Back Exercises

2-Day Strength, Size, and Endurance Back Routine

This two-day routine will attack your back and build strength and endurance.

David Sandler, MS, CSCSD thumbnail by MS, CSCS*D
Muscular Back
Duration 2 days
Exercises 8
Equipment Yes

Varying your workouts is critical to avoiding training plateaus and seeing continuous results, but that doesn't mean you have to change every variable every time out.

The two weekly workouts below contain the same four exercises but are significantly different.

In Workout 1, reps top out at 10 with moderate rest periods and the two rowing moves sandwich the two pulldowns. There's even a dose of pre-exhaust mixed in, with straight-arm lat pull downs (an isolation exercise) preceding the multi-joint variation.

In Workout 2, reps increase, rest periods decrease and pull downs sandwich the rows. The exercises don't change, but your muscles will feel the difference.

Perform the two workouts with 2‚ 3 days of rest in between: If you do Workout 1 on, say, a Tuesday, do Workout 2 on Friday. Training pace is key so each session hits the back muscles in its own unique way. The second due to the shorter rest periods, but you should feel a good burn throughout. In the first workout, don't be afraid to go heavy, even if it means extending the rest periods by 30 seconds or so. Think of Day 1 as your strength and size workout, and Day 2 as endurance training.

Day 1: Strength & Size

Exercise 1

Single-Arm Neutral-Grip Dumbbell Row You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Single-Arm Neutral-Grip Dumbbell Row thumbnail
3 sets
6-8 each arm reps
60 sec rest
Perform 4 sets if possible.

Exercise 2

One-Arm Straight-Arm Lat Pulldown
exercise image placeholder
3 sets
8-10 each arm reps
60 sec rest

Exercise 3

Reverse Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown
exercise image placeholder
3 sets
8-10 reps
60-90 sec rest

Exercise 4

Wide-Grip Seated Cable Row You'll need: Adjustable Cable Machine, Straight Bar Attachment How to
Wide-Grip Seated Cable Row thumbnail
3 sets
8 reps
60-90 sec rest

Day 2: Endurance

Exercise 1

Reverse Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown
exercise image placeholder
3 sets
12 reps
45-60 sec rest

Exercise 2

Single-Arm Neutral-Grip Dumbbell Row You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Single-Arm Neutral-Grip Dumbbell Row thumbnail
2 sets
12 each arm reps
-- rest

Exercise 3

Wide-Grip Seated Cable Row You'll need: Adjustable Cable Machine, Straight Bar Attachment How to
Wide-Grip Seated Cable Row thumbnail
3 sets
12 reps
45-60 rest

Exercise 4

One-Arm Straight-Arm Lat Pulldown
exercise image placeholder
2 sets
12 each arm reps
-- rest
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