Building Your Back

How to Develop a Strong Back

The Big Three

( All of the screenshots have been taken from my social media on back building. You can view it here – )

1. Bent Row



– Start with the bar on the floor or the rack (ensure that the height you start at facilitates having a neutral spine)

– Feet under hips, slight bend in the knees, hinge the hips back whilst keeping the chest lifted and ensuring the shoulders are directly over the bar

– Begin with the bar just in front of the knees, grasp the bar with either a underhand or overhand grip (personal preference) and pull the bar into the body

– Target area for the bar is between the chest and stomach, keep the elbows tucked in close to the ribs and push elbows out behind the back at the top of the lift

– Think about keeping the abdominals tight to maintain form throughout


2. Lat Pulldown



– Adjust the thigh pad to ensure that when you sit the pads are tight on the thighs and the feet are flat on the floor

– Grasp the bar slightly wider than shoulder width and sit down with the bar

– Push the chest up and lean back slightly to maintain a slight arch in the back

– Drive the bar down to the upper chest keeping the elbows pointed towards the floor and the upper body tight to maintain form

– Return to the starting position by fully extending the elbows


3. Deadlift



– Start with the feet directly under the bar with the shins almost touching it

– Keeping the chest up, hinge the hips backward, reach down and grasp the bar at roughly shoulder width using a reverse grip

– Keep the hips high and the shoulders directly over the bar

– Keep the core engaged, drive through the heels keeping the bar close to the body as it rises up to the hips

– Push the hips through at the top of the lift (think about squeezing the glutes together)


The Benefits of Building a Strong Back

The follow exercises all have one thing in common. They are big lifts, also know as compound lifts. Any exercise that utilises numerous muscles (or muscle groups) across many joints can be defined as “compound”.

There are numerous benefits in performing compound exercises, especially in terms of developing strength. The primary benefit is that compound lifts allow you to lift heavier loads due to the recruitment of numerous muscles and therefore, over time, you would expect to see strength improvements.

Other benefits of Compound Exercises include:

– Improved Proprioception (Co-ordination, Balance, Body Awareness)

– Core Engagement and Development

– Improved Stability Across Joints

– Injury Prevention

– Improved Fatigue Resistance

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