Fitness

Back Muscle Technique | Mind-Muscle Connection (Benefit ALL Back Exercises!)

Today, I am going to share the training technique for the Back muscle.  If you watch my videos regularly, you would know that Pull up is the most recommended exercise for the Back.  Nevertheless, not everyone can enjoy the benefits from it.  This video will show you other techniques and exercises to facilitate your muscle growth for the back.  First, we gotta understand the Back muscle and then I will recommend some exercises to practice.

 

Back

The Back is composed of several muscle groups.  Some needed to know include:

  • Contribute the V shape: Latissimus Dorsi Muscle.
  • Contribute the thickness: Rhomboid muscle, Trapezius muscle, Rear Deltoid, Teres Major/Minor muscles etc.

 

To make activate these muscles, there are mainly 3 movements:

  • Vertical Pull Down
  • Horizontal Pull Back
  • Straight Arm Pull Down

 

Apart from that, some movements related to scapula should be learned:

  • Elevation
  • Depression
  • Protraction
  • Retraction
  • Upward Rotation
  • Downward Rotation

Compare all the above:

 

To better activate the back muscle, we must learn the basic Depression & Retraction.  The followings are some exercises:

 

Practice Exercise

 

#1 Shoulder Depression Ex.

Target the Lower Traps muscle.  Hold your arms straight to the bar.  Relax your shoulder and let it shrugs naturally.  Then, depress your shoulder and hold 2-3s.  Then reverse.  Do 10-15 reps for 3-4 sets.  If you don’t have a bar, you may use Lat Pull Down Machine.

 

#2 Shoulder Retraction Ex.

Target the Rhomboid & Mid Traps.  You may use Resistance Band/ Cable/ Row Machine.  Hold your arms straight in front of you just like a Rows Ex.  Relax your shoulder and let it protracts naturally.  Then, Retract your shoulder and hold 2-3s.  Then reverse.  Do 10-15 reps for 3-4 sets.

 

From the back side view, in order to perform full range of motion, the weight should not be too heavy.

 

When you are familiar with the above exercises.  It’s time for the activation of Back Muscle (Mind-Muscle Connection).  Practice without any weights.

 

#3 Mind-Muscle Connection Practice Ex.

First, let your arms sink naturally.

  1. Fully Depress your shoulder and hold 5-10s.  See if you can feel any discomfort or pain in your back muscle.
  2. Fully Retract your shoulder and hold 5-10s. See if you can feel any discomfort or pain in your back muscle as well.
  3. Fully Pull Down/Pull Back with your arms to see if there is more intense discomfort.
  4. Slight Rotation your torso (Downward Rotation) for extra range of motion to see if there is more intense discomfort/pain.

 

Training Exercise

Now, we apply all the practice into one single effective exercise.  I think Single-Arm Cable Lat Pull Down is effective.  I will use Resistance Band to demonstrate instead.

First, position yourself according to the band.  For right arm, your right arm should be placed slightly to the left with overhand grip/ neutral grip.  Relax your shoulder and let it shrugs naturally (& Upper Rotation),  This is the most stretched position for the lat because of the greater range of motion.

 

Start with:

(1) Depress and Retract.

(2) Pull down with rotating your forearm along the way.  Until your elbow reaches your waist,

(3) Add extra rotation to your torso.

(4) Squeeze and hold for 2-3s for maximum muscle contraction.

Then reverse. (3033)

Each set do 6-10 reps.  Since the tempo is slow and the time under tension is long, the weight used should not be too heavy.  Focus on peak contraction.

 

The above techniques can be applied to the Single-Arm Cable Rows as well.  Same principles, tempo and similar result.

 

You may arrange these practice/exercises into your Back Day.  You may also separate them.  Once you learned these techniques, your Mind-Muscle Connection will be greatly improved, and it will benefit all the Back exercises.

 

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