Middle-Back-Builders! Get a 3-D Back! Here is how to !
Behind Back Upright Row/Shrug: I learned this exercise by watching Lee Haney train years ago during his Olympia years. I have seen a lot of guys do barbell shrugs behind their back, but never the way Haney did them. I personally feel that Haney’s consistent use of this movement was at least partially responsible for the great detail he showed in his rear, upper traps, and mid-back. Stand in front of a loaded barbell and take a shoulder width grip. Lift the weight upward by performing a half shrug, half upright row, with the goal of getting the bar to about the height of your low back. To get the bar to this position you might have to slightly arch your back as you lift the weight, which will help you clear your rear end. Keep your lower back muscles tight to avoid injury, and make sure to get a good squeeze at the top. This exercise can be performed on a Smith machine as well (my preference).
Palms Back Bent Lateral: This exercise is not only excellent for mid-back detail and development, but for beefing up the rear delts as well. Bend over at the waist so that your torso is basically parallel to the ground. Make sure there is a slight bend in the knees to take some pressure off the low back. Pick up a pair of light dumbbells and allow them to hang down in front of you. With your arms almost completely straight, raise your arms out to the sides in a path that is perpendicular to your torso. At the peak of the movement your elbows should be at shoulder height, and you should aggressively squeeze your middle back. This is not an exercise where heavy weight should be used, or form will be compromised.
Rope Seated Cable Row: Use a rope attachment at a seated cable row station. Position yourself on the bench with your knees slightly bent and your torso vertical. Pull the rope toward the neck as you bring your elbows up, out to the sides and back. Make sure the upper arms remain parallel to the ground to effectively activate the mid-back musculature, while minimizing lat recruitment. Before initiating each rep, allow the mid-back to stretch by keeping the torso vertical, and simply releasing the shoulders forward. Squeeze the shoulder blades together tightly at the peak contraction point.
-Coach Eric Broser
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