Top 5 Back Workout Tips
After you’ve been going to gym for a while and the noobie gains start slowing down, going to gym can become frustrating. The progress gets addicting. When you’re starting out your technique could be bad, but the gains still comes. After the noobie gains, however, you need to focus more on acing each movement for an optimal amount of progress. With that said there are a few tips to keep in mind to get the most of your workouts. Today we’re going to cover back workout tips.
Tip 1 : The Pause
With every exercise you do, you need to focus on the range of motion throughout the movement. Doing so will strengthen that mind-to-muscle connection. Equally important is knowing when to pause, hold, and squeeze. Learning how to squeeze and engage the middle and upper back muscles in your back workout is critical when it comes to maximizing growth to your back. For example: when doing pull downs you want to bring the bar to your sternum, (not your clavicle), while focusing on driving the movement down with your elbows. When you’ve reached your chest pause and hold the bar for at least a second, while squeezing the muscles.
Tip 2 : The Grip
Unlike with our chest workout tips where we talked about your hand placement for grip, for back workouts we’re going to go over grip strength (although placement matters too). We’ve all been there. You’re in the middle of a heavy weight set and you know you could squeeze out a few more reps, when your grip fails and you drop the weight. It sucks. But there’s options on how to improve and strengthen your grip. For starters, you can try using chalk or straps. But if you really want to work on your grip strength you should build your biceps and forearms. For biceps it’s pretty simple, you can build them up by doing a variation of curls. For forearms, try incorporating forearm curls or farmers walks.
Tip 3 : The Form
Whether its a back workout or any other muscle group, your form matters. For back exercises (like rows, pull-ups, and lat pull-down variations) the general rule of thumb for proper form consists of keeping your chest out, shoulders pulled back, head tall, and your abs tight. Again you want to focus on pulling with your middle – upper back. You want to avoid or minimize your shoulder and trap usage. When your shoulders or trap take over the movement, it promotes internally rotation, which can cause scapular instability that may lead to injury.
Tip 4 : The Routine
Back days are fun days. Because the muscle group is so large you have so many options on how to build them. However like with other muscle groups, we tend to find a routine we like and stick to it. Obviously if you’re not incorporating compound movements in your back workout, you should. If your back workout already consists of compound movements and fundamental movements, try adding in more isolated exercises. Like we said, the muscle group is large. Every small muscle counts. Try incorporating straight arm pull-down to fry up your lats. Also, change the grip placement to target different muscles. If you normally do pull ups, try doing inverted pulls. For that V-tapper, train your upper lats with a wider grip.
Tip 5 : The Stretch
If you’ve every trained your back hard, you’ve probably questioned if your back is just sore or if it’s injured. Having a sore/achy back can make training other muscle groups difficult too. Of course, being sore is part of the program. But if it can be reduced, you can keep training on. What this means is making sure you’re doing a few things; sleeping well, eating enough protein, and warming up/ stretching. For your back workout, and really all workouts, you should consider foam rolling. Foam rolling is kind of like a DIY massage except not as relaxing. What its going to do is help break down fibrous tissue, improve circulation, relieve adhesion, reduce muscle soreness and increase range of motion.