November 06, 2021 8 min read
A trained back can help make your body look strong and sculpted, but it’s also important for posture and overall strength. Strengthening and growing the muscles in your back takes time, discipline, and the right exercises.
The barbell is a popular piece of equipment for back exercises and can be a beneficial tool for strength and size.
It’s versatile and can be used by all fitness levels as the weight can be adjusted for more or less of a challenge. A lot of big muscles live in your back, so they can require heavier weight than a smaller muscle like the bicep. The barbell offers the option for heavy weight to help you build a bigger, stronger back.
If you don’t know that your back provides you with the support for basically every movement you ever perform on a daily basis, there is a high possibility that you’re living under a rock.
Lifters tend to put more of an emphasis on the muscles that are highlighted in the mirror such as their core, biceps, glutes and chest muscles but they forget about one of the most important muscle groups: the back muscles.
Back training is important, and back muscle strength can even be a predictor of our quality of life.
You've likely seen a barbell in any commercial gym, but you may or may have had the chance to use one. It can be used for a variety of purposes such as weightlifting, powerlifting, bodybuilding, and anything in between.
A standard barbell weighs 45 lbs, but there are thinner ones, often used by females, that weigh 35 lbs. So, you'll want to take this into account when adding up the weight on your bar.
Many also are designed with knurling which offers more grip, as well as a guide to help keep your hand placement correct and even.
Exercise can be quite subjective, and there is no one size fits all. No matter how many workout plans you read or articles you invest your time in, you know your body and its capabilities best. There are a variety of resources that can guide you in the right direction, but you still always have to observe yourself to prevent the possibility of pain or injury.
Many people have the misconception that more is better, especially when it comes to weightlifting, but it can actually be the opposite.
If you are performing an exercise with too much weight, you risk performing the exercise with the wrong form which can lead to muscle imbalances. Muscle imbalances can cause a domino effect of issues including synergistic dominance, reciprocal inhibition, and decreased neuromuscular control.
This might sound odd to all of you who are eager to get those gains, but at the end of the day, the most important part of strength training is to perform the movement with correct form. If you are unable to perform the exercise properly bodyweight, adding weight may only increase your risk of a dangerous, inefficient workout. It’s important to master your form prior to adding any additional weight to the movement.
Begin performing the exercise with just the bar and see how it feels. You might notice some muscle deficiencies such as your non-dominant side being weaker than the other. Do not start adding weight until you are able to perform the exercise in proper form or else you will risk those muscle imbalances mentioned earlier.
There might be some trial and error when you are trying to figure out how much weight to use. It is recommended that you start with just the bar to warm up for each exercise to get your body primed for the movement.
To start off, a good rule of thumb is to add 2-5 pounds for upper body exercises and 5-10 pounds for lower body exercises.
If you found that you were able to complete the exercise easily with proper form, you can try adding more weight to the bar.
If the previous set felt too easy, try adding 5 pounds. If the previous set felt challenging, start off with adding 2.5 pounds. You can use this as your rule of thumb until you find yourself unable to maintain proper form during the movement, or if you are simply unable to lift anymore.
It's better to start off light rather than use too much weight and put yourself at risk for injury. Keep your eyes on the prize and keep lifting! Making a plan and sticking to it is a great way to reach your goals faster.
How to do the Good Morning:
Good mornings can also be performed with resistance bands to change it up.
How to do the Single-Arm T-Bar Row:
How to do the Seal Row:
You knew it was coming. It would be wrong not to include it in one of the best back exercises.
How to do the Barbell Deadlift:
Note: Make sure you keep the barbell in close proximity to your body for the entire movement.
How to do the Reverse-Grip Bent-Over Row:
How to do the Meadow's Barbell Row:
How to do the Pendlay Row:
The health of your back muscles contributes to your overall health. Our bodies are made up of many components, and we can’t pick and choose which muscles we want to focus on.
By incorporating any of these exercises, you are taking the first step in the right direction to not only increase the strength and size of your back muscles but also improve your posture, strength and spinal stability.
Hitting the gym regularly with a balanced routine and ATP-Fusion for increased energy and strength gains will have you feeling stronger and more sculpted in no time.