Four Weight Lifting Routines for Building Middle Back Muscles

Strong, bigger back muscles can be yours with the right middle back weight lifting routines. Developing noticeable, strong mid-back muscles shouldn’t just be for vanity or appearance, but for protecting yourself from serious vertebral problems in the future, like narrowing of the space where the spinal cord goes through (spinal stenosis).

You want strong slabs of muscle “like a buffalo,” explained an orthopedic surgeon during a back surgery seminar that I once attended with my father, who was having back issues.

You probably already know that the deadlift is a superb exercise for hitting the lower and middle back muscles, but it is not a be-all, end-all – in other words, don’t sit pretty with just deadlifts and think you don’t need to do any other weight lifting routines for building strong middle back muscles.

Bent-over rows with heavy dumbbells…with a twist. Normally, a person will do one side, then the other, then keep switching back and forth, sometimes with rest in between each switch-back. Here’s a twist on bent-over rows:

Choose a weight that’s your 12-15 rep max, but this is with no cheating, such as losing proper form and yanking the weight up. You are to pull the weight up with control and while keeping good form (no back twisting or rounding).

Rest 35-45 seconds only,and then repeat on the same side. You should not be able to repeat the initial rep count. Do six sets total, on one side, with 35-45 seconds in between each. If you find that you’re reaching muscle failure in less than 8 reps but have been resting 35-40 seconds, then rest 45 seconds. A little loose form for the last few reps is fine as far as the pulling, but don’t hunch the back.

After the sixth set, rest again 35-45 seconds and then repeat on the other side. Your middle back muscles should be nice and sore the next day. Tip: Hold dumbbells with an almost 100 percent pronated grip (palms facing behind you).

If you haven’t been working at pull-ups and chin-ups, then start. See if you can do just one. Don’t bother with the assistance machines; you’ll progress faster by simply attempting the real thing.

I can do pull-ups and chin-ups for reps, all without ever having trained on the assistance machines. There is something about having your knees on that floating pad that warps the entire posture, creating an unrealistic hanging position, not to mention unrealistic pulling-up motion.

Gravitrons might be okay for women and men new to weight lifting, but if you’re a man (or woman) with some muscle development and strength already, then go straight to a real chinning bar and get to work.

Seated rows are the final weight lifting routine that will build a strong, thick, muscular back … but don’t cheat. Keep the body upright, not leaned back. If you can’t, the weight is too heavy. Hold the bar to your chest for two seconds before releasing, and release with control; don’t let it fly back; focus on a good negative.

To build strong, thick back muscles, do deadlifts, bent-over rows one side at a time, chin-ups/pull-ups and seated rows.

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