Your back is composed of several different muscles which must be targeted separately in order to achieve that monstrous yet defined appearance. Having a well-developed back will make you look bigger and improve your posture at the same time.
Aside from neglecting to workout your legs, the second biggest mistake is to avoid working your back as much as you work your chest. If you’re not careful, overworking your chest in proportion to your back will cause you to hunch forward, thus destroying your posture. This is because your back muscles will simply be unable to compensate for the disproportionate amount of muscle in your chest.
Arnold Schwarzenegger Back Workout
I’ve listed 4 of the exercises that Arnold Schwarzenegger used to carve his torso and achieve his massive size. These are the most effective routines for developing back thickness and mass.
Deadlifts are a compound workout that hit a variety of muscles including the back, core and hamstrings. As mentioned before, deadlifts are one of the best exercises to quickly put on mass.
- Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart and have the bar above the center of your feet.
- Squat down and grip the Olympic bar slightly wider than shoulder width while keeping your back at approximately a 45 degree angle. NEVER round your back throughout the exercise.
- Keeping the bar against your shins, lift your chest while relaxing your shoulders and keeping your neck aligned with your spine.
- Pull the bar upwards while keeping the bar as close to your knees and thighs as possible WITHOUT rounding your back. You should feel as though you are pushing through your legs and heels.
- Once you’ve reached the top, reverse the steps to lower the bar in a quick and controlled motion. Lowering the bar too slowly will put unnecessary strain on your back.
The bent over row is also a compound movement but concentrates more on the upper back region such as your rhomboids and lats. Varying the form slightly will target different muscles. This is great exercise for developing power and size. Remember to keep your core engaged throughout the movement to minimize injury.
- Keeping your feet at shoulder width, squat down and grip an Olympic barbell also shoulder width apart.
- Keeping your spine alight with your head, bend at your lower back until your upper body is almost parallel to the floor.
- Pull the bar towards to your chest with your elbows and lats. The bar should touch your chest each time to count as a full rep.
- To focus solely on the upper back, let the bar hit the floor after each rep instead of letting it hang in the air. Doing rows from a hanging position will emphasize your biceps and traps rather than your back and also cause unnecessary strain on the lower spine region.
- Refrain from cheating by using the momentum of your hips and knees. Your arms should be the only part moving during the exercise.
Few weight lifters and athletes are performing this exercise. However, it was one of Arnold’s favorites to stimulate his lower lats.
- Take a wide, comfortable stance, keeping your feet on either side of the bar.
- Keep your back as parallel to the ground as possible while keeping a neutral spine and tight core.
- Keeping your upper body motionless, use your lats to pull the bar all the way up to your stomach.
- Breathe out on your way up and come down nice and slow.
One-Arm Dumbbell Rows
This workout will allow you to strengthen each side of your back, focusing mainly on the latissimus dorsi muscle.
- Place one knee on the bench and maintain a neutral spine.
- Grab the top of the bench for support with the arm on the same side of the bent knee.
- Lift the dumbbell while keeping your wrist straight. Pull the dumbbell up to your armpit while keeping your back parallel to the ceiling. Feel your back and shoulder blades pinching as you reach the top.
- Lower the weight with a slight bend in your elbow and repeat the movement.
Best Back Workout Routine
You can perform this routine of power exercises every other back day to maximize your size and strength.
Arnold Schwarzenegger Back Workout,