If you think you know everything when it comes to building a bigger back, think again. Even if you’ve got the basics down, there’s plenty that can inhibit your progress if you’re not careful.

When it comes to bodybuilding, a big and defined back is where shows are won and lost. If you have no desire to shimmy into posing trunks and flex your year’s worth of work on a stage, training your back should still be a priority.

First off, bigger back muscles still look good – even if bodybuilding isn’t in the cards for you. Even if you’re wearing a sweater, hoodie, or suit jacket, the muscles in your back still show. They’re responsible, along with your shoulders, for creating a larger silhouette.

When it comes to lifting heavy weights, a big back only helps. You’ll have a larger base to bench press from, more surface area to rest a barbell when back-squatting, and more mass to help keep your spine from rounding (which can lead to pulled back muscles) when deadlifting.

Also, stronger back muscles are more important than ever in our sit-happy culture. All that time off of our feet lead to us slouching, and, over time, that weakens our back muscles and can cause us to hunch. To counteract this, start adding more back exercises into your routine.

Here, we go through five exercises that are key in back development, plus some tips to make sure you’re doing them properly.

The 45-Minute Workout

30-Minute Dumbbell Back Workout

Get to work achieving that coveted v-taper.

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Back and Biceps Blasting Workout

A Better Back and Biceps Workout

Get your back on track by taking your biceps out of the equation.

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