Having a top-notch physique involves improving every body part from head to toe. When it's time to breakout that wide lat spread, you want to have wings so wide it seems you can fly.
Related: 5 Best Back Exercises You're Never Heard Of
However, too often back is a weak point for lots of individuals. The simple positioning and inability to view the back makes it more difficult to target compared to the other muscle groups.
Back workouts require focus and contraction on every single repetition. The number of exercise variations that can be performed for back day are seemingly limitless. You always possess the ability to switch up back day with new movements every single workout.
However, focusing on progressive overload in terms of number of reps and sets will provide the most benefit.
When it comes to building a strong, thick, wide back nothing compares to traditional rows. Having a well-developed back is a key component of building an all-around impressive physique.
There are several row variations that can be performed from a variety of different angles and perspectives. Incorporate a few of these different rowing movements into your back workout routine and become amazed at the results seen almost immediately.
Rows - 7 Best Variations
#1 - Bent Over Rows
Bent over rows are considered a staple in the routine of many bodybuilders. This compound movement not only works the back but also engages the biceps and core as well.
The beauty of the bent over row lies in its pure simplicity. All that is needed is an Olympic bar and weight plates. Perform pronated grip rows to build the upper lats or use a supinated grip to target the lower lat muscles.
Using wrist straps will also help eliminate bicep use as a secondary muscle.
#2 - Seated RowsSeated rows can be performed using various attachments for alternating grip. Wide grip attachments will be especially useful for increasing back width while closer grip will aide in developing back thickness.
Another alternative is using a single arm attachment as a way to isolate each lat individually using unilateral movements.
#3 - Seal RowsThe name for the seal row originates from the fact that the positioning emanates that of a seal.
To perform this movement grab a flat bench and elevate it off the ground using wood boxes or some other method. Next, place an Olympic barbell underneath it with the appropriate amount of weight loaded onto it.
Bring the back upwards with the arms tucked in as close as possible to the body. The weight should be comfortable enough to perform several reps while maintaining adequate grip strength.
#4 - T-Bar RowsThis movement was a classic staple Arnold used in his heyday to build back thickness. An Olympic bar is placed against a corner or onto a landmine attachment with weight on one side of the bar.
Then begin to stand with the bar between your legs and contract the weight upwards while keeping a neutral spine. A hand grip attachment can be used for added stability.
#5 - Dumbbell RowsThe dumbbell row variation can be performed using a single arm movement or both arms concurrently. Furthermore, an incline bench can be added for support with no pressure on the lower back.
Rather than attempting to move as much weight as possible, concentrate on maintaining proper form with constant lat contraction.
#6 - Cable RowsCable exercises are great for their ability to maintain constant tension on the muscles throughout the entire movement. The height can also be adjusted upwards or downwards to focus on developing different regions of the back.
Try mixing up the height the exercise is performed for more variation. Depending upon what angle is used secondary back muscles such as the serratus or lower traps may be activated as well.
#7 - Smith Machine RowsThe Smith Machine always tends to get a bad rap amongst fitness enthusiasts who say the Smith Machine cannot be used to build muscle. While traditional barbell movements hold a distinct advantage over a Smith Machine, it still has its place as a secondary movement in your workout program.
As long as the muscle is performing proper contraction, it doesn't comprehend the difference between a barbell, a dumbbell, a cable, or a Smith Machine.
Final Thoughts on Back TrainingHaving a solid back workout is as easy as adding a few rowing movements to your routine. Rows are the staples for any back workout. Be sure to incorporate rows from different angles and perspectives for a fully developed back. Never be bored with back day as there are more exercises available at your disposal than any other muscle group.
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