Most of the muscles located in the upper and lower back are actually part of your core muscle group. The core muscle group is naturally the most important muscle group for strength training hence the reason they are called the “core” muscle group. If they weren’t the most important muscle group they would probably be called something like the “supporting” or “secondary” muscle group. Anyway, your back muscles are incredibly intertwined with many of the other muscles on your body. For example, the back muscles allow you to stand upright and move your arms and shoulders.
Therefore, it’s important that you develop a solid routine to develop your upper and lower back muscles. While by no means a glamorous muscle group, strong back muscles will naturally make you stronger in several of your other muscle groups and stabilize your core.
Here are 4 muscle building back muscles that you absolutely must have in your back workout routine:
1. Dead Lift – This exercise targets your lats, erector spinae, gluts and traps. Interestingly, this exercise actually works nearly 70% of all the muscles in your body at one time. Needless to say, this is a fairly intense exercise. With this exercise you will need to place weight on a bench press bar directly in front of you. Then, with knees arched slightly back, you will raise the weight to about knee level and drop it back down. A word of caution: this exercise has the potential to cause very serious injury and you should never under in circumstances attempt to do more weight than you can handle.
2. Pull-Ups – This is a tried and true back exercise that is probably about as old as time itself. There are actually 2 types of pull-ups: long grip and short grip. When doing this exercise you can either place your hands shoulder length apart (long grip) or right alongside each other (short grip). A mix of both is essential for a great back workout. Pull-ups also work your shoulder and triceps muscles.
3. Bent Over Rows – With this exercise you grasp the bar and flex your torso forward with both arms extended. The bar is then pulled up to your lower chest and back down again.
For all three exercises you want to shoot for about 6 sets and about 6 reps per set.
Because the spine is located in your back you must always exercise caution when doing heavy weight back exercises. This means wearing a weight belt at all times and never attempting to show off by lifting more weight than you can handle.