Not only is the back one of the largest and strongest body parts in the body, it is also one of the most complex in terms of being a series of interconnected muscle groups. For the purposes of this feature, we're dividing the bench into its four main areas:
Each area requires specific stimulation through the exercises and angles of attack used, and we'll show you the two best back exercises for each.
With this menu you can customize your back workout by choosing one exercise from each category to create a total program. Or if one area is lagging, you can choose to have extracurricular activities only in that area. Either way, fully understanding which back exercises hit which parts of your back will allow you to build shape (especially the V-taper), thickness, and width.
Note:We do not isolate many of the exercises covered here, but instead emphasize certain areas of the back muscles.
Use moves in which you use a wide grip, usually on the outside of your shoulders, to develop the area that makes up your V-taper. You will usually pull from an angle above your head or perpendicular to your body.
Best Exercises:Pullups (Wide Grip), Bent ower Barbell Row (Wide Grip)
Target Tip:To really emphasize the upper/external lats and tiers majors in the down position, squeeze your shoulder blades together as you fully extend your arms.
Targeting Tip:To target those outer lats and key areas, pull the bar toward your upper abs.
Use reverse-grip moves and close-grip pullups/pulldowns to place more emphasis on the lower latitudinal region. One of the few single-joint lat moves, the straight-arm pulldown, does this as well.
Best exercises:Reverse-grip pulldowns, straight-arm lat pulldowns
Target Tip:To focus on those lower-latitude fibers, keep your chest high and your back arched. As you pull the bar down, bring it toward your lower chest for better contraction.