Most beginner bodybuilders make the mistake of engaging in torso exercises almost to the exclusion of Upper Back Exercises. In some ways, they cannot be blamed for doing so. However, not giving adequate attention to upper back exercises often leads to an imbalanced look, not to mention more injuries brought by imbalanced muscle development. Needless to say, muscle building is best done with symmetry in mind.
Plus, there is the significant factor that with many muscles involved in a well-developed back, back routines often demand more concentration, more attention to detail and more repetitions. Fortunately, there are ways to get the most out of your upper back workout depending on the exercise being performed.
When you are doing bent over dumbbell rows, which are one of the best upper back exercises, you must start the movement with your shoulders drawn back and your arm straight. You must not bend your arm for the movement’s first 6-8 inches so as to maximize the load on your upper back. Also, you have to keep your back as straight as possible.
Upper Back Exercises
For the lat pull-down exercise
You must bring the bar down to the top of your chest instead of drawing it behind your head. Otherwise, you risk unnecessary neck and shoulder injuries. Also, with this proper form, you move the dynamic muscle in this exercise – the latissimus dorsi.
The seated row exercise
Which is one the simplest upper back exercises, must be performed with the primary focus on the muscle contractions. To maximize the movement, ensure that your shoulder blades are retracted before bending your arms. This way, you give your back muscles maximum workload rather than your biceps taking almost all of it.
On the other hand, the seated cable row exercise must be performed with an almost perfect form to lessen the risk of spinal injury. Just like the seated row exercise, you must begin the movement with your shoulder blades retracted before bending your arms.
To develop your traps’ upper portions, shrug exercises are excellent choices. Just make sure that your head does not protrude forward to avoid the risk for a herniated disk and that the barbell is positioned behind your back to get the most out of these great upper back exercises.
If you are pressed for time but you still want to maximize your upper back exercises, combination chin is an excellent choice. It combines three back exercises in one movement at a lesser time. You begin by doing classical chins, then moving to pullovers and finishing with rowing motions.
In all these movements, you will observe that keeping the targeted muscles under tension and letting them shoulder the maximum workload for as long as possible lead to desired muscle strength and size. Plus, you have to engage the back muscles throughout the motions of the upper back exercises, with the tonic muscles lending support only when and where necessary.