Building a wide back

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    Building a wide back


    I've had success adding thickness to my back, but want to get a good spread in the lats. My chest currently measures 45", and I'd like to eventually get it up around 50".

    My current back routine looks like this:

    Pull-Ups 2-3 sets
    Deadlifts/ Rack Pulls 3 sets
    T-Bar Rows 3-4 sets
    Cable Rows 3 sets

    Any advice on movements/ technique?

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    Good workout. Width is depended upon the size of the lats and every exercise you have listed depends on lat stimulus. The rowing variations build thickness of the upper back by developing the inner back muscles and pulling the shoulders back. Youtube: "Mark Rippetoe instruction" and you're good to go.
    Former Marine, UT-BSN, NSCA-CPT, NASM-CPT, CSCS
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    add some pulldowns and dumbell rows, bent over rows are great too
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    I have a very wide back and most of my back routine consists of variations of pull-ups, dumbell rows or barbell rows and deadlifts but long before I even put deadlifts into my routine I had a wide back so I have to say genetics has a lot to do with how your muscles appear when you build them. I can work my chest to death and genetically it will never be what I want it to be, The same goes for my biceps. They plateau in size while my tri's seem to keep growing. Your routine sounds solid.
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    pullups
    pullups
    pullups
    pulldowns if you must
    pullups

    Hell, even assisted pullups are great. It allows you to REAAAAAAAAAAAAALLY stretch the lat at the bottom of the movement, and pull with your elbows back to the top of the movement...Prevents cheating as well.

    When this gets boring, do more pullups.

    Thickness is a different conversation.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SOGO View Post
    pullups
    pullups
    pullups
    pulldowns if you must
    pullups

    Hell, even assisted pullups are great. It allows you to REAAAAAAAAAAAAALLY stretch the lat at the bottom of the movement, and pull with your elbows back to the top of the movement...Prevents cheating as well.

    When this gets boring, do more pullups.

    Thickness is a different conversation.
    I like the way you put this, I'm going to try and do ten sets of ten tonight
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    After each set of pull-ups, grab hold of something stationary and pull for each side. You can feel it stretch all the way to the bottom.

    With your pull-ups, grip as wide apart as practicable and make sure you're using the fullest range of motion. Think about pulling your shoulder girdle down and back when you're doing your pull-ups. Occasionally you could do behind-the-back pull-ups or close-grip pull-ups to switch it up.

    If you're doing two rowing motions per workout, why not switch it up often? One week do T-bar rows and cable rows, the next week do bent-over barbell rows and dumbbell rows or something. This way you'd be constantly hitting your back from different angles. Bent-over rows done with an underhand grip are great as well; especially for developing extra biceps strength.
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    Quote Originally Posted by blueandwhite View Post
    I've had success adding thickness to my back, but want to get a good spread in the lats. My chest currently measures 45", and I'd like to eventually get it up around 50".

    My current back routine looks like this:

    Pull-Ups 2-3 sets
    Deadlifts/ Rack Pulls 3 sets
    T-Bar Rows 3-4 sets
    Cable Rows 3 sets

    Any advice on movements/ technique?
    maybe add some sets and decrease the exercise number. Example ; instead of doing both t-bar rows and cable rows do only one per workout (alternate them) and add another set to the 3 exercises to make it 4 sets each

    negative chin-ups / pull-ups are great! You can finish off the routine with flat or decline pullovers for a nice deep stretch too.
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    Thanks guys. I'll try some of these things, esp. widening my pullup grip.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Type O Hero View Post
    If you're doing two rowing motions per workout, why not switch it up often?
    Because it depends on your level of experience. The most important thing for a novice is progression. And change of exercise limits the progression of the exercises that are being changed. When it comes time that you are stalling and increasing your calories or changing the volume alone does not work, then adding new movements or supplementing movements can provide a method of increased motor unit activity through hitting the muscle at a different angle and the result will be further progression.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Type O Hero View Post
    After each set of pull-ups, grab hold of something stationary and pull for each side. You can feel it stretch all the way to the bottom.

    With your pull-ups, grip as wide apart as practicable and make sure you're using the fullest range of motion. Think about pulling your shoulder girdle down and back when you're doing your pull-ups. Occasionally you could do behind-the-back pull-ups or close-grip pull-ups to switch it up.

    If you're doing two rowing motions per workout, why not switch it up often? One week do T-bar rows and cable rows, the next week do bent-over barbell rows and dumbbell rows or something. This way you'd be constantly hitting your back from different angles. Bent-over rows done with an underhand grip are great as well; especially for developing extra biceps strength.
    +1 Rep

    Using the widest grip possible will force your body to utilize the traps more than any other graip, and really squeeze the blood into the muscle. I really, really like the assited pullup machine, as it takes your legs completely out of the equation.

    If you have trouble completing your set, utilize a spotter to get some forced reps into the set. Stretching after is of utmost importance, again forcing blood into the muscle and really getting a strong stretch.
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    bent over rows have worked wonders for me, and quickly. supinated grip like type o hero said work great too, especially for your last heavy set, when your lats are extra fatigued this grip lets the biceps help.
  

  
 

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