6 BEST EXERCISES FOR A HUGE, THICK BACK
IFBB Pro Nathan De Asha shares six exercises to add thickness and width to your back.
Following the 2021 competitive season, feedback for IFBB Pro Nathan De Asha was to bring up his back. Nathan walks you through he plans on improving his back leading into the 2022 competitive season and takes us through a back training day.
Plate Loaded Lat Pulldown:
Nathan has chosen this exercise because it allows him to grab the bar at a width wider than is normally possible on a traditional lat pull down, which allows him to recruit more of his lower lats. Begin by pulling the handles down and drive your elbows down towards your hips. Once at the bottom, hold for a second before controlling the weight back up. Your chest should stay on the pad with your back slightly arched, make sure you do not swing the weight down. Perform 8-10 reps, increasing weight each set until you reach a peak set where you fail at 10 reps.
Reverse-Grip Cable Row:
Begin by grabbing the handle with an underhand grip, so that your palms are facing up. Next, pull the handles in towards your chest. Make sure to keep your chest up tall and pull your elbows back and hold for 2 seconds. Control the weight back down. Make sure you are getting a good stretch in the lats. Perform sets of 8-10 reps, increasing weight each set and then take the last set to failure.
Reverse-Grip Lat Pulldown:
Grab the handle with a reverse grip at about shoulder width. Pull the handles down and drive your elbows down and hold for 2 seconds just above your chest. Perform 8-10 reps, increasing weight each set until you reach a peak set where you fail at 8-10 reps.
Neutral Grip Row Machine:
Set the seat low enough so that the handles are parallel with your ribs. Next, pull the handles in towards your chest. Make sure to keep your chest up tall with your chest on the pad and pull your elbows back. Control the weight back down. Make sure you are getting a good stretch in the lats. Perform sets of 10 reps, increasing weight each set and then take the last set to failure.
Single-Arm Bent Over Row:
Nathan has a machine specifically designed for this, if your gym doesn’t have this machine, you can substitute it for a dumbbell row. Lay with your chest on the pad and a handle in one of your hands. Drive the elbows back and squeeze your back at the top of the movement and hold for 2 seconds. Slowly return the weight down. Complete 8-10 reps on one arm and then repeat on the opposite arm. Work your way up in weight and take the last set to failure.
Rotary Lat Pulldown:
This machine allows the arms to make a circular motion as opposed to a traditional pulldown that has a more vertical motion. Grab the handles and bring the arms down and towards your hips in a circular motion. Do 8-10 reps, climbing up weight each set until you reach failure at 10 reps.