From a bodybuilder's perspective one of the most important body areas is the back. Not only can it be visually impressive but a strong back is essential for intensive training and day to day living. In bodybuilding you are aiming for three things with regard to developing the back muscles:
- Thickness of the upper back (traps).
- Wide lats.
- Highly defined lower back (spinal erectors and lower lats).
As a beginner there are five essential exercises for developing these muscles quickly:
1. Dumbbell shrugs - 3 sets of 10-15 reps. This exercise will develop the traps.
2. Seated V-bar cable rows - 3 sets of 10-15 reps. This exercise will develop the mid upper back.
3. Bent over barbell rows - 3 sets of 10-15 reps. This exercise will add thickness to the upper back.
4. Pullups - Aim for 25 reps. This exercise will strengthen the entire back.
5. Pulldowns - 3 sets of 10-15 reps. This exercise will define the lats.
As with all exercises you need to take care in scheduling specific body parts. To begin with you should incorporate your back exercises into a program similar to the one suggested below:
Day 1: Biceps, Back, Abs
Day 2: Hamstrings, Shoulders, Abs
Day 3: Quads, Forearms, Calves
Day 4: Triceps, Chest, Abs
For the first couple of weeks complete one set but then add one set each week to a maximum of three. At the end of three months you will be ready to move on to more intensive intermediate level exercises.
Richard Mitchell is the creator of the bodybuildingadvisor.com website that provides guidance and information to athletes at all levels of bodybuilding experience. Go to Bodybuilding Advice to learn more about the issues covered in this article.