V – TAPER BACK WORKOUT

V – Taper Back Workout

How beginners can build a massive back targeting the lats. In most cases the back is an afterthought for many beginners. The back can’t be seen when you look in the mirror, and most people have a hard time contracting the back when they first start working out, so the majority of beginners do a few half-hearted sets of pull-downs and low cable rows and move on to something else.

Here is my back workout that focuses on the lats. To see the video tutorial click here: V – Taper Back Workout

Lat Pull Down - Back Workout
Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown Instructions

Sit down on a pull-down machine with a wide bar attached to the top pulley. Make sure that you adjust the knee pad of the machine to fit your height. These pads will prevent your body from being raised by the resistance attached to the bar.

Grab the bar with the palms facing forward using the prescribed grip. Note on grips: For a wide grip, your hands need to be spaced out at a distance wider than shoulder width. For a medium grip, your hands need to be spaced out at a distance equal to your shoulder width and for a close grip at a distance smaller than your shoulder width.

As you have both arms extended in front of you holding the bar at the chosen grip width, bring your torso back around 30 degrees or so while creating a curvature on your lower back and sticking your chest out. This is your starting position.

As you breathe out, bring the bar down until it touches your upper chest by drawing the shoulders and the upper arms down and back. Tip: Concentrate on squeezing the back muscles once you reach the full contracted position. The upper torso should remain stationary and only the arms should move. The forearms should do no other work except for holding the bar; therefore do not try to pull down the bar using the forearms.

After a second at the contracted position squeezing your shoulder blades together, slowly raise the bar back to the starting position when your arms are fully extended and the lats are fully stretched. Inhale during this portion of the movement.

Repeat this motion for 12 reps for 4 sets.

Variations: The behind the neck variation is not recommended as it can be hard on the rotator cuff due to the hyperextension created by bringing the bar behind the neck.

Close Grip Row - Back Workout
Seated Cable Rows Instructions

For this exercise you will need access to a low pulley row machine with a V-bar. Note: The V-bar will enable you to have a neutral grip where the palms of your hands face each other.

To get into the starting position, first sit down on the machine and place your feet on the front platform or crossbar provided making sure that your knees are slightly bent and not locked.

With your arms extended pull back until your torso is at a 90-degree angle from your legs. Your back should be slightly arched and your chest should be sticking out. You should be feeling a nice stretch on your lats as you hold the bar in front of you. This is the starting position of the exercise.

Keeping the torso stationary, pull the handles back towards your torso while keeping the arms close to it until you touch the abdominals. Breathe out as you perform that movement.

At that point you should be squeezing your back muscles hard. Hold that contraction for a second and slowly go back to the original position while breathing in.

Repeat for 12 reps for 4 sets

Caution: Avoid swinging your torso back and forth as you can cause lower back injury by doing so.

Variations:

You can use a straight bar instead of a V-Bar and perform with a pronated grip (palms facing down-forward) or a supinated grip (palms facing up-reverse grip).

Lat Pull Over - Back Workout
Straight-Arm Pulldown Instructions

You will start by grabbing the wide bar from the top pulley of a pulldown machine and using a wider than shoulder-width pronated (palms down) grip.

Bend your torso forward at the waist by around 30-degrees with your arms fully extended in front of you and a slight bend at the elbows.

If your arms are not fully extended then you need to step a bit more backwards until they are.

While keeping the arms straight, pull the bar down by contracting the lats until your hands are next to the side of the thighs. Breathe out as you perform this step.

While keeping the arms straight, go back to the starting position while breathing in.

Repeat for 12 reps for 4 sets

Variations: Can also be performed with a shorter shoulder-width straight bar or with a rope attachment.

Underhad Lat Pull Down - Back Workout
Underhand Cable Pulldowns Instructions

Sit down on a pull-down machine with a wide bar attached to the top pulley. Adjust the knee pad of the machine to fit your height. These pads will prevent your body from being raised by the resistance attached to the bar.

Grab the pull-down bar with the palms facing your torso (a supinated grip). Make sure that the hands are placed closer than the shoulder width.

As you have both arms extended in front of you holding the bar at the chosen grip width, bring your torso back around 30 degrees or so while creating a curvature on your lower back and sticking your chest out. This is your starting position.

As you breathe out, pull the bar down until it touches your upper chest by drawing the shoulders and the upper arms down and back. Tip: Concentrate on squeezing the back muscles once you reach the fully contracted position and keep the elbows close to your body.

After a second on the contracted position, while breathing in, slowly bring the bar back to the starting position when your arms are fully extended and the lats are fully stretched.

Repeat this motion for 12 reps for 4 sets

Heaves - Back Workout
Pullups Instructions

Grab the pull-up bar with the palms facing forward using the prescribed grip. Note on grips: For a wide grip, your hands need to be spaced out at a distance wider than your shoulder width. For a medium grip, your hands need to be spaced out at a distance equal to your shoulder width and for a close grip at a distance smaller than your shoulder width.

As you have both arms extended in front of you holding the bar at the chosen grip width, bring your torso back around 30 degrees or so while creating a curvature on your lower back and sticking your chest out. This is your starting position.

Pull your torso up until the bar touches your upper chest by drawing the shoulders and the upper arms down and back. Exhale as you perform this portion of the movement.

Tip: Concentrate on squeezing the back muscles once you reach the full contracted position. The upper torso should remain stationary as it moves through space and only the arms should move. The forearms should do no other work other than hold the bar.

After a second on the contracted position, start to inhale and slowly lower your torso back to the starting position when your arms are fully extended and the lats are fully stretched.

Repeat this motion for 12 reps for 4 sets

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