“She just came up to you and told you your back sucks?” This was Dr. Jim Stoppani‘s reply when I told him that my wife critically analyzed my back development, finding it lacking. To be fair, I had specifically asked her about my physique development, and she was kind enough to provide an honest answer. (Note: cameras and video also work well for analysis, but as a married man, I knew I should ask my wife.) Once she said it, it hit me like a ton of bricks - a mighty load for my then-feeble back. Here‘s the solution, because you don‘t want to make the same mistakes I have.
Which Back Muscles Should You be Exercising?
To thicken your back, it‘s important to take a quick look at what you‘re working. Without going into a detailed anatomy lesson, for a deep yoke, you‘re specifically aiming to work your trapezius muscles, rear delts and rhomboids.
You probably do shrugs already, but this only works one of the three regions of the trapezius muscle - the one that pulls the shoulder blades up and rotates them outward. The middle fibers are responsible for pulling the shoulder blades together (scapular retraction), while the lower fibers are charged with pulling the shoulder blades down and rotating them inward.
These muscles are classically undertrained in favor of their lateral and anterior counterparts. This imbalance can lead to injury, making posterior delt focus a necessity.
Much like the middle fibers of the traps, they pull the shoulder blades together. If you haven‘t been working them with other exercises, you‘ll quickly notice them with this program.
The Get-Yoked Back Workout
|Deadlifts||4||6, 8, 10, 10|
|Horizontal shrug||4||8, 10, 10, 12|
|Incline front raises (1 1/2 reps)||4||10|
|Cable rear delt flyes||4||10 (with ext.rotation)|