Many times, when lifters are “attacking” their back with heavier compound exercises, they in fact, should be regressing back to more basic exercises and learning how to do them correctly. This will pay off in the long run with achieving better balance and understanding how to actually contract your muscles.
Fundamental movements, by definition, help to re-establish a better base or “foundation” so that you can train heavier and more intensely.
I’m not saying you have to stop training, I’m saying that while you are structuring your workouts, make sure you’re checking yourself and balancing your program. The goal is to not only to train harder, but also to train smarter.
Supplemental work for the back should ALWAYS include opening up the upper back with some type of mobility or foam roller work, activating the rhomboids and traps, focusing on better posture and better breathing cues.
We always bring in face pulls to get the mid-back – rhomboids and traps – going again, but here is another exercise I’ve been loving lately.
Standing Cable Rows
Setup and Execution
1. Attach the tricep rope to the high pulley.
2. Stand facing the pulley and grab the rope with a pistol grip.
3. Get tall, neutralize the head, and anchor your feet.
4. Deliberately row the rope to your lower chest, pulling your shoulder blades back in the process.
5. With great control, extend the rope back to the original starting position, allowing your shoulder blades to protract – or come forward.
Next: Watch the video