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🚨 Back is a huge muscle group. To simplify things, you can essentially separate it into three main areas consisting of your lats, middle back, and lower back. These exercises are grouped with the area in which they are primarily intended to hit. However, most of these exercises will also hit other areas of your back as well. For example, dumbbell rows hit your lats but they will also hit your middle back. Barbell rows will target your middle back but you will also be stimulating your lats. Deadlifts definitely hit your entire back although if you do them, your lower back likely does not need any further work.


✅ When setting up your routine, I recommend incorporating an equal amount of vertical pulling (such as pull-ups) and horizontal pulling (such as rows). The exact number of each per workout really depends on whether you’re on a full body routine, upper/lower split, or push/pull/legs.

How to Keep a Neutral Spine
How to Keep a Neutral Spine


🔥 I’d say barbell rows are up there as one of those exercises that gets performed incorrectly the most often. However, they are also one of the best overall back exercises.

✅ Some mistakes people make are standing too upright, looking up and not keeping a neutral spine, rowing the weight to your chest, and using momentum by hitching the weight up just to name a few.

✅ To keep a neutral spine, I find it helps to find a spot on the floor about 6 inches in front of you and stare at it during the set. As far as proper back position, it can vary slightly. You shouldn’t be completely parallel to the floor but I find that I feel it most in my back when I position myself relatively close to that point like the picture on the right. To avoid using momentum, do not go too heavy and focus on rowing the weight into your belly button instead of your chest. If you find yourself getting more upright throughout the set or feel the need to cheat the reps, lower the weight. Most people go way too heavy on these which not only makes the exercise less effective but puts your lower back at a greater risk for injury.

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