Iron Man Magazine - January 2011 Issue Excerpt - 6 Big-Back-Attack Tips.

You hit your back with every possible technique and exercise. You’ve even increased the weights that you use. So why hasn't your back grown in ages? You need to rethink your back-training plan.

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6 Big-Back-Attack Tips:
Rev Up Your Rear View With These Mass Makers

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You hit your back with every possible technique and exercise. You’ve even increased the weights that you use. So why hasn't your back grown in ages? You need to rethink your back-training plan and implement 6 techniques for getting this most difficult-to-work bodypart back on track.

That's important because your back defines your physique. It gives you that much sought-after V-taper that can make you look huge. A V-taper is what really fills out your T-shirts so you look wide, large and in charge. An impressive physique is never complete without a set of wide lats and a thick back.

Your Back Defines Your Physique
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Your Back Defines Your Physique.

Like many people, however, you may have a hard time developing your back—and for good reason. You can’t see it. That makes it even more important to know exactly what the muscles of the back are and how they function.

The two main parts of the back are the latissimus dorsi and the midback, which is composed of the trapezius, the teres major and the rhomboids.

  • The lats’ function is to move the arms down to the pelvis or bring the body up toward the arms when the arm is fixed.
  • The traps are used to shrug, pull the shoulder blades down or draw the shoulder blades together.
  • The teres major’s function is to bring the arm into the back—usually assisting the lats.
  • The rhomboids are like the traps in that they help bring the shoulder blades together.

Now that you know all of the muscles that are affected while you train your back, you can begin to understand the things you're doing wrong and how to really feel your back working.


Back Tip 1: Squeeze

The most important thing to do on every rep of every set of every back workout is to squeeze it. The reason most people have problems building their back is that they can't feel it. Hold the contracted position of each back lift for one second, and if you still can't feel your back working, you're probably still performing the movement incorrectly.

If you’re doing pulldowns, hold the bar at your chest and pull from your elbows to hold it down. If you're doing rows—cable or barbell—pull the bar to your midsection and hold it there, driving your shoulder blades together as hard as you can.

The big pump you get after a full set is your back muscles working. Good job: You just found your back. You're doing better than most guys out there.

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