When bodybuilders think of training back, they usually focus on width or how far their lats stick out from their sides. However, this is only one aspect of a well-developed back. The thickness of the upper back is equally important. The primary muscles of the upper back are the middle traps and upper lats. The primary exercise that targets the middle traps is the bentover lateral raise. The primary exercise that targets the upper lats is the seated wide-grip row.


The origin of the middle trapezius is the middle thoracic vertebrae. It inserts along the spine of the scapula. The upper lats originate from the lower thoracic vertebrae. The lats insert into the humerus.

Back muscles


Do your upper-back work at the beginning of your back workout to ensure it gets proper focus and attention.


Do the reverse pec deck (for middle traps) and the wide-grip bentover barbell row (for upper lats).


Seated Wide-grip Row: 5 sets, 10–12 reps

Bentover Lateral Raise: 3 sets, 12–15 reps

Reverse Pec Deck: 3 sets, 12–15 reps

Push shoulder blades forward and apart at the bottom and squeeze them back and together at the top.