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Row to Grow -- Back Blasting Workout | IFBB Pro Regan Grimes

Row to Grow -- Back Blasting Workout | IFBB Pro Regan Grimes

If you’re like most lifters, you probably tend to focus (and enjoy) training the muscles you can see easily in the mirror -- chest, shoulders, biceps, triceps, etc.


Yet, it’s the muscles on the backside (lats, rhomboids, glutes, hamstrings) of your body that really transform a physique and cause heads to turn.


To help you grow a bigger, stronger, and more impressive-looking backside, we took a page from IFBB Pro and Primeval Labs athlete Regan Grimes playbook and present this complete back-blasting workout.

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Regan Grimes Complete Back Workout


Exercise

Sets

Reps

Chest Supported Row

4

10-12

Low Seated Row

4

10-12 / arm

Bent Over Row

4

10-12

Rack Pulls in Smith Machine

4

10-12

Underhand Pulldown

4

10-12

Back Workout Training Tips

Chest Supported Row

The advantage of the chest supported row is that since your torso is supported, you can’t use momentum to cheat the bar up. The chest supported row also helps remove tension from the lower back, which many times is the limiting factor in the exercise rather than fatigue in the back muscles.


When performing the chest supported row, make sure you keep your chest on the pad (or bench) at all times. If you find yourself flailing back and forth (i.e. hyperextending your back on each rep), you're using too much weight.


Drop the weight to one that allows you to use proper form and excessive heaving and hoeing.


If you don’t have a chest-supported row machine at your gym, you can sub in T-bar rows or prone chest supported rows on an incline bench using a pair of heavy dumbbells.

Low Seated Row

Regan likes to perform these to make the fibers of the lower lats work harder.


Since the row is a compound movement, it will stimulate all the muscles of the lats and rhomboids to a certain degree. However, as you’ve experienced with other exercise variations (flat bench vs incline), the angle of force and hand grip you use can help shift the tension so that one aspect of the muscle is working harder than another.


The low seated row is no different.


If you don’t have a low seated row machine, you can just as easily perform a unilateral or bilateral seated cable row where your feet are placed on the bottom of the platform and you draw the cable attachment toward your groin (but avoiding contact) rather than your midsection.

Bent Over Row

Many lifters choose to make the bent over barbell row the first exercise in their back workouts. And this approach has worked for many top-tier bodybuilders (hello, Ronnie Coleman) and powerlifters.


But, our main goal here isn’t strength, it’s building muscle, which means we don’t need to be concerned with hitting a new 1-RM on this particular exercise. We need to focus on performing enough quality volume with an appropriate load.


The advantage to placing the bent over barbell row later in your workout is that the lats are already fatigued from the chest supported row and low cable row, both of which are easy on the lower back. This means that you can use a lighter load compared to if you were leading off your workout with the bent over row.


This is both safer on the lower back, reduces the risk for injury, and helps ensure that the lower back isn’t what fatigues first, but it’s the lats.


And, since you’ll have to use a lighter weight than if you led your workout off with the bent over row, it also helps ensure better form and limits the amount of flailing, jerking, and kipping you’ll do to lift the weight.

Smith Machine Rack Pulls

Deadlifts are a bread and butter lift for those looking to build total body muscle and strength. At the same time, deadlifts are also incredibly taxing on the central and peripheral nervous systems, and take quite a while to recover from.


They generally also have a rather limited amount of time under tension compared to other back-building exercises like rows, pull-ups and pulldowns.


The rack pull is a variation of the deadlift that can be used to increase overall pulling strength and back development without having to subject your body to the incredible amounts of fatigue that go along with heavy deadlifts.


It’s also great for working on where your own particular “sticking point” may be on the deadlift.


For example, if your sticking point is during the lower portion of the pull, then set the height of the bar just below the knee. Conversely, if your sticking point is during the “finish” of the deadlift, set the rack height in-line with your vastus medialis (tear-drop muscle).

Reverse-Grip (Underhand) Pulldown

To finish off his back-blasting workout, Regan switches from horizontal to vertical pulling and performs the reverse-grip (supinated) pulldown.


As with other vertical pulling movements (like the wide-grip pull down and pull up), the reverse-grip pulldown is a compound movement that hits that lats, rhomboids, traps, and serratus anterior.


To get the most out of this exercise, make sure your torso is leaning slightly back with the focus being on puffing your chest out while maintaining a small arch in your lower back. From here, retract and depress the shoulder blades.


This setup will help increase lat activation and limit the involvement from the surrounding musculature (anterior deltoids, biceps, etc.).


As you pull the bar down, focus on driving your elbows into your back pockets while maintaining a “proud” chest. At the bottom, pause for a count of one before slowly raising the bar back to the top.

Fuel Your Back Gains with Mega Pre

It’s no secret that Regan fuels his hardcore back workouts with Primeval Labs Mega Pre.


This delicious-tasting pre workout is fueled by 6 grams of pure L-Citrulline along with robust doses of other research-backed ergogenics including betaine, GlyerPump, VasoDrive-AP, and elevATP.


Mega Pre has been meticulously formulated to promote increased blood flow, nutrient delivery, and muscle pumps during training. As such, Mega Pre contains no stimulants, which can cause vasoconstriction and limit blood flow to working muscles.


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