I hope my favorite workouts are also becoming favorites of yours. We’ve covered chest, shoulders, and arms. Now it’s back day, boys and girls. Let’s go!
Many of you have probably seen these at the end of workouts but I actually love kicking off back day with this classic move. Pullovers stretch out the lats and get those muscle fibers ready to absorb all that nutrient rich blood you’re about to pump into them. Lie across the bench and don’t cheat yourself on the range of motion. Go as far back as you can and focus on using only your lats to bring the weights up. 2 warm up sets of 20 followed by 3 work sets of 8-10 reps makes a good start to our routine.
The beast lift, the big lift, the best lift – there is no better exercise to show pure strength than one that calls for you to pick some heavy weight up off the ground, stand there and hold it at arms’ length, and finally lowering it back down to the floor under control. Don’t drop the weight at the end of the set. Take your time and control that weight. Don’t let it control you. 1 warm up set of 15 followed by 5 sets of 5 is going to wear you out. Sometimes I like doing rack pulls instead to focus on the lower back if you want to try something different.
I like using a neutral grip but you can go with whatever grip you like here. Just make sure that you focus on using your back muscles, NOT swinging up with momentum like you’re a gymnast. Also don’t focus on going straight up or down. As you pull up, focus on bringing your chest up to the ceiling. You may notice a natural motion like your pulling back and away. This is good as it activates the lats more. I don’t count sets here. I just go to failure as many times as it takes to get to 30 reps.
One Arm Row
These are awesome for thickness, density, and just a sense of raw power pulling that weight up with one hand. A lot of people make the mistake of pulling straight up. I actually pull up and toward the hip, squeeze with everything I got at the top, and lower the weight back down slowly to the starting position. 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps will take care of you at this point.
Straight Arm Rope Pulldowns
This is the grand finale of our back day. Place the rope on a high cable pulley. Take the rope and step away from the cable station until the weight you have the pin set to is away from the rest of the stack. While keeping your arms as straight as possible, pull the rope down until you reach your hips. As you get closer to this point, separate the handles of the rope to increase the range of motion. Squeeze your lats for all you got and let the rope come up to the starting position again. No momentum here. Take your time. Every time you reach failure, lower the weight a little and keep going. You’ll do 1 drop set of 50 reps total.
Roger Lockridge’s Favorite Back Workout
Dumbbell Pullovers – 2 warm up sets of 20 followed by 3 work sets of 8-10 reps
Deadlifts – 1 warm up set of 15 followed by 5 sets of 5 reps
Pull Ups – Go to failure as many times as it takes to get to 30 reps
One Arm Row – 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps
Straight Arm Rope Pulldown – 1 drop set of 50 reps total
– Rest for 90 seconds between each set.
Next time I share my favorite leg workout to make the quads quiver, the hamstrings hate me, and the calves grow into cows. See you then.
About the Author
Roger “ROCK” Lockridge is a writer whose work has been seen all over the world. He is most known as a writer for Iron Man Magazine and Bodybuilding.com. In 2009, he was named Bodybuilding.com Male Writer of the Year which along with the Female award is the highest award for writers in the bodybuilding/fitness world.
Roger is also known for his work against child abuse and domestic violence and he was featured as a part of the domestic violence documentary “30” as the only child survivor and the only male survivor in the film.