New Year's Resolution 2009 Edition: Mass Building - Back

Is your New Year's resolution aimed toward gaining overall mass? Then learn and use the most effective training tips and techniques. Utilize these along with back anatomy descriptions, exercises and a fully-loaded workout plan!

Article Summary:
  • Learn the different muscle groups in the back.
  • Break down the back compound and isolation exercises.
  • Layout of the mass-building workout for the back.

  • New Year's Resolution 2009 Edition: Mass-Building - Back

    The 2009 edition of the New Year's Resolution: Mass-Building Series has arrived! In this newly updated and improved edition, additional anatomy and physiology is revealed at the basic level, with the inclusion of the many different joints. Also, many new exercises are introduced, and every workout is expanded.

    Of course, all of the fundamental information from the first series is still present, with some of it revised and updated. This will ensure that you continue the great progress you've made since last year's mass-building New Year's resolution.

    For the newcomers, this is your chance to learn all of the vital information to building muscle mass and truly achieving your newly set mass-building resolutions.

    Today's focus is on the back, which primarily consist of the latissimus dorsi, teres major, rhomboids and erector spinae muscles.

    2008 MASS-BUILDING SERIES
    New Year's Resolution: Mass Building!
    Is your New Year's resolution aimed towards gaining overall mass? Learn and use the most effective methods by utilizing these anatomy descriptions, exercises and workout plans!
    [ Click here to learn more. ]


    Basic Back Anatomy And Physiology

    Let's first look at the basic anatomy and physiology of the back, so you know the different parts of the muscle groups and the movements produced.

    Basic Anatomy And Physiology Of The Back
    + Click To Enlarge.
    You Should Know The
    Different Parts Of The Back.


    Main Back Muscles

      Latissimus Dorsi

        The latissimus dorsi are also known as the lats.

      • Origin: Thoracolumbar Aponeurosis, Inferior 6 Thoracic Spinous Processes, Iliac Crest And The Inferior 3rd To 4th Ribs.
      • Insertion: Intertubercular Groove Of The Humerus.
      • Action: Extension, Medial Rotation And Adduction Of The Humerus.

      Teres Major

      • Origin: Inferior Angle Of The Scapula And Lower Third Of The Axillary Border Of The Scapula.
      • Insertion: Medial Lip Of The Intertubercular Groove Of The Humerus.
      • Action: Adduction And Medial Rotation Of The Humerus.

      Rhomboid Major

      • Origin: spinous processes of T12-T15.
      • Insertion: medial border of the scapula.
      • Action: retraction and rotation of the scapula downward.

      Rhomboid Minor

      • Origin: spinous processes of C7 and T1.
      • Insertion: medial border of the scapula.
      • Action: retraction and rotation of the scapula downward.

      Erector Spinae

        The erector spinae are also known as the spinal erectors and are divided into three portions: iliocostalis, longissimus and spinalis.

        Iliocostalis:

      • Origin : thoracolumbar aponeurosis.
      • Insertion: transverse processes.
      • Action: extension and lateral flexion of the spine.
      • Longissimus:

      • Origin : thoracolumbar aponeurosis.
      • Insertion: mastoid process.
      • Action: extension and lateral flexion of the spine.
      • Spinalis:

      • Origin : ligamentum nuchae.
      • Insertion: occipital bone.
      • Action: extension and lateral flexion of the spine.

    BACK ANATOMY
    Click Text For Info.


    Mass-Building Exercises

      Now that you know the basic anatomy and physiology of the back muscles, it's time for you to learn about their mass-building exercises.

      Straight-Arm Pulldown (warm-up exercise)

        The straight-arm pulldown is an isolation movement used as a warm-up exercise for the back.


    Click To Enlarge.
    Straight-Arm Pulldown.
    Video : Windows Media - MPEG - Video iPod

      Incline Bench Pull (warm-up exercise)

        The incline bench pull is an isolation movement used as a warm-up exercise for the back.


    Click To Enlarge.
    Incline Bench Pull.
    Video : Windows Media - MPEG

      Pull-Up

        The pull-up is a compound movement used to build mass and quality in the lats. This exercise also builds the teres major, rhomboid major and rhomboid minor muscles. The use of lifting straps is recommended, in order to decrease the use of the biceps and shift most of the workload onto the lats.


    Click To Enlarge.
    Pull-Up.
    Video : Windows Media - MPEG - Video iPod

      V-Bar Pull-Up

        The V-bar pull-up is a compound movement used to build mass and quality in the lats. This exercise also builds the teres major, rhomboid major and rhomboid minor muscles. The use of lifting straps is recommended, in order to decrease the use of the biceps and shift most of the workload onto the lats.


    Click To Enlarge.
    V-Bar Pull-Up.
    Video : Windows Media - MPEG - Video iPod

      Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown

        The wide-grip pulldown is a compound movement used to build mass and quality in the lats. This exercise also builds the teres major, rhomboid major and rhomboid minor muscles. The use of lifting straps is recommended, in order to decrease the use of the biceps and shift most of the workload onto the lats.


    Click To Enlarge.
    Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown.
    Video : Windows Media - Real Player

      Close-Grip Pulldown

        The close-grip pulldown is a compound movement used to build mass, width and quality in the lats. This exercise also builds the teres major, rhomboid major and rhomboid minor muscles. The use of lifting straps is recommended, in order to decrease the use of the biceps and shift most of the workload onto the lats.


    Click To Enlarge.
    Close-Grip Pulldown.
    Video : Windows Media - Real Player

      Barbell Row

        The barbell row is a compound movement used to build mass, thickness and density in the lats. This exercise also builds the teres major, rhomboid major and rhomboid minor muscles. The use of a slightly wider than shoulder-width apart grip is recommended.


    Click To Enlarge.
    Barbell Row.
    Video : Windows Media

      Single-Arm Dumbbell Row

        The dumbbell row is a compound movement used to build mass, thickness and quality in the lats, teres major, rhomboid major and rhomboid minor muscles.


    Click To Enlarge.
    Single-Arm Dumbbell Row.
    Video : Windows Media - Real Player

      Two-Arm Dumbbell Row

        The 2-arm dumbbell row is a compound movement used to build mass, thickness and quality in the lats, teres major, rhomboid major and rhomboid minor muscles.


    Click To Enlarge.
    Two-Arm Dumbbell Row.
    Video : Windows Media - Real Player

      T-Bar Row

        The T-bar row is a compound movement used to build mass, thickness and density in the lats. This exercise also builds the teres major, rhomboid major and rhomboid minor muscles. The use of a V-handle placed under the barbell is recommended.


    Click To Enlarge.
    T-Bar Row.
    Video : Windows Media - MPEG - Video iPod

      Seated Cable Row

        The seated row is an isolation movement used to build mass and quality in the lats.


    Click To Enlarge.
    Seated Cable Row.
    Video : Windows Media - MPEG - Video iPod

      Cable Full Range-Of-Motion Lat Pulldown

        The cable full range of motion lat pulldown is an isolation movement used to build quality in the lats, teres major, rhomboid major and rhomboid minor muscles.


    Click To Enlarge.
    Cable Full Range-Of-Motion Lat Pulldown.
    Video : Windows Media - MPEG - Video iPod

      Barbell Deadlift

        The barbell deadlift is compound movement used to build mass, density and power in nearly all muscle groups, especially the erector spinae. It is a difficult movement to master and should be performed with lighter weights until correct execution is achieved. The use of an overhand grip is recommended, in order to prevent and/or reduce the risk of a bicep tendon tear.


    Click To Enlarge.
    Barbell Deadlift.
    Video : Windows Media

      Hyperextension

        The hyperextension is an isolation movement used to build the erector spinae muscles.


    Click To Enlarge.
    Hyperextension.
    Video : Windows Media - MPEG - Video iPod


    Mass-Building Sets And Rep Ranges

      Next up for you to learn is the amount of sets and rep ranges that will allow you to build maximal muscle mass in the back.

      Compound Exercises

        All compound exercises in the workout plan require 4 sets. The first set consists of 15 reps with light weights, for warm-up purposes. The following three sets consist of 8, 6 and 4 reps with heavy weights, for mass building purposes.

        There are two exceptions to the above. The first is the straight-arm pull-down and incline bench pull, which are both isolation exercises used for warm-up purposes in the workout plan. They each require three sets, which consist of 25, 20 and 15 reps with light weights.

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        The second exception is the pull-up and V-bar pull-up, which do not require a warm-up set. The pull-up and V-bar pull-up require 4 sets of 12 reps with one's own bodyweight.

      Isolation Exercises

        All isolation exercises in the workout plan also require 4 sets. The first set consists of 15 reps with light weights, for warm-up purposes. The following three sets consist of 12, 10 and 8 reps with medium to heavy weights for mass building and safety purposes.

        There is one exception to this. The hyperextension requires 4 sets of 15 reps and no warm-up set is required. The hyperextension should be performed with light weights or no weights, for muscle growth, quality and safety purposes.


    Mass-Building Workout Plan


    Conclusion

    With all of this information, you should be well on your way to achieving your mass-building New Year's resolution. All you need to do now is apply this knowledge and follow the workouts. You will be in for a surprise once you start packing on the muscle mass!

    References

    1. Bodybuilding.com Anatomy And Exercises Main Page.
    2. Illustrated Essentials of Musculoskeletal Anatomy by Kay W. Sieg, Sandra P. Adams