The Best Back Workout

If you want to know what the best workout is to build a strong, thick, and wide back, then you want to read this article.

Everyone loves to train their chest, shoulders, and biceps at the gym, but for some reason or another, the muscles on the back side of the body simply don’t get the attention they should.


Maybe it’s due to the fact you can’t see your back muscles in the mirror when flexing at the gym, or more likely, it’s the fact that training your back is incredibly taxing and demands the grit and determination rivaled only by leg day.


So, if you’re sick and tired of having an underdeveloped, sorry excuse for a back, read on to find out exactly what you need to do to grow a barnyard door back!


5 Big Benefits of Back Training

Back training isn’t only important for developing a complete physique, it also improves a number of other things, including:

Greater Pressing Strength

Do you want a bigger bench? Then, you’re going to have to build your back.

Simply put, having a strong upper back allows you to create more tension, thereby giving you a more stable and solid base from which to press. Plus, with a bigger, stronger back, you’re also less likely to suffer shoulder injuries as a result of pressing.

Better Posture

Nearly every gym bro suffers from the “pulled forward”, hunched over posture. This is a direct result of too much pressing and not enough pulling. To prevent yourself from looking like a muscular Quasimodo, start doing more pulling each week and pushing. A good goal to aim for is a 2:1 (or 3:1 if your posture is really bad!) push to pull ratio.

Improved Performance

Strengthening the muscles in your back will create a more stable spine,  which improves overall athleticism. With a more powerful back, you’ll be able to lift, twist, turn, and move much more efficiently and effectively. Even everyday tasks like carrying the groceries or picking up your toddler will be easier with a stronger back.


If you want to look great in a t-shirt and achieve the iconic physique of a wide shouldered, narrow-waisted beach body, then back training is a must.

The v-taper isn’t built by simply performing a lot of shoulder presses (though that does help). To build a broad upper body also requires lots of back training.

Having a wider back helps you fill out a shirt, shrinks the appearance of your waist, and puts everyone on notice that you’re serious about lifting.


If for no other reason, you should train your back because it helps build bigger, beefier biceps...and who doesn’t want that?!

Any compound upper back exercise (pull up, row, etc) recruits the biceps to one degree or another. Due to this, many minimalist style trainees do not feel the need to perform direct bicep training

That being said, you still can (and should) perform some direct bicep training each week so as to develop the arms as fully as possible.

7 Important  Back Training Pointers

Maintain Strict Form

The single MOST IMPORTANT aspect of any back workout is to eliminate any momentum during each rep. While this is important for any workout, it’s especially important for back workouts, because it’s incredibly easy to bounce the weights and take advantage of rebound or body English to raise and lower the weight.

Establish a strong mind-muscle connection and keep tension in your lats if you really want to make them grow.

Elbow Drive

Far too often people screw up their back workouts by pulling too much with their arms and not their lats. There are a few ways around this:

  • Focus on pulling with your elbow rather than your fist (trust us, this mental cueing will pay huge dividends)

  • Use a false (suicide) grip for any type of row, pull up or pulldown. Doing so shifts the focus solely to your lats and de-emphasizes any bicep contribution that may occur during the exercise

Elbow Position

Not only is elbow drive important for ensuring your lats are doing the work during a back exercise, but the angle and position of your elbow during the exercise will also determine which portion of your back you’re targeting.

Pulling your elbow out to the side, you’re focusing more on the upper back and traps. If you’re pulling with your elbow straight back and tucked to your side, you’re hitting more of your lats and mid back.


The back is the single largest sheet of muscle in your body. To effectively grow you back and ensure optimal muscle development, you need to hit it from a variety of angles. This means using a mix of different grips, angles, and exercises to hit every aspect of your back for superior growth.

Squeeze Your Shoulder Blades

To get the most out of back exercises, you need to put those muscles through a complete range of motion, i.e. full extension to complete contraction. When training your back, that means beginning the movement by pulling your shoulder blades down and back, squeezing them together and driving your elbows back until you feel a complete contraction across your back. Then, lower the weight under control until your arm(s) are fully extended.

Check Your Ego

It may be enticing to load up a big stack of plates and try to out pull every bro in the gym, but resist the temptation to go too heavy. Lifting more weight than you can control makes proper form almost impossible, which means you’re not actually working your back muscles. Plus, you’re also at an increased risk of injury your lower back.

In other words, if you can’t control the weight throughout the entire range of motion, check your ego and lower the weight!


Like any other muscle group, growing your back will take time. In other words, just because you started doing 3 sets of pull ups and rows each week doesn’t mean you’ll have the King Cobra back of Regan Grimes.

But, with relentless dedication and intense training, you can transform your non-existent lats and rhomboids into the most eye-catching aspect of your physique.


    The Best Back Workout to Build Muscle & Strength

    Back Workout







    3 - 5


    Weighted Chin Ups




    1-Arm Dumbbell Rows


    8-10/ arm


    Seated Cable Rows




    Superset: Straight Arm Pulldown




    Face Pull




    Attack your Back!

    Back training isn’t easy, but it is absolutely essential to improving performance, building the ideal physique, and moving pain-free.

    However, it's not always easy to get geared up for an intense back workout. For those days when you’re just not feeling your best, take a scoop of Primeval Labs Ape Sh*t pre workout to get the energy, focus, and motivation you need to get in the gym and grow that back!