These are the 9 most common back workout mistakes preventing you from building muscle, getting bigger, wider, and stronger. Learn how to correct & fix your back training mistakes with explanations on how to properly do a barbell row, lat pulldown, pullups and much more.
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If you’re trying to build a bigger back, one that’s wider, thicker, and more muscular, but you’re training incorrectly, you’re just going to be putting a lot of time and effort into something that’s not really going to pay off. Most people are unaware that they’re making mistakes when training their back, but just by fixing these 9 very common mistakes, you’ll be able to experience faster, and more consistent and reliable progress without risking an injury and without wasting time. The very first mistake is one thats easy to spot. Using too much momentum on your back exercises. Most people think that this only happens with cable exercises like low rows or lat pulldowns, but you can definitely use too much momentum during regular barbell rowing and pullup movements as well. Using a little momentum especially by the end of a set is okay, but if youre using too much momentum for you’ll be primarily using your lower back rather than your rhomboids and lats. Not only does this defeat the purpose of the exercise but it can also easily set you up for a pretty nasty lower back injury. Especially since you’ll probably only use momentum when you’re lifting a really heavy weight that you’re just not ready for yet. You’re much better off using a lighter weight that you can control while performing the exercise. The same idea applies to doing partial reps where you’re not extending your arms all the way at the end of each rep. This is especially common with something like a pull-up. If you can’t do the exercise right because theres too much resistance then there’s always a way to lighten the load so that you can perform the exercise properly(1) Another mistake that so many people make is they pull with their hands rather than pulling with their elbows and they do this on their rowing, pulldown, and pullup exercises. If you make this mistake what ends up happening is instead of working the back muscles youre trying to Target you wind up mostly just working your biceps instead. Even though the biceps will be involved in most of your compound back exercises we want our back to remain the prime mover and only have the biceps assist the movement. One of the best ways to do that is to concentrate on pulling with the elbows. So for all of your bent over rowing movements you’ll want to think about pulling your elbows towards the ceiling. And for all of your pull down and pull up movements you want to intentionally try to pull your elbows back behind you and down. Something that has helped me alot is rather than taking a regular grip I like to loop my thumbs around the bar whether Im doing pullups, lat pulldowns or rows. When I do it this way it helps me use my hands more like hooks rather than gripping the bar really tight and that helps me concentrate more on pulling with my elbows. Now you can try this but understand that it’s not required and if you feel uncomfortable doing your back exercises with this kind of grip you can still focus on targeting your back perfectly fine with a regular grip. But another mistake that goes hand-in-hand with this one is not retracting your shoulder blades before beginning your back exercises. This is again something that will prevent your back from getting the results your after. Before beginning any back exercise you’ll want to pull your shoulder blades back and together. You want to imagine that you’re trying to hold a pencil in between your shoulder blades throughout the entire exercise. The problem is that most people spend the majority of their day hunched over either because they have a job that requires them to sit in front of a computer, at a desk, or behind a steering wheel and maintaining that bad posture on a daily basis makes the rhomboids in the back overstretched and weak. So to counter this and to help activate the muscles that are responsible for retracting the shoulder blades you can grab a resistance band from both ends hold it straight out in front of you while maintaining a slight Bend in your elbows and then you would open up your arms like youre doing a reverse fly but at the end of every contraction you’ll also want to externally rotate your arms by turning your thumbs up. You’l want to do this Because when you’re hunched over a lot not only will your chest become Tighter while your back becomes weaker but your arms will begin to internally rotate as well. So you can do this exercise for a couple sets before beginning your back workouts to help activate those muscles. The next big mistake that’s especially common for beginners..