6 Biggest Back Workout Lessons Learned (HOW HE DID IT!)

6 Biggest Back Workout Lessons Learned (HOW HE DID IT!)

If you want a bigger, wider back you will want to be sure you learn these 6 big back lessons as soon as possible. Our resident hardgainer Jesse is here to reveal the six most helpful tips that have allowed him to make noticeable gains in his back development and now you can do the same thing.

The first thing you want to make sure you change is your grip if you are gripping the bar too far away from your palm, down in your fingertips. This is a common flaw of back exercises like the deadlift, weighted chin, lat pulldown and rows. What happens is that this places an inordinate amount of stress on the flexors of the forearm that causes medial elbow pain and flare ups. When this occurs, it becomes difficult to lift with any substantial weight to create overload and your back gains will slow.

Start carrying the bar deeper in your palm and you will eliminate the soreness and be well on your way to lifting more on all of the key lifts. Due to the fact that the forearms will be doing less of the work and that your lats and biceps will be able to contribute more, you will see gains in the areas you are seeking.

Next, it is helpful to start adding face pulls into every workout rather than just on pull day. The value of the face pull exercise cannot be overstated. Not only will it help to correct muscular imbalances front to back but it will help protect the health of the shoulder and give you much better upper back development. Stop doing them just on back day and start doing them every time you train for faster results.

Just like any type of athletic lower body training where it is important to incorporate single leg exercises into your workouts, the same holds true for your upper body. If you start mixing in unilateral back exercises with your more frequently performed bilateral, you will be in for much better gains in the long run. Start doing some high pulley pulldowns, one armed rows, suitcase deadlifts and even one arm straight arm pushdowns and you will be happy with your ability to overcome the strength imbalances that creep up from exclusively bilateral training.

When doing pull ups it is important to not just train the movement straight up and down. The back and all of its muscles provides a web of fiber orientation (many of which are angled) making it more practical and functional to explore additional planes when pulling. Perform some angled reps, typewriters and even protractions in the sagittal plane to challenge these muscles in a way that you have likely overlooked until now.

Trap training is another area that often times gets done improperly, if at all. The trapezius muscles are not just the area on top of your shoulders that responds to shrugging heavy weights. They are actually composed of three distinct areas that together form the shape of a kite. This large area of mass is something you will want to hit with individual exercises to better stress the fibers of the upper, middle and lower traps individually.

Finally, whenever doing any back workout or exercise you want to be sure that you aren’t passively just pulling the bar to your chest. Instead, you want to actively attack the bar with your chest or sternum to assist with the retraction of the scapula and intensify the contraction on the lats. This is an easy concept to grasp once you feel it once or twice by doing it correctly.

If you try these out and see how quickly they amount to more gains for you in your back workouts and training and are looking for more, click the link below to seek out the program best suited to your goals at Athleanx.com and start training like an athlete today. Build muscle fast by following the same workouts used by today’s top pro athletes and their teams.


  1. Thanks a lot for this! As a lot of these exercises involve arm retraction below the shoulder, or at shoulder height in the case of face pulls, could this work be complemented with arm retraction above head height? For example, with a 'sword draw' type movement. If so, is this best done with a bent or straight arm? And could this type of exercise help strengthen the lower traps and aid thoracic extension, in a similar way to prone Y's?

  2. I was trying to coach a friend of mine and how to properly squat and I noticed every time he went down to a certain level his he’ll start a live off the ground. I believe this may be because he has tight Cavs and his ankles do not have flexibility. You mention when one of your other videos that flat footed people also have a tendency to cave in word he also has this issue. He is also out of shape however and I wonder if I made a mistake introducing him to a squat when I should’ve probably coached him to more of a machine rather than free weights

  3. Did not even know about the bell next to the subscribe button!! Thanks Jeff lol

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