Bodybuilding Back Exercises

Written by Morisa Conner / For Models Observer

Building For An Impressive Back

I am often told that I have an amazing back for a woman...It could be the fact that I train with my husband (who is also a competitive bodybuilder), or it could be following the right nutrition and training plan mixed with putting all my efforts in the right direction.

I want to first start off with one Myth about gaining any muscle...Weight training turns fat into muscle; this is like saying I can turn French fries into a steak. By weight training you will gain muscle and by sticking to a clean diet accompanied with cardio, you loose fat. These are different tissue makeups and cannot be transformed into the other (which also squashes the myth that once you stop lifting, your muscles turn to fat...false).

This brings me to another point, that people believe they need to eat everything in sight to help their body put on weight and gain muscle. While you will need to increase your caloric intake, the truth is your body can only turn so many of those extra calories into lean muscle, the remaining amounts go to your fat storage. Be sure that you are eating enough for growth but not so much that you are increasing fat as well.

Now letís get into some myths about training. The more you lift, the bigger the muscles. This is not always the case. You still need proper nutrition for your body to maintain the muscle it has and to build more muscle. You can push that weight around all you want, but if you arenít eating correct, you arenít going to see the gains.

Morisa Conner back

Morisa's back

I believe that the time you spent in the gym shouldnít exceed one hour. You get in, you do your work and you get out. When you push yourself beyond an hour of training, a couple things start to happen within your body...your blood sugar starts to drop, cortisol is released turning your body into a catabolic state promoting muscle breakdown and fat storage, and for all you guys, after an hour you will start to experience a decrease in your testosterone. If you find you canít get your work outs done in under an hour, think about super setting some exercises, shorter rest periods, or maybe you are just doing too many exercises/reps.

When I work out, I train back twice a week. The first back day of the week is more focused on growth and doing heavier sets. The second back day of the week is focused more on squeezing, stretching, holding and higher reps with lighter weights.

I have heard that you can't build an impressive back without deadlifts. Well I'm here to tell you that isn't true. You can develop a great back without it.

I personally stay away from the deadlift because of issues with my lower back. I prefer exercises such as various rows and pull ups to make up for not doing deadlifts.

My first day of back looks something like this:

Warm up: 4 x 10 wide grip pull ups
Wide grip lat pull down 4 x 10-12 super set with Seated cable row 4 x 10
Reverse grip pull down 4 x 10-12 super set with Seated wide grip row 4 x 12
Incline bench Dumbbell rows 4 x 10-12
Reverse Grip Barbell rows 4 x 10-12 super set with One arm lat pull down 4 x 10-12

The second day of back looks like this:

Warm up: Close grip Lat pull downs 3 x 20
Close grip seated rope row pulling low and squeezing with each set 3 x 15 T bar rows with 25lb plates to get the bar closer to the body for a better squeeze 4 x 15
Bent over barbell row alternating sets with over/under hand 4-6 sets x 15
Hyper extensions 4 x 20

With all your reps, be sure to squeeze at the top of the rep then let the weight stretch your back at the bottom. You want to go for full range of motion. Keep good posture and a slight curve in your spine, you don't want to pull anything out of whack. Lastly, try not to pull with your biceps. Really focus on pulling with your back, once you feel the exercise in your biceps you are done with those reps.

If you have any other questions feel free to contact me at:

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