3 Effective Bodybuilding Exercises To Build a Muscular Back

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This video is going to be focusing on a back workout, consisting of three different exercises. The first one in this routine is the V-bar pulldowns, then we are going to move to the dumbbell rows and we will finish up with reverse grip pulldowns. So let’s get started!

V-Bar Pulldowns
The first exercise in our back workout today is the V-bar pulldown. You want to make sure you do a nice warm up set of about 12 to 15 reps with a very light weight to get the blood in the muscles and warm-up fully before moving into heavier sets. One of the keys to the V-bar pulldown is that you avoid swinging too far back when you pull the bar down to the bottom position. You will see a lot of people in the gym doing this and it’s completely wrong. They are going way back or either using way too much weight or they just have terrible technique. You want to have just a little bit of an angle coming back and you want to make sure you feel a nice contraction in the back muscles and your lats when you bring the weight down. You will see in the video the difference between just pulling down with no swing at all and then pulling the weight down with way too much swing and sway in your upper body. You want to have just a small amount of lean back as you pull down the weight. This little lean allows the bar to pass in front of your face and touch the upper portion of your chest at the bottom position. You can really feel the contraction in your back and lats when this is done correctly. After the warm up set, you are going to focus on doing between 6 to 12 reps per set for a total of 1-3 sets with the v-bar pulldown exercise.

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Dumbbell Rows
The second exercise in our back workout is going to consist of the dumbbell row. You want to position your knee and hand on the bench to stabilize your body. Then go ahead and just row up with the dumbbell. Make sure it is a nice, slow and controlled movement and keep your back flat. Try to avoid hunching your back and moving your upper body up and down during the exercise. You will be contracting your back muscles at the top with a nice slow negative down to complete a full repetition.

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Reverse Grip Lat Pulldowns
Our last exercise in this back workout is the reverse grip lat pulldowns. This is similar to V-bar pulldowns we did in the first exercise, with a little bit of a twist. Since the hands are reversed, it’s a little bit of a different angle and a different grip position. Most of the time you would perform a regular Lat pulldown with an overhand grip. We are going to reverse the grip which should allow you to really feel the lats working on this movement. With a narrow reversed grip go ahead and just do a regular pulldown with a slight lean on the way down to avoid hitting your head with the bar. You want to focus on a really nice contraction at the bottom and then let the weight move slowly back up to the starting position. It’s all about technique so make sure you always go slow and use proper form. If that means dropping the weight down a little bit, then that’s just what you need to do. Once you get your technique down you can always start to move back up in weight. Follow the above guidelines for the correct number of reps and sets for your skill level.

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2 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Anwar Qureshi on

    You did not mention the breathing pattern (when to inhale and when to exhale). Please clarify for these exercises. These are very important for me.

    • shapefit

      Anwar – The breathing pattern when weight training is to exhale (breathe out) on the concentric phase of the exercise when you exert the most force (push, pull) and you will want to inhale (breathe in) on the eccentric or “negative” portion of the movement. For the 3 exercises in the video, here are the instructions: (1) V-Bar Pulldowns – You will breathe out when you pull the v-bar down to your chest and breathe in when you release the v-bar back up to the starting position. (2) Dumbbell Rows – Breathe out when you pull the dumbbell up and breathe in when you lower it down. (3) Reverse Grip Lat Pulldowns – Breathe out when you pull the bar down and breathe in when you release the bar back up to the starting position.

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