One of the most important aspects of showcasing a powerful back is achieving width. After all, a wide back is the platform for a pair of powerful shoulders and gives the illusion of a much smaller waistline. This is achieved through a regular diet of pull-ups, pulldowns and various rows – this you already know. But what you might not know is that you can drastically stretch the width of your lats by using another piece of equipment: the mirror.

It all boils down to a two-step process:

1) Perform any normal set of back training, preferably to failure.

2) Immediately upon completion of that set, flare your upper lats out to the side – working hard to separate your scapulae – and hold that pose for 10 full seconds. This is called the “engorge phase” which summons blood to the region, not only fulfill the desired pump but also to nourish the muscle with nutrients needed to grow. The harder you pose, the wider you get. This builds the important mind-muscle connection needed for ultimate growth while simultaneously helping you look your best, too.  

Eric the Trainer (Eric P. Fleishman) is a Hollywood physique expert with over 20 years experience in physical transformation. He has worked with top actors, MMA fighters, and musical performers. He is a member of the M&F advisory board and his techniques are also featured on He is an ambassador for “Celebrity Sweat” and hosts many of their episodes. Recently, Eric was named to the Gold’s Gym fitness institute, where he serves as an expert and global spokesperson for the organization. For more tips like these, visit his Get Hollywood Muscle site.