Best Basic Back Exercises | Guide

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Basic back exercises

The back muscles belong to large muscle groups, and therefore it is very difficult to pump them with light exercises. That is why the use of basic exercises for their training is especially important. What applies to them?

Training Best Back


Basic exercises for back muscles

Deadlift – considered the most effective basic exercise for pumping your back. This movement is very heavy and requires the observance of a special technique of execution, so novice athletes are not recommended to perform it. Deadlifts shock loads almost all large and small muscles of the back.
Pull-ups – are the most effective exercise for expanding your back. With a wide grip, it impacts the latissimus muscles. Experienced athletes can be used after performing deadlifts.

You can also read in more detail: How to properly pull up.

Barbell Row – is the best basic exercise for pumping mid-back muscles. Suitable for athletes of any level and training.
Incline barbell row (direct grip) – this exercise, although it is considered basic, often acts as an auxiliary exercise for back muscles. Loads the broadest muscles and trapezium.

The technique of performing basic exercises on the back

  • Before starting any basic movement, carefully think about it by completing a couple of approaches with minimal weight.
  • The basic exercise is performed in a heavy high-intensity mode – 3 sets of 6-8 reps. Rest between sets – at least 3 minutes.
  • If your experience is less than 1 year, perform no more than 1 basic exercise for each muscle group. Experienced athletes may depart from this rule.
  • Always perform these exercises the very first in the complex for a specific muscle group.
    If you are a beginner, do not use deadlift, but replace it with something simpler. Over time, when the muscles get stronger, you can include it in your complexes.

Barbell Row

The barbell Row is a basic exercise aimed at training the back muscles, and in particular the latissimus. This movement can be performed by athletes of various levels of training – from beginners to professionals.

Barbell Row 


When performing rod traction in a slope, the following muscles work:

  • The widest
  • large round
  • Rear bunches of deltas
  • Biceps
  • Rhomboid and trapezius muscles

When changing the grip and the angle of inclination of the body, you can change to shift the load on different areas of the back.


The harder the exercise, the better it gain mass. This common truth is still relevant. And what is the hardest exercise in the bodybuilder’s arsenal? Of course deadlift.

Deadlift exercises


When professional bodybuilders are asked to name the most effective exercise for gaining muscle mass, then all as one name it: Deadlift. It is scientifically proven that deadlift not only grows large muscles of the back and legs, but also all muscle groups as a whole. That is why for athletes such as Ronnie Coleman and Jay Cutler, this exercise is included in the best exercises for grow back mass.

Practical Tips for Deadlifts

  1. Foot position. Feet should be set slightly narrower than shoulder width. Do not put them too wide. The thing is that from the bottom point the thrust is carried out exclusively by the force of the quadriceps, so the most advantageous position would be to set the feet a little narrower than the shoulder width. If you put them too narrowly, then the balance is lost. The barbell should be rolled close to your feet.
  2. Body position. Before starting deadlift, you must lower yourself to the deep squat position. Fill the chest with air, and turn your shoulders. Stress the press statically.
  3. Grip. Use an exclusively symmetrical grip. Hold the bar at shoulder width, otherwise your hands will interfere with your legs when lifting the bar. With regards to the type of grip, it is advised to use a close grip. This type of grip enhances the power of muscle effort. In addition, you can use the so-called “powerlifter grip”, in which you grab the bar with a direct grip, moving your thumb under the bar, and grabbing it with your fingers on the palm of your hand. This form forms a reliable “lock”, which is able to replace the use of belts.

Incline barbell row (direct grip)

incline barbell row exercises


Typical mistakes when performing traction to the belt in a slope

  • Movement of the legs and head. When performing rod pulls in an inclination, do not allow such movements, legs and head should be motionless throughout the entire working approach.
  • Unstable position. When starting the exercise, make sure that your position is stable. Place your feet at shoulder height or slightly wider, otherwise you will not be able to take a stable position.
  • Wrong grip. Choose a grip in which the distance between the hands will be slightly larger than the width of the shoulders. Only in this case, the exercise will have the amplitude of the required length due to a higher elbow lift.
  • Uneven back. A tilt rod pull requires a perfectly flat back. Do not slouch, but fix your back exactly throughout the entire working approach. Failure to do so may result in serious injury.
  • Using too heavy a bar. The choice of excessive working weight will inevitably lead to a violation of the execution technique and a general decrease in the effectiveness of the exercise. In addition, this may result in personal injury.
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