What are your 3 best go to Back exercises?
1. Front lat pull downs
They give my lats and upper back a nice workout and adds definition to the outer back areas.
2. Bent over Rows
I believe in this exercise for overall back development.
Sometimes I go “Old School”. I’m not strong enough to do a full set of 10 reps on my own, so I have a spotter hold my feet for some extra leverage on the last few reps. (In my case all of them)
Do you use specific exercises to target back width and thickness?
In the off-season I split my back session for thickness and width.
- One session will focus exclusively on thickness: This will include more narrow grip pulling exercises like bent over rows and close-grip low-pulley seated cable rows.
- The next session will focus exclusively on width and include more wide-grip pulling exercises like wide-grip lat pull downs and wide-grip chin ups (this one kills me every time).
Which is the most underrated back exercise in your opinion?
I believe the most underrated back exercise is chin ups.
It is a very difficult exercise, especially for women, but if you have a partner to hold your feet it really does help and before you know it, you’ll be doing them all on your own. The chin up works almost your entire upper back, including traps and lats, with minimum stress on your lower back.
What are your top 3 tips when training your back?
1. Make sure your form is right with every exercise.
Not only will you get the best work out this way, you will also minimise injuries. The lower back takes a lot of strain when training back and the last thing you want is to hurt your back and be out of the gym for 6 to 8 weeks.
2. Squeeze your muscles on contraction.
This will increase blood flow and pump which in turn increases gains.
3. Do your reps slowly, concentrating so that every rep is done correctly.
This applies to all exercises. It’s not a race. Take your time and make your time in the gym count.
In your opinion, which is the most common back exercise that people do incorrectly? And how can they fix it?
It has become increasingly popular for women to deadlift these days. Especially since “Strong is the new skinny”.
The majority of people I see doing deadlifts correctly are experienced power lifters and bodybuilders.
The main reason for this is the fact that most people try to go too heavy to quickly. This leads to poor form and serious injuries.
If you want to fix your deadlift, start from scratch. Start light and concentrate on your form. Don’t be afraid to ask. The biggest guys in the gym are usually the nicest and very keen on giving advice and pointers.
What does a typical Back workout look like for you?
- 3 x Wide-grip Lat Pulldowns | 12/10/10 | Increase weight each set.
- 3 x Close-grip low-pulley seated rows | 12/10/10 | Increase weight each set.
- 3 x One arm dumbbell rows | 12/12/12 | Same weight each set.
- 3 x Wide-grip chin ups | 10/10/10 | With assistance.
What are your 3 favourite exercises?
I am a big fan of legs and I love training them. My 3 favourite exercises are:
I love them for the simple reason that they build a firm and hard booty. If done right squats will greatly improve your overall leg strength and add some serious definition to your outer quads.
2. Stiff leg deadlifts
Stiff leg deadlifts can really define your hamstrings. I can clearly differentiate fitness athletes who do “stiff legs” from others who don’t by the way there hamstrings “pop” on stage.
Lunges are a great overall leg workout. It targets glutes (booty), quads (both inner and outer) and hamstrings. I try to never miss my lunge session.