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There is one thing that gym-goers love, they love to work their chests as this is one aspect that shows their progress off. However in truth it is not the most important body part you need to work.
What is far more important and far more integral to having a superb body (and a healthy and fit one at that) is solid back support.
That’s right, the back is important to support that perfect chest of yours and to the overall feeling that your body looks great.
In fact, most trainers agree it’s important and comes before giving that ego-bench pressing for your pecs, delts and the other muscles.
It doesn’t matter if you are bulking up for beach season or just shaping up what you already have, the matter of fact is a strong back deserves all the focus in your training regimen.
How to Balance Your Back and Chest
It is commonly believed that pecs are the muscles that need to be built up because hey, they are the most visible of the muscles you work on at the gym. They certainly seem to be the show-stopper when you look in the mirror.
However, that’s where their gloriousness starts and ends. If you really need something that can do wonders for your size and strength, its time to focus on your back.
The back is considered one of the most complex parts of the body’s muscular system and for good reason.
It houses your spine and is home to rhomboids, lats, spinal erectors, traps and a host of tiny yet essential connective muscles that make such an important part of your anatomy.
The source of all the power you have been packing, it all comes from here. A bigger and stronger back is going to make your wildest dreams come true.
Sure, you can go focus on those biceps and triceps to move some weights about but here’s what most people don’t know: a stronger back actually makes you more powerful and that translates to more power.
Be it bench-pressing, squat, dead lifts or just about any other movement that requires a herculean level of body balance and stability, a powerful back can do more than any other routine.
And the effects of a sturdy back are hard, nigh impossible to roll back. They are permanent for the most part.
Fitness experts believe chest training is fine and dandy but it is something that shouldn’t be favoured too heavily over back training.
Balance between both must exist. Otherwise, you are just asking for some serious pain down the road.
The reason why this happens is that the shoulders happen to be one of the most delicate and truly mobile joints and they don’t deserve to be stifled, all because somebody forgot to balance their workout.
Pressing and pulling movements focussing on one part of the body are detrimental to the overall body and you run the risk of tearing them to pieces. Shoddy form on your overhead press or the bench is all it takes for your body to unravel.
It doesn’t matter if you have already got a good set of shoulders on you. Emphasising chest training over your back is an absolute no-no. You may end up looking silly with an underdeveloped back and to the most eagle-eyed of fitness buffs, your physique may look superb from the front but not from the back.
Here are some tips to help you achieve a better back:
#1: Row, Row, Row to See How You Grow
If you want to avoid injury to the front, there exist many exercises which can help strengthen your back. One exercise in particular does wonders; rowing.
There are many variations of rowing and trainers generally recommend you go for horizontal rowing and pulling. This acts as a good counterpart to the incline presses, bench presses and other assorted horizontal pushes a person performs.
#2: The Pull-Up is King
Forget pull-downs for your lats because pull-ups can work wonders for your back.
For folks new to working out, the act of pulling up your body is more rewarding than pull-downs, since these are recommended for folks who prefer a high-volume back workout.
Both have their place but pull-ups are easier to perform than pull-downs. They help enthusiasts boost their strength to excellent levels.
#3: Dead Lifts
Do you want to build up the size and thickness of your lower, mid and upper back? If you do then the dead lift is an integral and not-to-be-missed exercise for the back.
It keeps you strong and stable in all your movements.
Experts recommend sticking to the ‘4 to 6 reps’ range for dead lifts. If you need to strap up, then do so, adding weight to the bar as needed between sessions.
These workouts are meant to enhance your back to superhuman levels. Out of your training regimen, devoting 2 days per week to back training can do wonders for you.
One day, you should emphasise on lighter and lower back focused movements, such as pull ups and pull downs. And for the next day, its fine if you go hard with free weight rows and dead lifts. This way, you can achieve a good all-round workout for your back.
This is how you get a back as strong as Hercules. It may not be quite visible to you, but the back is the part of the body that makes all the other muscles sync well with your body, contributing to your overall look and making your body look more attractive.