The most common problem of today's
competition bodybuilders is incomplete back muscles development. One reason for
this may simply be that they do not get to study their backs as clearly
as they can a front view, and so are not as motivated to train their
backs as diligently as their chests or arms. One other reason, however,
is poor back muscle training technique. Back training is more subtle and
more difficult than most people realize. The basic function of the lats
and other back muscles is to pull the shoulder girdle down and back.
Many bodybuilders don't understand this and get confused as to which
muscles they are supposed to be using. If they lurch back during the
exercises and use the lower back muscles or shoulders themselves, then
the back muscles never get to work through a full range of motion.
Early in life you learned to coordinate
your muscular efforts to make lifting easier. You learned to bend your
knees when lifting something, to take as much strain as possible off the
back muscles and distribute it more evenly to allow adjacent muscles to
help. This is the opposite of what you try to achieve as a bodybuilder.
The trick to effective back muscles training is to learn to isolate the
various areas of the back, then make it harder on each individual area
of the back muscles instead of easier.
We have watched bodybuilders do
bent-over rows with an impossible amount of weight, so that they had to
heave the bar into the air using every muscle in the body. This kind of
cheating will never build a quality back. When doing seated rows, many
bodybuilders add weight to the stack, as if lifting heavy weights is all
that matters and then sway way back, using too much lower back, in an
effort to finish off the movement.
Also, many bodybuilders allow the
biceps to do too much pulling when they are doing pulldown or rowing
exercises, which results in some powerful arm development but doesn't do
much for the back muscles. They need to concentrate on using the arms
simply as a link between the back muscles and the bar or handle, and not
as a primary means of lifting the weight.
But even if you learn absolutely
correct back muscles training technique, the back muscles consists of a
number of complex and interrelated muscles and they do not necessarily
all develop at the same rate in all individuals. As you become more
advanced in bodybuilding and you begin to see which areas of the back
muscles have responded more quickly than others, you will want to alter
your program to include more work for the muscles that are lagging
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