Brett Wilkin, Ivana Ivusic and Ben Chow take you through a back workout loaded with tips and tricks to build a giant back.
Single Arm Lat Pulldown:
Set up a single grip handle on a lat pull down. Next, set up an incline bench to the second highest incline. Grab the handle and lay with our stomach on the bench. Begin by pulling the handle down towards your hip. Be sure to keep your shoulders down and drive your elbows down each rep. Do 10 reps per hand each set. Work your way up in weight each set and do 2 working sets to failure at your peak weight.
For this exercise, you want to sit up tall with your butt all the way back in the seat. Grab onto the bar with an overhand grip. Each rep, you want to focus on getting a good stretch and contracting the lats as hard as you can when pulling the bar down. Drive the elbows down each rep and sit up tall. Do sets of 12-15 reps, working your way up in weight each set. On the last set do a “stretch pause set”. This means that you will complete 10 reps, followed by a 10 second hold in the stretched position repeat this 3 times for the last set with no rest.
Smith Machine Barbell Row:
Next, you want to set up in the smith machine so that your hands are about shoulder distance apart and your knees are right up against the bar. Grab the bar with an underhand grip and lift up on the bar, twist to disengage safeties. Next, bend over to about a 45-degree angle. Keeping the chest up and shoulder blades pulled back, begin to lift the bar up towards the ceiling, driving your elbows as far back as you can. Once the bar hits your belly button, hold for a second, really focus on squeezing your back muscles together. Return the weight back down in a controlled manner. Perform sets of 10 reps, climbing up weight each set until you reach 10 reps per set. Do 2 sets at your peak weight to failure.
Neutral Grip Machine Row:
Here we are targeting the middle of your back. You want to set the seat heigh so that your handles are in line with the middle of your ribcage. Begin by driving the elbows behind you as hard as you can. Hold the weight for a second once your elbows are back as far as possible. Control the weight back down, not letting it crash down at the bottom or bounce. Do 3-4 sets of 10 reps. On the last set, perform a double drop set. This means that you are going to do as many reps as possible, then you are going to immediately make the weight lighter and perform as many reps as possible again, do this 2 times.
Next, we will move on to targeting the upper back. For this exercise, you want to bring the seat low so that your elbows are inline with your shoulders. You want to keep the elbows high and drive them back each rep, feeling your shoulder blades pinch together each rep. Do sets of 10 working your way up to failure. On the last set, drop the wight and perform 1.5 rep sets. This means that you are going to pull the weight all the way back, come halfway back, bring it back in and then return the weight to the start point, ending in a good stretch position. Repeat this until failure.
Wide Grip Lat Pulldown:
The last exercise is a wide grip lat pulldown. Set your grip so that you are a few inches wider than shoulder width apart. Sit up nice and tall, keeping your shoulder blades pulled back and down. Begin, by pulling the bar down towards your chest, driving the elbows down as far as possible. Hold for a second at the bottom, really focus on contracting your lats as hard as possible. Control the weight back up and complete 10 reps. Take the last two sets to failure.