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Obi Obadike
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Ask The Ripped Dude

"How Do I Build A Barn-door Back?"

Ask The Ripped Dude: How Do I Build A Barn-door Back? - 4 Obi Obadike Back Exercises

I've graced more than 28 magazine covers in the past 3 years. The global fitness industry has branded me 'The World's Most Ripped Fitness Model.'
Q

Hey Obi, there's nothing sexier than a wide back and a V-taper, what can I do to get that shredded look?

Short answer: It takes a lot of work, but with the right attitude and training plan you can have a back so wide it'll make your tank top look like a sports bra.

When I was in high school, I was that skinny kid. My back was narrow and anything but ripped. It took me many years of consistently training my back to get it where it is today. Now it's one of my best body parts.

I'm going to share four exercises with you that helped me build an awesome back.

EXERCISE 1 Pulverizing Pull-ups

Pullups Pullups

Pull-ups are one of the best exercises you can do to build a wide back; it is also one of the most difficult exercises. Most people struggle to do sets of pull-ups with their body weight. The more you practice, though, the better you'll get.

When you do this exercise, make sure your arms are wide and your shoulders spread - this helps increase your back width.

Also, make sure you do these overhand, with your hands facing away from you. Try not to swing your legs and make sure you breathe.

EXERCISE 2 Bulldozing Bent Over Barbell Rows

These are great for back-building. Again, make sure you use a wide, overhand grip to get that much-desired width.

EXERCISE 3 Levitating Lat Pulldowns

Do these behind your head with - you guessed it - a wide grip. Pull down the bar, keeping your lats contracted, until the bar touches the back of your neck.

No swinging. You need to be a smooth operator.

EXERCISE 4 Maximizing Machine Rows

Sit down to do this exercise, and make sure you fully-contract your lats, rhomboids and middle traps.

Mighty Musculature Tips

  1. As with any training routine, you need to mix it up! After 4-to-6 weeks, your body will adjust, and you'll stop seeing results. Minimize plateaus by changing your game-plan.
  2. If you don't feel your muscles working, that means they're NOT. If you don't have correct form or you use weight that's too light, you'll never get where you want to be.
  3. Your back muscles are the largest and most complex muscles of your upper torso. They are also the toughest muscles to feel while you train them.
  4. In other words: form is the foundation! Keep your back slightly arched and avoid hunching or rounding your shoulders. Besides making you look like a little old lady, improper form will hinder muscle growth.
  5. Avoid excessive heavy weights; lifting too much weight makes proper form almost impossible. You also risk injury, especially in your lower back.
  6. Wear a weight-lifting belt. This extra support helps you prevent injury and strain.

Remember, it takes time to develop your back. You won't see results overnight. But if you eat right, and are consistent in your training, you will find that your back will be the one everyone is looking at!

Transform Your Body


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About The Author

Known as ''The World Most Ripped Fitness Model,'' he's very passionate about educating people all over the world about health and fitness.

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dreambig1993

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dreambig1993

Pull ups!!!! My favorite!

Jan 24, 2012 6:02pm | report
 
naturalhench

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naturalhench

Good to see old school exercises been promoted. None of that bosu ball crap!

Jan 24, 2012 6:58pm | report
 
AJacks92

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AJacks92

Haha, so true

Jan 25, 2012 6:29am | report
youngdurin

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youngdurin

Ummm...has anyone ever seen this guy's legs? Does he have any? Or is he one of those guys who think the squat rack is for curling?
I could be wrong, just never seen a pic of the dude's lower half without huge basketball shorts covering everything.

Jan 30, 2012 3:42pm | report
dajunglebrotha

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dajunglebrotha

ah lol!!!!

Feb 1, 2012 11:58am | report
Justin23454

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Justin23454

at young, whats that gotta do with His back workout

Sep 13, 2012 12:36pm | report
diguincoutoreis

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diguincoutoreis

Great. Love my backs :D

Maybe could do one for chests, could you? :P

NpNg, Let's Train.

Jan 25, 2012 3:55am | report
 
tmcr

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tmcr

step one...read ...step two..inhale information...step three... write out a plan..step four...(cough) step four...execute...(still....waiting....)....not there yet....and we give up... well no use..(BETTER LUCK NEXT TIME...)

Its so easy to read this over but to put it into practice is gonna be the good one...i'ma have a go at it.. i'll be posting this up as part of my logs

Jan 25, 2012 4:16am | report
 
AJacks92

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AJacks92

They're all fantastic exercises, but what about your lower back and upper traps? This has a lot of isolation movement, so I figured he'd put in at least something for lower back, but I guess that's a given with your regular deadlifts that should already be incorporated in your workout

Jan 25, 2012 6:32am | report
 
anticubicle

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anticubicle

Wish I could do unassisted pullups :/ Pulling up 286lbs. is no easy task...sticking to Rows Pulldowns for now.

Jan 25, 2012 7:39am | report
 
HDoughty

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HDoughty

basic

Jan 25, 2012 11:15am | report
 
HDoughty

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HDoughty

but the best

Jan 25, 2012 11:19am | report
CDMac24

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CDMac24

big back, big back, big back. This is my mantra as I do pullups; 50 reps in as few sets as possible.

Great inspiration, Obi. Love your cut!

Jan 25, 2012 11:54am | report
 
stranger1982

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stranger1982

wish i could do a pull up :-(

Jan 25, 2012 12:40pm | report
 
mcaballero

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mcaballero

Some of those muscles can't be real.

Jan 25, 2012 10:16pm | report
 
Holzhacker

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Holzhacker

warm up with pull ups, then move to a row, a pull down, another row, and another pull down. thats how i start my back work out. love these workouts

Jan 25, 2012 10:37pm | report
 
TheSissons

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TheSissons

Gotta agree with pull-ups. I hated them in the beginning but now i find myself irritated when i walk in the gym on back day and see all the pull-up bars taken. But i was persistant and now im doing atleast 4 sets of 10 with a 35lb weight hanging from my waist. Its a great feeling when your done

Jan 25, 2012 11:29pm | report
 
IronGift

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IronGift

Just wish i woulda seen deadlifts somewhere in there...

Jan 28, 2012 10:52am | report
 
nursemike716

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nursemike716

I gotta start the pullups

Jan 30, 2012 9:58pm | report
 
dragonman110

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dragonman110

pull ups!!! the best exercise for upper back!!!

Jan 31, 2012 11:37am | report
 
mike34900

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mike34900

i see you mentioned avoid excessive heavy weights, would you say pick an exercise from the body part youre working and go heavy, or pick 2

Jan 31, 2012 1:25pm | report
 
joeylovesnessa

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joeylovesnessa

sweeeeeeeeeet!

Feb 28, 2012 7:40am | report
 
rhashi

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rhashi

Great article,im definitley will be incorparating this program

Mar 20, 2012 10:34am | report
 
LukeMorehouse

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LukeMorehouse

I started this today with back day. Took out the seated row for thisI week but will throw it in there next week. Instead, we did pullovers. So I will definitely be noting progress attained along the way.

Mar 24, 2012 5:40pm | report
 
NaptownLarry

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NaptownLarry

Wide grip pull ups, Wide grip bar rows, and cable rows... Really...?!? That's your back routine that qualifies you to call yourself "The World’s Most Ripped Fitness Model"... ?

Ok, comments are supposed to be positive, so I won't go into the difference between dieting yourself down to a skeleton so that your muscles show, verses actually developing your muscles... ahem...

First... a few BIG corrections...

1. Very wide grip back pullups and rows are NOT the key to a wide back. They're a good addition to a back routine, but they actually limit the range of motion that you're working in your lats. Hence doing only wide grip motions will actually greatly limit your development.

2. Using heavy weights does NOT automatically preclude your ability to execute perfect form. Your form needs to come first, but you should be striving to increase the resistance because perfect form alone does not make muscle grow and or become defined. You need to increase the weight to increase your development.

3. Wearing a weight lifting belt is NOT a mandatory thing, especially with the minimal weight this guy is advocating. Weight belts are a crutch that allow you to work your upper body while forgetting about your core. A well developed core is a built in weight belt and is a MUCH better defense against back injury than relying on the artificial core compression gained from a belt. *It's worth noting that the back routine advocated in this article completely ignores the musculature of the lower back. Maybe that's why he's needs the belt.

A back routine that's going to really make your back grow wider, thicker, and more defined needs to include narrow and wide grip movements in each range of motion that's possible for your lats.

Pull ups... If you can't do a set of 8-10 pull ups using your own body weight, cable pull downs are a good start. But look at them as a means to an end, not your primary exercise for back. Cable pull downs should be the way to get your weight up to where you can do pull ups. Once you're pulling down 20 lbs over your body weight, get off the machine and get on the pull up bar. Because pull ups with well executed form are the arguably the best exercise you can employ to make your back grow and become more defined. And don't stop at just your body weight. As soon as you can, get that weighted chain belt on and start adding 5, 10, 15, etc... plates.

Apparently they limit posting length here. (More to come).

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Apr 30, 2012 1:09pm | report
 
Showing 1 - 25 of 32 Comments

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