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  1. #1
    Registered User Kotsobali's Avatar
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    Smile For the Back, what is the main exercise?

    .. and what is the accessory?
    thanks
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  2. #2
    Haligtree faithbrah's Avatar
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    the main exercise for your back is something like pull ups and rows, accessory work can be face pulls or some row variation with higher reps

    but like... just find a good program online and you're all set
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    Registered User BeginnerGainz's Avatar
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    Just pick a few rows (preferably chest supported) and a few pulldowns/up variations.

    The higher the stability, the more actual back you will work.
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    Han shot first! TolerantLactose's Avatar
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    The main exercise is the one I do first. The accessory is the one I do after.
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  5. #5
    Registered User GeneralSerpant's Avatar
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    Workouts can typically have around 2 main lifts for the back to cover more comprehensive posterior muscles. It's the same type of deal for your chest pressing, but it's more a matter of strength and coordination with back while all the different presses target muscles specifically.
    Looks good when flexing Crew
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    Registered User EliKoehn's Avatar
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    The deadlift.

    But you need to row and do pull ups as well, but I will still say that its stimulus to the back is king.
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    Registered User VitoBurrito's Avatar
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    there's 2 main exercise types for back

    Row variations and pulldown variations

    for example for my back I do:

    Pullups
    "Lat" Pulldowns
    Seated Rows
    chest-supported DB rows

    So I have 2 pulldowns and 2 rows
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    Deadlift

    I start with the deadlift. Followed by pull ups. You can do some type of rows after, I like chest supported barbell rows but alternate with single arm dumbbell rows. Good finishers(I alternate these as well) are face pulls and straight arm pull downs.
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  9. #9
    Registered User BeginnerGainz's Avatar
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    The prime mover in any deadlift is not any of the back muscles. It is the glutes and hamstrings.

    Nothing maximally lengthens, and nothing at all shortens. Not the traps. Not the rhomboids. Not the erectors. Certainly not the lats. And definitely not the rear delts.

    “But isometrics!”

    Only if the muscles are contracting at a long muscle length. Think bottom of a pause squat where the glutes are stretched and held there.

    So the deadlift is not a back exercise no matter how badly people want it to be.

    If you’re doing a pull workout, then that is a different story. Then it would make sense as a main movement. But don’t get “muscles involved” confused with prime movers.

    Select your workouts, based on the body parts you want to train, and pick movements where said body parts are the prime movers. Just because the chest is involved in a chin up, you wouldn’t do that for chest now would you?

    -Signed, someone who was once a gym newb with a love affair of deadlifts
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    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BeginnerGainz View Post
    So the deadlift is not a back exercise no matter how badly people want it to be.
    Well it's a chicken or the egg type argument. Either way, huge DL = huge back.
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  11. #11
    Registered User paulinkansas's Avatar
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    DB rows parallel grip.
    DB rows non parallel grip.
    DB upright rows.
    Deadlifts.
    Shrugs.
    Some sort of chin up movement.
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  12. #12
    Registered User coachcalande's Avatar
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    There are several movements that are great for overall back development.

    Rows/pulldowns and variations can and should be included in a good program. These things directly target muscles of the UPPER back, lats and rear deltoids.

    For lower back focus, posterior chain in general, deadlifts and squats will develop a lot of the same area, a lot overlap there.
    "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

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  13. #13
    Registered User BeginnerGainz's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    Well it's a chicken or the egg type argument. Either way, huge DL = huge back.
    It really isn’t though.

    All one has to do is look at what is doing the most work in an exercise, ie the prime mover, to determine what the target of that exercise is.

    You would also have to define what you mean by “huge back” because all of the legitimately strong power lifters I know aren’t doing deadlifts for back gains. But they are doing a metric ****load of supplemental back work. Rows, pull downs, facepull, reverse pec deck, back extensions, ghd… you get the picture.
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  14. #14
    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BeginnerGainz View Post
    It really isn’t though.

    All one has to do is look at what is doing the most work in an exercise, ie the prime mover, to determine what the target of that exercise is.

    You would also have to define what you mean by “huge back” because all of the legitimately strong power lifters I know aren’t doing deadlifts for back gains. But they are doing a metric ****load of supplemental back work. Rows, pull downs, facepull, reverse pec deck, back extensions, ghd… you get the picture.
    Sure, but that was my point. I get not thinking of DLs as a back isolation & personally I don't like these kinds of Qs because I think you need a variety of exercises to hit large muscle groups well, but there's a reason why many people think of it when someone asks about "the main" or "the best" back exercise.

    While diff people may have diff answers, I don't think it's any worse of an answer to the Q than any other one exercise when talking about either the entire back or definitely the entire backside of the body.
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    Unregistered User MyEgoProblem's Avatar
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    Let's not forget about the low back and erectors...that's certainly a huge portion of your thickness.

    For your 'back' as people think of it, lats, traps, rhomboids, delts... Rows are king, and pullups next in line to the throne.

    I with the exception of meadows Rows, haven't done a row or pulldown (past randomly doing it on a session) in over a year now.
    Lost zero size by only doing dead variations and rear delts

    *Built it with deads, pendlays and facepulls.
    Last edited by MyEgoProblem; 06-25-2022 at 10:18 AM.
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    If a post sounds like N=1 and that they have no experience coaching anyone but them selves?

    Do the math. You ain't that person, their experience probably isn't going to be yours. Can still be useful for inspiration - try things, follow athlete response and track trends In your training.
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  16. #16
    Registered User BeginnerGainz's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    Sure, but that was my point. I get not thinking of DLs as a back isolation & personally I don't like these kinds of Qs because I think you need a variety of exercises to hit large muscle groups well, but there's a reason why many people think of it when someone asks about "the main" or "the best" back exercise.

    While diff people may have diff answers, I don't think it's any worse of an answer to the Q than any other one exercise when talking about either the entire back or definitely the entire backside of the body.
    That is fair.

    When I think back, I think the same for every other muscle group: how can I produce enough mechanical tension as possible, and shorten and lengthen the muscles as much as possible for as much hypertrophy as possible and therefor strength, as possible.

    The DL and it’s variants just don’t fit that bill.

    They do for a pull day, I myself have alternated trap bar DLs and bent over T-bar rows on pull days as a main lift.

    But for back specifically, anything chest supported will be better since you don’t have to worry about stabilizing and fully exhaust the target musculature.
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    Originally Posted by MyEgoProblem View Post
    Let's not forget about the low back and erectors...
    I work my erectors every chance I get.
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    Registered User BeginnerGainz's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    Sure, but that was my point. I get not thinking of DLs as a back isolation & personally I don't like these kinds of Qs because I think you need a variety of exercises to hit large muscle groups well, but there's a reason why many people think of it when someone asks about "the main" or "the best" back exercise.

    While diff people may have diff answers, I don't think it's any worse of an answer to the Q than any other one exercise when talking about either the entire back or definitely the entire backside of the body.
    It isn’t that deadlifts aren’t a great back isolation, they aren’t even a great back compound.

    Originally Posted by MyEgoProblem View Post
    Let's not forget about the low back and erectors...that's certainly a huge portion of your thickness.

    For your 'back' as people think of it, lats, traps, rhomboids, delts... Rows are king, and pullups next in line to the throne.

    I with the exception of meadows Rows, haven't done a row or pulldown (past randomly doing it on a session) in over a year now.
    Lost zero size by only doing dead variations and rear delts

    *Built it with deads, pendlays and facepulls.
    The erectors are really easy to build. 3 muscles groups further divided into 3 even smaller muscles, with incredibly short ROMs….

    It doesn’t take much to maximize their development.

    Can never go wrong with Meadows rows.

    I’m not sure a better mid-back/rhomboid exercise exists anywhere. Once I got soft tissue work done recently on my rhomboids and let the strains on my Teres and lat heal, they were my go to for strengthening my new range of motion.

    Before I couldn’t really rotate my arm back around my rib cage efficiently.

    Can’t wait to see how much my lifts improve now that after 10 years my left side is catching up to my right.
    Last edited by BeginnerGainz; 06-25-2022 at 03:46 PM.
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    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BeginnerGainz View Post
    It isn’t that deadlifts aren’t a great back isolation, they aren’t even a great back compound.
    They're pretty good IMO to cover entire back especially in terms of those "if you could only do 1 exercise" posts. YMMV.
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    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    They're pretty good IMO to cover entire back especially in terms of those "if you could only do 1 exercise" posts. YMMV.
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    My comment about deadlifts was lowkey somewhat intentionally provocative. I respect everyone ITT and knew that that comment would likely stoke some debate.

    I agree with the technicality of what BegginnerGainz is saying, but it is amusingly noteworthy that I have never encountered someone with a strong [conventional] deadlift (even those who don't row) who didn't have a jacked back. There's no questioning that the deadlift, properly performed, has minimal concentric back work, whatever merits to isometry exist in spite of that, and that exercises which actually extend and contract the back musculature should not be neglected. I do know in my own n=1 experience, that deadlifts alone began to yoke my back before I started doing other stuff seriously, and that my traps and erectors are consistently riddled with intense DOMS from them whenever I push into new territory.

    I'm not a physiologist, but thinking about the back and its function, I cannot consider a more natural movement. The muscles of the back aren't really individual performers, anyway. That whole group is designed to brace and pull in conjunction with something else, and there's a complex network of minute movements which coalesce into generally pulling, even when the main concentric thrust is below the waist with the glutes and hamstrings.

    Also, there is the fact that you either have to keep a neutral spine or be able to concentrically extend it for whatever weight is involved, and with deadlift weights being superlative among exercises, either way it entails an intense amount of back work.
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  22. #22
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    1. Elite powerlifters having big backs is not an argument since:
    - they do rows & other back movements
    - they use PEDs
    - they have elite genetics

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    2. For me personal: deadlifts {hexbar or barbell} are great for erectors, pretty good for traps, and can help with rhomboids & post delts.

    a) I go by feel and soreness {aware of the fact they are not the best indicators for hyp}. If I take 7-10 days off, and Monday i do a bunch of deadlifts {heavy weight or higher reps, doesn't matter}, I will be the most sore in these muscle groups: erectors and traps. For me, it is a sign that these two were the most used. Also, abs, delts, rhomboids, glutes, hams, forearms.

    b) when I started, first muscle that I noticed growing was my erectors {not the best combination of words, I know} and the only movement I did for them were deadlifts {higher reps, not the best form, no proper program, no squats, no BOR}
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    3. For the not-a-back-exercise {cough... BG... cough} party:

    a) if glutes and hams are prime movers, why most people fail to do another rep because their erectors {or grip} are the limiting factor?

    b) would you give Eli a nice warm hug?

    4. For the best-back-exercise {cough... Eli... cough} party:
    a) since the movement for back is mostly isometric, would you agree that the same concept can be applied for the other muscles groups and they could grow from stuff like:
    - bigger bis from isometric preacher curl, holding on the stretch;
    - bigger hams from holding the bar in a SLDR position;
    - bigger chest from a dip stretch or a db stretch;
    - bigger calves from farmer walks on toes;

    b) same, since isometric, would you agree that ROM is not that important and one could grow fine from partials?

    c) would you give BG a nice warm hug?
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    5. A good exercise for upper back

    I was surprised to find about it on youtube, I thought it was my invention, I have never seen anyone doing it on a gym {no, it's not a conventional reverse db fly, the arms are not in a 90 degree angle to the body and there should be a cheating and using the momentum}. The scapular movement is better than on rows or pulls. Change my mind!

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    Originally Posted by jaxqen View Post
    1. Elite powerlifters having big backs is not an argument since:
    - they do rows & other back movements
    - they use PEDs
    - they have elite genetics

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    2. For me personal: deadlifts {hexbar or barbell} are great for erectors, pretty good for traps, and can help with rhomboids & post delts.

    a) I go by feel and soreness {aware of the fact they are not the best indicators for hyp}. If I take 7-10 days off, and Monday i do a bunch of deadlifts {heavy weight or higher reps, doesn't matter}, I will be the most sore in these muscle groups: erectors and traps. For me, it is a sign that these two were the most used. Also, abs, delts, rhomboids, glutes, hams, forearms.

    b) when I started, first muscle that I noticed growing was my erectors {not the best combination of words, I know} and the only movement I did for them were deadlifts {higher reps, not the best form, no proper program, no squats, no BOR}
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    3. For the not-a-back-exercise {cough... BG... cough} party:

    a) if glutes and hams are prime movers, why most people fail to do another rep because their erectors {or grip} are the limiting factor?

    b) would you give Eli a nice warm hug?

    4. For the best-back-exercise {cough... Eli... cough} party:
    a) since the movement for back is mostly isometric, would you agree that the same concept can be applied for the other muscles groups and they could grow from stuff like:
    - bigger bis from isometric preacher curl, holding on the stretch;
    - bigger hams from holding the bar in a SLDR position;
    - bigger chest from a dip stretch or a db stretch;
    - bigger calves from farmer walks on toes;

    b) same, since isometric, would you agree that ROM is not that important and one could grow fine from partials?

    c) would you give BG a nice warm hug?
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    5. A good exercise for upper back

    I was surprised to find about it on youtube, I thought it was my invention, I have never seen anyone doing it on a gym {no, it's not a conventional reverse db fly, the arms are not in a 90 degree angle to the body and there should be a cheating and using the momentum}. The scapular movement is better than on rows or pulls. Change my mind!

    I’ve always done bent over raises like that. But it is easier to do on a pec deck.

    Most people fail at the lower back because a couple of reasons. Like losing form because the weight is too heavy, crappy recovery and/or not managing fatigue correctly, etc

    Grip is less of an issue since you can always go mixed grip or use straps. But the erectors…people really put too much thought into training them. They are doing a metric ass load of work during any hinge, unsupported row, standing press, ab wheel rollouts, the list goes on.

    Finally, I do in fact like hugs.
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  24. #24
    Unregistered User MyEgoProblem's Avatar
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    I didn't think that the 45' tuck on the rear delt work was a secret? Angle of pull runs in line with the fibres like EVERY upper back row that's not cg.

    Pretty simple bio mechanics honestly. Also try the same upper arm angle for cable tricep extension if you want to abuse your self

    That been said, id still do some with arms at 90, tucked hard and y raises(or face pulls - same deal)

    Isometrics -
    In general Ive had stupendous results in strength from them, minimal results for hypertrophy tho.

    For the erectors and trunk tho, because they flex/extend vs tension around 30' during squats and deads ect (facts) they actually get a lot more stimulus than people give credit.

    Under my fat xD my trunk, including erectors is immensely well developed and I've not done ANY traditional core work in nearly 10 years.

    Just big compounds, and plank variations... With a few sets of standing band crunches when i was sore to b get blood thru the lumbar. Which is notorious for **** circulation

    *im Not claiming to be a typical responder to training, i grow like a weed from singles
    Last edited by MyEgoProblem; 06-26-2022 at 08:51 AM.
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    If a post sounds like N=1 and that they have no experience coaching anyone but them selves?

    Do the math. You ain't that person, their experience probably isn't going to be yours. Can still be useful for inspiration - try things, follow athlete response and track trends In your training.
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    Originally Posted by jaxqen View Post
    4. For the best-back-exercise {cough... Eli... cough} party:
    a) since the movement for back is mostly isometric, would you agree that the same concept can be applied for the other muscles groups and they could grow from stuff like:
    - bigger bis from isometric preacher curl, holding on the stretch;
    - bigger hams from holding the bar in a SLDR position;
    - bigger chest from a dip stretch or a db stretch;
    - bigger calves from farmer walks on toes;

    b) same, since isometric, would you agree that ROM is not that important and one could grow fine from partials?

    c) would you give BG a nice warm hug?
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Good points, Jaxqen.

    a) In general, I would say so, yes. Logical consistency requires that. But, I do think the back is still somewhat unique in this regard since, unlike most other muscle groups, it's not really an individual performer in a comparable way. Maybe shoulder adduction is an exception, but relative to other major movement patterns, I don't think it's naturally as concentrically isolated as other major muscles are when utilized in their own respective big lifts. Just the conjecture of an amateur lifter, though, as I'm no coach or physiologist. It would be interesting to see how an isometric approach to say, chest, in lieu of flyes or conventional presses would apply, as well, since there's no easy denial that big deadlifts tend to result in big backs, even without the auxiliary concentric rows and pullups. As far as calves go, deadlifting seems to have this effect as well, though calves are notoriously stubborn to train and my own aren't very good.

    b) No, I would say that range of motion is vital, but that's relative to your exercise, in my mind, not necessarily the muscle in question. Something like a parallel squat technically being a partial, is fine, I think, since it's on the turf of that exercise, plainly defined as such. There being rules for what counts as passing form, it's only cheating to claim a number for it while falling short of them, so it's no longer apples to apples at that point; but in general, I would say an approximately full range of motion is better than not, all else being equal. What's not equal with the deadlift here, in addition to the above, is I think the amount of poundage outweighing the alternative stimulus one would get from a row with half of the loading on it. The back being a stabilizer and bracer, it's performing its purpose keeping your spine erect and transferring force to an extremely heavy bar, successfully. Any muscle can be a bracer and a stabilizer, but I think most would agree that this is especially so for the back. Again, I could be wrong, and I see your point. I also do row at a pretty decent level, so in my own anecdotal experience, I can't point to any recent progress and say it's all the deadlift.

    c) https://wompampsupport.azureedge.net...%2Fshakeee.jpg
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    Originally Posted by BeginnerGainz View Post
    But the erectors…people really put too much thought into training them. They are doing a metric ass load of work during any hinge, unsupported row, standing press, ab wheel rollouts, the list goes on.

    Finally, I do in fact like hugs.
    Im gonna agree 100 and also be that guy for everyone else..

    Most people put far to much thought into training anything!.. Muscles Litterally only contract and shorten the distance between origin and insertion.

    Just move the direction you're muscle wants to kids!
    If it does? Vs tension... Guess what... Its working.

    Then its just appropriate workload.(ignoring efficiency for 1rm

    Btw. - free hug 💪
    FMH crew - Couch.

    If a post sounds like N=1 and that they have no experience coaching anyone but them selves?

    Do the math. You ain't that person, their experience probably isn't going to be yours. Can still be useful for inspiration - try things, follow athlete response and track trends In your training.
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  27. #27
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    No, I've never seen anyone in a gym doing the 45 angle tuck on the rear delt fly.
    Or being recommended here on this forum.

    I'll try them on cable and machine, but seems to have better freedom with dumbbells.



    Originally Posted by BeginnerGainz View Post
    Most people fail at the lower back because a couple of reasons. Like losing form because the weight is too heavy, crappy recovery and/or not managing fatigue correctly, etc

    Grip is less of an issue since you can always go mixed grip or use straps. But the erectors…people really put too much thought into training them. They are doing a metric ass load of work during any hinge, unsupported row, standing press, ab wheel rollouts, the list goes on.
    OK, but, assuming you make an experiment with 10 young guys, all non-lifters, and they only do deadlifts for 5 years. Hexbar or barbell, doesn't matter.
    Don't you think they will have decent backs? Clearly lagging on the lats, but still... big traps, rhomboids, rear delts, erectors.

    I'm not saying this would be better than doing rows, vertical pulls, face pulls, pullovers.
    Probably not.

    Originally Posted by EliKoehn View Post
    b) No, I would say that range of motion is vital, but that's relative to your exercise, in my mind, not necessarily the muscle in question. Something like a parallel squat technically being a partial, is fine, I think, since it's on the turf of that exercise, plainly defined as such. There being rules for what counts as passing form, it's only cheating to claim a number for it while falling short of them, so it's no longer apples to apples at that point; but in general, I would say an approximately full range of motion is better than not, all else being equal. What's not equal with the deadlift here, in addition to the above, is I think the amount of poundage outweighing the alternative stimulus one would get from a row with half of the loading on it. The back being a stabilizer and bracer, it's performing its purpose keeping your spine erect and transferring force to an extremely heavy bar, successfully. Any muscle can be a bracer and a stabilizer, but I think most would agree that this is especially so for the back. Again, I could be wrong, and I see your point. I also do row at a pretty decent level, so in my own anecdotal experience, I can't point to any recent progress and say it's all the deadlift.
    I agree with the poundage outweighting the stimulus.
    I've noticed that also.
    Last edited by jaxqen; 06-28-2022 at 10:08 PM.
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    Originally Posted by EliKoehn View Post
    My comment about deadlifts was lowkey somewhat intentionally provocative. I respect everyone ITT and knew that that comment would likely stoke some debate.

    I agree with the technicality of what BegginnerGainz is saying, but it is amusingly noteworthy that I have never encountered someone with a strong [conventional] deadlift (even those who don't row) who didn't have a jacked back. There's no questioning that the deadlift, properly performed, has minimal concentric back work, whatever merits to isometry exist in spite of that, and that exercises which actually extend and contract the back musculature should not be neglected. I do know in my own n=1 experience, that deadlifts alone began to yoke my back before I started doing other stuff seriously, and that my traps and erectors are consistently riddled with intense DOMS from them whenever I push into new territory.

    I'm not a physiologist, but thinking about the back and its function, I cannot consider a more natural movement. The muscles of the back aren't really individual performers, anyway. That whole group is designed to brace and pull in conjunction with something else, and there's a complex network of minute movements which coalesce into generally pulling, even when the main concentric thrust is below the waist with the glutes and hamstrings.

    Also, there is the fact that you either have to keep a neutral spine or be able to concentrically extend it for whatever weight is involved, and with deadlift weights being superlative among exercises, either way it entails an intense amount of back work.
    ^^I agree with all this. It's not as simple as peeking at ExRx and arguing that because it's not a primary mover it's ineffective. That just shows a lack of knowledge of physiology and kinesiology. Isometrics would have no effect if this was the case. Obviously you want other pulling motions in conjunction with it for bodybuilding purposes, but barring any medical reasons a heavy hinge movement should be an integral part of anyone's back workout.
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  29. #29
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    Traps and rhomboids are getting direct work in being the fulcrum between your arms and body. Without the lat spread your spine has a much harder time of being neutral, but that might have more to do with mmc than hypertrophy or strength really.
    Looks good when flexing Crew
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    Originally Posted by TolerantLactose View Post
    The main exercise is the one I do first. The accessory is the one I do after.
    This.
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