Another muscle group a lot of people have trouble targeting when they’re in the gym. As with chest, you’ll hear a lot of people saying that they feel it in their arms when training back. If you feel this, there are a few small tweaks that you can make to help you place the stress onto your back.
1 ENGAGE YOUR BACK BEFORE YOUR ARMS
This will apply to both rowing and pulldown exercises, and can help prevent
your arms from being the main driver of the exercise. When doing a row or
pulldown, let the weight stretch you, engage your shoulder blades (pulling
them down for a pulldown and back on a row) before starting to pull with your
arms, then begin pulling with your arms once you’ve fully engaged your
shoulder blades. This will allow your back to become the main driver of the
exercise. So whilst you may feel weaker at first, once you learn how to
engage your back, you’ll find your strength also increasing.
2 DON’T GO TOO HEAVY
This particularly applies to T-bar and bent over rows, exercises where
you need to be bent over in an unsupported manner. Going too heavy on these
exercises will not only increase the risk of injury, but will also cause you
to become more and more upright and use momentum to get the weight up.
This will mean you’re targeting your back less, and most stress will also be placed
on your traps. It might not be the most appealing advice but going a little light
on back exercises will lower the need to use momentum and allow you to
use your back properly.
3 USE LIFTING STRAPS
Using lifting straps will prevent your grip from being the limiting factor in sets, so
when you do fail it will be because your back can’t move the weight, rather than
your grip failing. It will also mean that you don’t need to grip the bar or handles so hard.
To use straps, wrap them around the bar once, going in the opposi
the direction to your grip. Once they’re secure, it will lower the effort you need
to put in the keep the bar in your hand.
Unit 38, Albion Industrial Estate, Cilfynydd, Pontypridd, CF37 4NX