back is not visible. Most beginners only care about getting their show muscles (chest, arms, abs and shoulders) more developed and forget about the rest. Secondly, “I can’t contract or feel my back when I workout.” With many muscle groups, you are able to use poor form and still feel the target muscle working. It’s different with the back – unless you use good form and do not pull with your arms, you can do a full workout and not feel much in your back at all.

Back-Building Pointers

Here are some pointers I tell all beginners to help them with their back training:

Use a thumb press grip, where you use an over hand grip with your 4 fingers around the bar and press your thumbs on the bar. This will lead into the next pointer.

Use enough pressure on the bar to hold, but don’t squeeze too hard on the bar or you will engage the forearms and biceps too much. The thumb press will help with this.

Holding onto the bar or weight, drive you elbows as far back as possible trying to pinch your shoulder blades together.

Feel your muscles contract and leave your ego at the door. Too many beginners use way to much weight and never feel the muscle working.

The back is a large and complex muscle group so you will need to use a little more volume than most of your other muscle groups (minus legs). As a beginner we like to stick with a moderate rep range as I feel they are never using so much weight that form gets sloppy.

Now that you understand which muscles make up your back, their function, location, how to contract your back and the rep range needed to stimulate it, let’s give you some workouts to help you build your back, but this will be next Saturday in the “2 Back Workouts For Mass – A Beginner’s Guide! Part II” so, don’t worry and be prepared!

All exercises should be performed in perfect form because bad form or habits you start now will follow you and will lead to lack of progress or worse, an injury in the future. Many if not all the exercises will be new to you. So make sure you use this Exercise Guide in which we used the help of one our favourite webiste, See you next Saturday!!