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Best Back Exercises for Building Muscle Mass

back exercises for building muscle mass

Have you ever felt stuck in your back routine or are you trying to figure out a better back workout for muscle mass gain?  

There are a ton of different exercises you can do to build back muscles depending on your style of working out whether it be at the gym or at home.  But it's a little overwhelming trying to research through all the thousands of articles the internet has to offer on back workouts.  We've taken the boring work out of it for you and listed some of the best ways to build back muscle that you can use. 

These youtube superstars are some of the best on the subject.  You don't have to do all these exercises, but pick which ones you might like and work on building your skills. Soon your back muscle mass will follow! 


Deadlifts are going to be a staple for building better back muscles but also to your overall body.  They are a compound movement so you will feel and see results all over.  If you've never done deadlifts before, check out this video by Buff Dudes that breaks down the right form for deadlifts and what you should be looking for in this exercise (and what you should stop doing).

Deadlifts are fun but do take a little bit of skill to do properly but once you start doing them, you will see an overall improvement in your bent over rows, t-bars and all of your other back exercises as well.  

Pull-ups and Chin-ups 

First, let's get the differences straight: Pull-ups are when your palms are facing away from you and chin-ups are when your palms are facing towards you on the bar.  There isn't much of a difference which one you do, it mostly depends on which one feels more comfortable to you.  If you are just starting out learning how to do pull-ups, then get a resistance band and attach it to the bar and slip your feet in the loop to start.  This is called an assisted pull-up.  Once you have built strength in your back you can graduate from assisted pull-ups to regular and then even to weighted pull-ups.  

The key with pull-ups though is proper form.  Your workout shouldn't be timed event unless you are in a competition so for the full effect of this workout you should be slowly stretching and contracting the lats.  No kipping!  Rez & Ivan, two highly motivating fitness gurus, go over how to train pull-ups.  

Bent Over Rows and T-Bar Rows

Bent over rows can be done with barbells, dumbbells, or any weight you might have.  If you are working out at home you can invest in some resistance bands and use those and there are plenty of videos on how to do so.  But we are going to look at doing weighted bent over rows and t-bar rows.  

Again, these exercises require having the proper form which is a flat level back, not rounded up, and with slightly bent knees.  Focus on pulling the weight towards you using your back and letting your middle back do the work.  Because t-bar rows are a limited range of motion exercise, you can really add a lot of weight and still maintain proper form.  

OmarIsuf hosts a great video full of content by strength trainer Brian Alsruhe

Lat Pulldown and Cable Rows

Lat pulldowns are just a fun exercise using machines and are a great way to build your upper and middle back muscles.  However, avoiding injury is crucial and to avoid this, the correct form is a must.  Don't sit too far forward or perform half movement exercises as this will cause limited range of motion and you will not get the results you are working for.  

Josh and Kyle with Colossus Fitness go over some of the do's and don't's of the lat pulldown and how you can get a better workout using this exercise.   

If you do decide to dedicate a full workout as "back day" then check out this awesome video by Jake Alvarez with bodybuilding.com.  He builds on these workouts to create a 1 hour routine for back mass building using 45 seconds - 2 minute rests between each exercise.  Check it out and let us know if you try it out, we'd love to hear about it! 




Mike mazur on July 06 2017 at 11:45AM

You should add Tbar rows to your list

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