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JSully
01-04-2010, 02:50 PM
In an effort to bring up a possible weak-link in my bench, I'm taking the advice of T-Bell and a few others and am going to really start hammering my upper back. I've been very unkind to my traps and rear delts the past year so I really need to step it up.

here are the upper back exercises I currently do on shoulder day:

BB shrugs and/or db shrugs, sometimes both
band pull aparts
band face pulls

on deadlift day I do db rows, band low rows, GMs, deads etc.. though I don't think much of that is "upper back".. possibly the DB rows, but I believe that to be more lats than anything.

I was thinking of adding some weighted supine rows as well as some incline db rows (or with a band) and focusing on pulling more towards my upper chest/1-2" below my chin..

What else can/should I add to my upper back work?

BTW, I train at home and don't have a cable pulley for horozontal work, thats why I use bands for that stuff..

Thanks for the help!!

slashkills
01-04-2010, 03:14 PM
Im pretty sure lats are the biggest upper back muscle involved in the bench so
heavy DB rows(my favorite)
pull/chin ups
chest supported rows
T-bar rows

Then some other stuff for traps like BB/DB shugs and deads

JSully
01-04-2010, 03:23 PM
That's what I thought, and then Travis mentioned this:


Don't forget to pound your upper back

I'd hit your upper back harder than I'd hit your lats.

To be terribly honest, I've always felt that lats look super cool and do add an element of stability, but the upper back is the forgotten weapon in a big bench. Much moreso than lats


Which makes me think that he's referring to rear delts and traps, which made me think about how I've been neglecting them for quite some time. Someone else also stated that failing at the 2board range indicates a *possible* weakness in the back. So, I'm hammering both my triceps and my back to get this taken care of.

Thanks for the help!!

MarcusWild
01-04-2010, 03:35 PM
Shrugs are the best. Just mix up the rep ranges so you don't burnout or overtrain.

barbell01
01-04-2010, 03:56 PM
band pull aparts,,,, H-rolls

Lones Green
01-04-2010, 03:58 PM
Rows will do tons for the upper back, DB rows, BB rows, CSR, One arm barbell rows really hammer the mid/upper back

Pair this with Face pulls, reverse pec dec, and traps work and you're gold.

ehubbard
01-04-2010, 03:59 PM
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JSully
01-04-2010, 04:10 PM
One arm barbell rows really hammer the mid/upper back

like this???

dk4HjM3Qqqg

Sean S
01-04-2010, 04:28 PM
I've had luck in the past with doing some type of upper back work at every workout (4 times/week). It sounds like you have your main upper back work planned pretty well. Now, add 2-3 sets of relatively low stress upper back work at the end of every training session besides your main upper back day. I used things like light face pulls, pull-aparts, and rear lateral raises. Remember you're not trying to "kill" your upper back with these extra sessions, just get a little work in without taxing your reserves. I did this for a few months and saw a big difference.

Schameson
01-04-2010, 04:39 PM
Personally I've found DB rows to be the single best upper back exercise for both size and strength that I've tried. I do them for 4 x 10 or sometimes for a rep PR on bench assistance day. I also do pull-ups and rear delt work twice a week. I prefer pull-aparts to H rolls but both work well. I'm giving pec deck rear delts a try for the first time this cycle. I think that system constitutes a pretty complete upper back routine.

Lones Green
01-04-2010, 05:01 PM
like this???

dk4HjM3Qqqg

Yeah, I just do them standing with the barbell in between my legs

Travis Bell
01-04-2010, 08:11 PM
That's what I thought, and then Travis mentioned this:




Which makes me think that he's referring to rear delts and traps, which made me think about how I've been neglecting them for quite some time. Someone else also stated that failing at the 2board range indicates a *possible* weakness in the back. So, I'm hammering both my triceps and my back to get this taken care of.

Thanks for the help!!

Traps, rear delts and mid back, so between your shoulder blades, but yeah that's what I meant.

Lats are great for stability, but not quite as much for pressing power. Don't ask me why, just the way it seems to work out.

Like Lones said, the ghetto rows with the barbell in the corner are awesome, close grip chest supported row, close grip seated rows and lots of DB rows

A lot of people will tell you that stuff is more for lats, however, if it's done in a way that focuses more on being strict and squeezing your shoulder blades and traps together as hard as possible, I think you'll find it to be super effective.

Another thing that I kinda picked up off lones was doing shrugs on a CSR. Basically I just let my arms hang straight and pinch my shoulders together like I'm shrugging them. Works great.

RhodeHouse
01-04-2010, 08:12 PM
Bands aren't that great. They work, but weighted work is much more effective. You don't want to overdo it and forget about your other muscle groups.

Train your back 2x a week.

On your bench day, do Chest-supported Rows for 4-5 sets of 10 reps. On your other upper body day, do 50 reps of pull-ups and some DB Rows for 4-5 sets of 10. If you feel like doing shrugs and face pulls, do 2-3 sets of 20 reps on the lower body days.

Brian C
01-04-2010, 08:23 PM
Another thing that I kinda picked up off lones was doing shrugs on a CSR. Basically I just let my arms hang straight and pinch my shoulders together like I'm shrugging them. Works great.

These sound great. Gotta give them a try

douglasoh5
01-04-2010, 08:27 PM
Iv been using chains on the chest supported row latly...makes it really tuff...and another thing dont be going to ape **** on the upper back stuff...make sure your doing it, but dont over do it. If your squating and pulling too your upper back already takes a good beating so be smart. Id say do some shrugs on ur lower body day and rear delt and lat stuff on ur upper body day. you dont want to end up over trained

NickAus
01-04-2010, 08:28 PM
To me it looks as though you have chosen the right exercises, just make sure you squeeze with your mid back like travis said.

Shrows work very well for what you are after too.

JSully
01-05-2010, 08:26 AM
Thanks everyone for your help!!

NickAus
01-05-2010, 01:53 PM
Also you can stand on a mini band while doing barbell rows, this will give you what your after.

mastermonster
01-05-2010, 09:56 PM
Im pretty sure lats are the biggest upper back muscle involved in the bench so
heavy DB rows(my favorite)
pull/chin ups
chest supported rows
T-bar rows

Then some other stuff for traps like BB/DB shugs and deads

I heard Mendy say that he feels Lats are the prime mover by about 75 percent if the setup is right. I know from what I feel, and where I feel it coming from off the chest; I pretty much agree with him. Everything in the chain is important; but I think lats are the 'launch pad' the bench blasts off from.

PolishPowerczyk
01-09-2010, 06:49 PM
I have had great success using a peck deck machine . I sit facing away and use my elbows . Also, power clean and press .This really helped my bench. I was burned out from benching .The break from benching for 12 weeks and hitting my traps ,which I thought was a week point of my bench has definitely helped me .

muscle_g
01-09-2010, 07:59 PM
For upper back I like doing these
Rear Delt Flyes on Cables
Reverse Pec-Dec Machine
Williams Shrugs
BB or DB Shrugs
Band Pull-Aparts
Face Pulls

For Lats I like
DB Rows
T-Bar Rows
Chest-Supported Rows
Different types of Pulldowns

chris mason
01-09-2010, 09:17 PM
Lol, if lats were a prime mover in the bench I would be pressing the moon... Alas, I'm not even close.

JSully
01-09-2010, 10:19 PM
I did weighted ring rows today (hanging from the rings horozontally) and man, those smashed my upper back..

Thanks for all the pointers guys!!