5 Important Men’s Health and Fitness Tips to Make Your Back Blow Up in 2019
Start with the Important Stuff
The path to building a great back is more straightforward than most gym rats will tell you. This is mostly because the majority of gym goers do not know the proper men’s fitness back exercises to get that thick and wide back. It’s important to start by saying that you must practice strict form with all men’s fitness exercises, but with your back, this holds true to the greatest degree! So, unless you are looking for a one way trip to Snap City, perfect each exercise before even thinking about going heavy. Take care of your back and it will take care of you through the years. With that said, let me give you my approach to how I was able to build an impressive back.
Changing International Chest Day to International Back Day in 2019
Throughout the years, I have seen countless gym bros hitting the bench first thing on Monday. And it’s not just Monday. It’s chest and arms every day, it seems. Guys just seem to do a couple of sets for their back, and of course, skip leg day entirely (but that’s for us to discuss at another time!) The way I got the proper intensity of training for my back was to change my mindset. If I attacked my back with the intensity that most guys do with chest and arms, maybe I would get closer to my goal of having a mountain range for a back.
The perfect back workout ought to consist of exercises that are not limited to just the lats and traps but include other important muscles of the back. Having said that, even this alone doesn’t make the back workout complete. In order to come up with a complete program of men’s fitness back exercises, and include them in a well-rounded workout, I needed to fill in the gaps of what was lacking in what I thought was conventional back training.
It’s More Than Just the Lats, Bruh
Before I had my epiphany, which led to more effective back training, my problem was that I had a lat-focused mindset. Doing tons of pulldowns wasn’t getting me far. Sure, I noticed my back getting a little wider, but I wasn’t adding strength to my lifts and I wasn’t adding thickness. If you take a look at the pulldown and pullup, you’ll notice that all you are doing is working your back in a very one-dimensional way.
The first thing I did was to work on enhancing the back workout I already had. I started doing weighted pullups and varying my lat pulldowns so that I wasn’t just pulling vertically. I did lat pulldowns at different angles and found that I was activating different parts of my back. I could feel the difference after only the first workout. When I started throwing deadlifts into the mix, an exercise I had always been more afraid of than Indiana Jones is afraid of snakes, the results really started to compound. Again, if you do not have perfect form with the deadlift, get someone to help you learn correctly. It truly is the king of fitness exercises for men.
Bro tip 1: When I was learning to deadlift, I started by getting the form correct using nothing but the bar. I recorded myself using my mobile. This way I could check and see that I was not rounding my back. Don’t be self-conscious with this. It’s better to learn to deadlift correctly than to try and look cool at the gym, but have vertebrae sticking out your back! Take note of how it feels to do the exercise correctly and use the mind-muscle connection to trigger the appropriate muscles. It’ll help you keep your back straight as you start to go up in weight. For a guide on getting started with deadlifting, check out this link.
Incorporating Different Types of Training
It’s not enough to have a big back. It’s of equal significance to try and stay as functional as possible. As my back started to grow, I noticed that I was very stiff and would cramp up every time I tried to read across my body with the opposite arm. What good was having a bigger back if I couldn’t use my newly acquired muscle mass to add performance to my other activities? I hadn’t been varying my training to include anything beyond hypertrophy, I hadn’t been doing any stretching, and it was starting to show.
One of the ways I got around this is by varying the speed and explosiveness with which I performed my exercises. I had now moved heavily into doing all kinds of rows and shrugs, and so I started to experiment with different ways of doing them. After doing deadlifts, which I always perform at a steady pace, I would do Pendlay rows (a bent-over row variation) where I would explode the bar off the ground and pump out the reps. Similar changes of pace carried into my heavy shrugs.
Bro tip #2: Doing plenty of back extensions will help you avoid injuries and prevent imbalances. If your gym has a reverse hyperextension machine, even better! I can never do enough back extensions!
Becoming Your Own Trainer
Taking a list of men’s fitness back exercises and constructing my own workout was the most challenging part. As I mentioned earlier, I had started off by doing a whole bunch of pulldowns and pullups, but I had to create a routine that would be optimal for getting that Incredible Hulk-like back. Unless you find a trainer that will take the time and create a program that is best for you, you’ll have to do some trial and error.
My perfect back workout includes compound lifts as well as isolation men’s fitness exercises. Let’s take a look at the skeleton of my back workout (no pun intended.) This is a list of great back fitness exercise for men that you can choose from.
- Deadlift (include variations such as: Romanian deadlift, Sumo deadlift)
- Bent-over rows, Yates rows, Pendlay rows, Seal rows, T-bar rows
- Wide grip pull-ups, weighted pull-ups
- Behind the back shrugs
Having a big and strong back is not only a matter of aesthetics. It can add to your longevity and help you be productive for years to come. Ever since I made training my back a priority over any other muscle group, I have seen my confidence and my athleticism increase by leaps and bounds. Try putting the emphasis on your back in 2019 and see how your body and your performance improve in a matter of months.