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6 Back-Sculpting Exercises To Get A Ripped Upper Body

Most people tend to concentrate on a select few body parts, and unfortunately, the back rarely factors as one of them. Usually trained in tandem with the chest or shoulders, the back often gets slighted in favour of beefing up the pecs and delts.

The back is one of your biggest muscle groups, and training it will result in all other parts of your body growing at the same time, especially your arms. Also, the back remains one of the muscle groups you use the most in daily life, so it's time to take a serious approach to training. Here's six exercises you ought to do in order to get a sculpted back and a ripped upper body.


Photo credit: MyProtein

This is one to give you those coveted wings. Head over to a lat pulldown machine and grab the bar with a grip where your palms are facing away from you. Ensure your grip is just a little bit wider than shoulder's-width apart. Keep your chest stationery, and pull down, using your shoulders to drive the movement. You should be pulling down to your chest. Pause, then slowly return the bar to the top, and repeat. The key to this is slow, controlled movements.


Photo credit: Men's Fitness

Deadlifts are one of the most important back exercises out there. It engages all the muscles in your back, while also training your legs. Also important is having correct form, as not adhering to the proper motions could result in injury. Begin by loading a barbell, and rolling it towards your shins. Bend down with your knees not going beyond your toes, and hold the bar in an overhand grip. Your head should be facing forward, not looking down, and your shoulders not slouching. Maintain a natural arc in your lower back, and begin to lift the weight in a thrusting movement. Use your hips to drive the lift, until you're standing upright with the bar. Pause, lower to the ground, and repeat for as many reps needed.


Photo credit: T Nation

Pull-ups are a classic move that trains the entirety of your upper body, but is especially good for sculpting the back. Get the V-shaped upper body and hulking wings you always wanted simply by doing regular pull-ups. While there are a number of variations, you can start off simple — head to the bar, and grab it with an overhand grip slightly wider than shoulder's-width apart. Lift yourself up in controlled movements, and repeat for as many reps necessary.


Photo credit: Bodybuilding Wizard

Focus on your lower lats by performing this move. Head to a bench, have a dumbbell on each side. Place your right leg on top of the bench and bend forward until your upper body is parallel to the ground. Grab the weight on your left side, and hold it while maintaining a straight back. Begin to pull the weight up to the side of your chest, keeping your elbows as close to your ribs as possible. Once you lift it to the max it can go, squeeze your back muscles, before lowering it down. Continue for the necessary amount of reps before performing the move on the opposite side.


Photo credit: T Nation

These are pretty similar to the inclined pull-ups you did during your fitness tests in primary school. Set a Smith machine bar to about hip height, and lie under it. Grab the bar with your hands shoulders-width apart, and lift your body up so you form a straight line, with your weight deposited in your heels. As you lift to the bar, squeeze your shoulders together to engage the back. Repeat.


Photo credit: Men's Fitness

Go to a back extension bench, and lock your legs. Bend your torso with your arms crossed over your chest. Bend until it goes around 90 degrees, before returning to the start position again. To make it harder, hold a weight plate between both hands.

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