Do you think that back is not as important to work on, since you can’t really see it? Trust me brother, people will judge you from your back. So make sure to make them think twice before they do. I mean, nobody is going to mess with a guy that is so wide you can barely see what is behind. What is more, having a strong back improves posture. Nothing screams confidence more than a strong posture.
Ectomorph back workout is going to offer you tools in order to structure your own workouts. Knowing the science behind it, will allow you to personalize the training based on your body. It will also make it possible for you to change the workout in order to keep progressing. Because nobody has escaped hardgainer’s hell by doing same workout over and over again. Knowing what muscle you are working on and knowing how to activate it is crucial in order to build big bulging back.
I will go over five major muscles that should be targeting during your own version of Ectomorph Back Workout. I will explain anatomy of each muscle and how to target that specific part. What is more, I will give you the exercises for each muscle.
In the end, I will show an example of how I structure a back workouts for my clients. You will then have all the tools to structure your own programs as well. Lat the gains begin.
WHAT MUSCLE GROUPS WILL WE TALK ABOUT
We will talk about six different muscle/muscle groups
1. LATISSIMUS DORSI
2. TERES MAJOR
6. LOWER BACK
I have already written a lot about mind-body connection and why it is so crucial for hardgainers. If you want to read more about that, read it under activation part in this article.
Not feeling back muscles working during a workout could be due poor mind-body connection. In that case, activation before your workout is crucial. Follow this routine below as a warm up for any Ectomorph Back Workout. This routine is what a famous YouTuber, and physical therapist Jeff Cavaliere recommends:
Perform each exercise with light weight focusing on back contraction for 1 minute. Slow movement is crucial! Take 60 seconds for each exercise.
1. Underhand Lat Pulldown Squeezes
2. Y Presses without any weights
3. Overhand Lat Pulldown Squeezes
4. Y Presses without any weights
5. Rocking Pulldowns
6. Stretch Pulldown
Back exercises are mostly pulling movement. Most often, that is only done through using your arms as well. Arms muscles group is smaller and weaker compared to your back. When arms get tired, you will be unable to pull as much weight. That will not allow your back to really work as hard. But how do we limit the amount of work done by the arms? By utilizing two following ways:
By not gripping so hard, we can prolong fatigue in our arms. Using something like a hook grip, thumbless grip or straps in order to perform back exercises is actually not a bad idea. That way biceps will not engage as much, making it easier to focus on back muscles.
Whenever you perform a pulling motion, elbows should come behind the body in order to maximize back contraction. I cannot stress enough how important this is, especially when I see so many people skipping that part of the movement. We can focus on doing that by a simple cue: Stick your chest out. By exposing your chest, the immediate response is normally to bring elbows all the way back, behind your body.
Hardgainers/beginners,we often not understand where our limits are when lifting. Program says 8 reps, but you feel like you could do 12? For god’s sake, keep going up to 12. Even after 12, lower the weight and perform couple more. Really feel the burn and force your muscles to grow. It is important to realize that training through failure is a component of building hypertrophy.
However it should not be utilized during every single set and exercise. As a rule of thumb, do this only for the last set of any isolation exercise.
Intramuscular coordination is crucial, especially if you are training for a sport. Doing heavy compound movements will allow your muscle groups to work together. Because you don’t want to be in the following scenario of: “Looking like Tarzan, playing like Jane” (as strength coach Dan John puts it).
What is more, putting pressure on our body releases more testosterone and helps with protein synthesis, which forces hypertrophy.
HEAVY COMPOUND EXERCISES:
–Pullup (progress to weighted if you can do more than 8)
–Barbell Dead Row
Do you feel like you are little bit “twisted” because your dominant arm is always taking over. Is one side of your back unproportionally stronger or bigger compared to the other. By training unilaterally, you will have the ability to take one side out of equation and only focus on opposite side. That will eventually lead to more balanced muscle/size distribution.
It is important for rehabbing and pre-habbing for injuries (potential) that are caused by muscular imbalances. That is why I will also mention unilateral exercises in the bottom.
Latissimus Dorsi or “Lats” is what is often talked about when discussing back training.
It originates from the vertebrae and bottom part of the scapula and attaches itself the the head of the humerus (ball in the shoulder).
It is responsible for adduction, extension and internal rotation of the arm. Basically pulling arm down by your side with your palm up.
Teres major is a muscle most of us never heard of. It originates from scapula and attaches just below the head of the humerus (where the thin part of the arm bone turn into ball)
Its function is similar to Latissimus Dorsi, however Teres Major also has the ability to protract the scapula (happens when you push your shoulders all the way forward) and depress the shoulder.
BILATERAL:Wide grip Lat Pulldown
Trapezius is a huge muscle that is often very visible in anybody that even lifts. We divide traps into two parts due to muscle fibers going in two different direction. Either from top down (Upper traps) or from bottom up (Lower traps).
Upper traps are responsible of elevating the scapula while lower traps act in a way to depress the scapula. Therefore, different exercises would apply for each of them.
Rhomboid muscle group consists of Rhomboid minor and major. They are both buried under Trapezius. Due to their proximity and muscle fibers direction, they act as a unit. Their origin is at thoracic part of the spine and they insert on your scapulas.
They act in a way that pulls shoulder blades closer together.
Lower back muscles are especially important for back health. Lower back consists of many muscles that run down the length of the spine.
Lower back muscles assist with trunk extension.
As I mention in any other hardgainer workout, there is no golden rule when it comes to number of repetitions and numbers of sets. However, there are some guidelines:
1. Perform 150-200 total repetition per workout
2. Activation warm up phase should not be counted as reps
3. Be in 8-12 rep range when focusing on each muscle group separately
4. Be in 4-6 rep range when focusing on heavy compound movements
5. Have at least one exercise per muscle group
6. Perform at least one heavy compound exercise
7. Only count reps over 70% of 1RM on heavy compounds
7. Have at least one exercises that is unilateral
I know, a lot to remember. So take time when you structure your own Ectomorph Back Workout.
1. ACTIVATION CYCLE
2. COMPOUND: 3×5 Deadlift (15 REPS)
3. LATISSIMUS DORSI: 3×10 Lat Pulldown (30 REPS)
4. TERES MAJOR: 2×12 Wide grip Lat Pulldown (24 REPS)
5. UPPER TRAPEZIUS: 2×8 Rack Pulls (16 REPS)
6. LOWER TRAPEZIUS: 2×10 Cable Y (20 REPS)
7. RHOMBOIDS: 2×12 Scapula retraction on a cable row (24 REPS)
8. LOWER BACK: 2×10 Hyper Extension (20 REPS)
Here we go, a complete guide on how to structure your own Ectomorph Back Workout. Understanding the principles behind your workout is extremely important in order to keep the gains coming. Only that way you can make adjustment based on your individual needs and not just following one-workout-fits-all approach.
Remember to add activation as a part of your warm up. Adjusting the grip and learning the right lifting technique is going to be another crucial point in order to not have your arms dominate the movement. Follow the structure principles and you will be just fine.
LIFT,EAT, SLEEP, REPEAT and LAT THE GAINS BEGIN!
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