Question about back muscle development

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    panmerc's Avatar
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    Question about back muscle development


    Does anyone know how the muscles in the back develope? I always try to keep a good mix when working by back but, I can't seem to develope the area between my shoulder blades. Because of the military and doing alot of pull ups my lats and lower back are full. I have a good v shape but again the area between my shoulder blades is flat.

    Is this normal and I just need to keep going and let that area fill in? Or do I need to change something? I try to hit all areas of my back when working out.

    Current back routine:

    Pull ups / Pull downs 4x10
    Bent rows / one arm rows 4x10
    Seated rows 4x10
    Back ext / good mornings 4x10

    I always try to ensure my form is proper. Maybe its not?

    I do deadlifts on leg day and upright rows / shrugs on shoulder day.

    Any help or opinions will be appreciated.

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    rantorcha's Avatar
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    Some exercises that might help you...

    - CG Seated Row
    - CG T-bar Row (I do these with the bar in the corner)
    - you can even try the Hammer Seated Row

    Some tips while performing...
    - try to go a tad lighter than yuo normally would and really "feel" the muscle working. sometimes we (myself included) will try to go heavier because heavy weight=big muscle; but if there is no mind-muscle connection, the exercise becomes useless IMO.

    Remember, too, that development of any muscle group takes intensity and consistancy!!

    Good luck and let us know if that helps.
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    Thanks I'll give them a try!!
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    have you tried varying your grip with pull-ups? Underhand, supinated, neutral, close-grip, wide. . . then you could look at supersetting for something different.

    .. .also, are you doing much rear delt work? I work the rear delts on back and shoulder day - if your form is down, you should get a nice contraction between the shoulder blades.
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    Quote Originally Posted by panmerc View Post
    Does anyone know how the muscles in the back develope? I always try to keep a good mix when working by back but, I can't seem to develope the area between my shoulder blades. Because of the military and doing alot of pull ups my lats and lower back are full. I have a good v shape but again the area between my shoulder blades is flat.

    Is this normal and I just need to keep going and let that area fill in? Or do I need to change something? I try to hit all areas of my back when working out.

    Current back routine:

    Pull ups / Pull downs 4x10
    Bent rows / one arm rows 4x10
    Seated rows 4x10
    Back ext / good mornings 4x10

    I always try to ensure my form is proper. Maybe its not?

    I do deadlifts on leg day and upright rows / shrugs on shoulder day.

    Any help or opinions will be appreciated.
    Arguably the least trained part of the body for most people in the gym today is this area. Some people get great development here by regular back exercises like the ones mentioned in this post. Others need to work these muscles directly. The area your talking about consists of your middle and lower traps. Yes, your traps are more than those things on the side of your neck.

    Check out this book:

    [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Kelsos-Shrug-Book-Paul-Kelso/dp/1587361167"]Amazon.com: Kelso's Shrug Book (9781587361166): Paul Kelso: Books[/ame]

    Throw in the bent bb shrug inbetween your bent bb rows and do some lying db shrugs on an incline and your mid and low traps will be burning for days. As with all upper back exercises make sure you pause inbetween the eccentric and the concentric for at least a 1 count and make sure your pulling your shoulder blades together hard for each rep.

    I concentrated less on my upper traps and more on my mid and low traps and they evened out very quickly and they are very noticeable on my back now. Becareful though because if your directly working your mid and low traps then you should becareful on upper trap work. I pulled a muscle when I decided to do regular shrugs while waiting for a machine not realizing my mid and low traps were still sore from another workout.
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    CG Tbars are a solid movement....and on all back movements i feel like its all about the stretch then when you row it up you have to squeeze the shoulder blades
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    the area between your shoulder blades? sounds like lower traps to me, though it could be rhomboids. i would try behind the back shrugs. keep them slow and controlled, focus on the squeeze, and use a smith machine for them to keep the bar from hitting your glutes.

    when you get sore in the area that's lacking, you know you're targeting it. hopefully i got that right...
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    CG Pulldowns for Rhomboids.
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    Thankws everyone!! I've been trying most of what everyones telling me and its working. I always try and make sure I'm concentrating on the movement but recently been working on stength and got carried away. But I lowered the weights by as little as 5-10 lbs and can tell considrable difference.

    I workout at home so doing some of the exercises takes a little imagination, but its going. As far as pullups, I've got a bar you put in your door frame. It has all three variations (overhand,underhand, and neutral).

    I'm probably living the dream situation for most in this forum. My wife and I are moving back closer to family so I'm sleeping in the workout room of a friends house. haha All I have to do is eat (diet very clean), sleep, workout, and work. I've really been hitting it hard and can see good results.

    Again, thank everyone for all the help. If I get the nerve, I may post some before and after pics. But the focus isn't real good, so unless your looking closely I don't think you tell much difference. Course its also only been 3 weeks.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rantorcha View Post
    Some exercises that might help you...

    - CG Seated Row
    - CG T-bar Row (I do these with the bar in the corner)
    - you can even try the Hammer Seated Row

    Some tips while performing...
    - try to go a tad lighter than yuo normally would and really "feel" the muscle working. sometimes we (myself included) will try to go heavier because heavy weight=big muscle; but if there is no mind-muscle connection, the exercise becomes useless IMO.

    Remember, too, that development of any muscle group takes intensity and consistancy!!

    Good luck and let us know if that helps.
    Very good advice there, basically covered what I was going to say.
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    I had the same problem for years, had a nice v shape but void of any mass down the middle.

    Finally cracked it when watching Dorian Yates train in his home gym(Birmingham).

    T-bar rows using a narrow grip palms facing each other.

    Never ever use a weight that you have to heave in any way shape or form.

    Pull the bar up into your lower stomach and pull your shoulder together pinching your middle back, hold in that position for a count of 1 squeeze then lower slowly to a count of three.

    I realised i had just been throwing weight around for years wasting time and effort.

    Some people seem to get away with a lot of momentem but never worked for me.

    Give this a go, i always close my eyes when doing this to get a good muscle connection.

    All the best matey.
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