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Whether it’s beach season or off-season growth time, it seems like every guy in every gym obsesses over chest training. While chest training is certainly a critical part of any program, it’s not the end-all, be-all most guys make it out to be.

If anything, training your back is even more important than training your pecs, delts, and all the other muscles involved in the ego-boosting bench press.

Read on to learn why you need to balance your back training with your chest training, and get my top tips for super-effective back workouts!

THE ALMIGHTY PULL-UP

pullup-back

The row may be my favorite upper-back movement, but pull-ups absolutely have their place. I do mean pull-ups, by the way, not lat pull-downs.

Pull-downs are all well and good if you’re doing an ultra-high-volume back workout, but if you’re relatively fresh you should focus on actually pulling your own body up to a bar.

Developing the strength to bang out high reps with your body weight—and eventually add lots of weight with a belt—will do almost as much as the row to keep your shoulder girdle healthy and strong.

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