Training your back muscles isn’t always as simple as it seems! Here are some myths your should never believe and some mistakes you should never do while training back in the gym. Learn how to do it properly and you will have amazing results! You just gotta have patience and do the right things.
1. If You’re Pulling, You’re Training Your Back Muscles
It’s rare to see a lifter properly initiate a pull by first retracting his scapulae. Many lifters may understand this concept, but still not properly put it into practice. If this is done, most upper back-dominant movements won’t need a lot of weight to elicit a good stimulation and hit a target rep range.
Furthermore, compensatory motions, like the classic torso “jerk” pattern people use to bring the arms towards the body, usually negate any back involvement whatsoever. When we take out excessive body English, momentum, and ego from the picture, it’s worth asking if it’s even possible for 90% of lifters to get a properly isolated back pump when using heavy resistance on the lat pulldown or seated row for reps.
Even those who know how to retract the scapulae first often make the mistake of setting the shoulders “once and for all.” In other words, they keep them depressed and retracted for the entire duration of the set. That’s a recipe for technical disaster. Having good control of the shoulder blades means both making them stay put and allowing them to move. That translates to setting them and then releasing them.
2. The Dumbbell Pullover is a Good Lat Exercise
The dumbbell pullover has been an old-school bodybuilding staple for ages. For the record, I’m not bashing the exercise itself – rather the implement being used. Many use pullovers, in part, to train the lats. But the force angle used in a dumbbell pullover will only hit the top half of the lats, and only through about 40% of the movement, at most.
Once the weight passes eye level and approaches the chest and abs, gravity takes over and the shoulders, chest, and triceps begin to bear the load. And that’s without considering that it’s pretty hard to make the back contract and lock/unlock the shoulder blades while you’re lying directly on them.