You might have been training your back hard and heavy for a few years, used all kinds of specialized back programs, but you are nowhere near to the back development you’ve always wanted. In this article, we present to you three exercises that Dorian Yates himself recommends that will enable you to increase back width considerably.
What Dorian actually recommends is a program consisting of three parts. The first part is doing close grip reverse pulldowns done on a Hammer Strength machine, which is intended to target the lats and the upper back, the seconds part is doing overhand grip bent over barbell rows, intended to put on mass and the third part is doing seated cable rows, intended to add thickness to the teres major and the rhomboid muscles.
1. Hammer Strength Reverse Pulldowns
The first exercise, as we said, are the pulldowns done on the Hammer Strength machine, but you can freely switch them up with pulldowns on a standard pulldown machine. The variation done on the Hammer Strength machine simulates a much more natural movement of the back muscles.
When working on the standard pulldown machine you are simply pulling the load down in a vertical line. Grabbing the handle with a close grip provides a better stretch for the lats and the reverse grip takes away the load from the biceps, ensuring that your lats are better stimulated. Before you start with the working sets do a couple of warm-up sets.
Next, get yourself in the starting position by grabbing the bar or handles with a close and reverse grip, bend your elbows slightly, which will put a greater stress on your lats rather than the biceps and start pulling down. Focus on your lats when pulling. Pause to get a full contraction at the bottom position and then start releasing the load upward in a controlled and slow manner to achieve a smooth movement.
Never overarch your back and go backward too far since that way you’ll be limiting the range of motion. Opt for a weight where you will reach muscle failure at the 8th rep, and if you have a spotter behind you, try to do two or three more forced reps.
2. Overhand Grip Bent Over Barbell Rows
Bent over barbell rows have been lauded as essential muscle mass builders and rightly so. Dorian’s style of execution is connected to all the different areas of the back. He does them with an overhand grip, with his hands grabbing the bar at shoulder-width and his body positioned at around 70-degree angle to the ground.
The majority of bodybuilders do them with their torsos parallel to the ground and by pulling the barbell into their chest. However, if you want to directly hit the lats and lift as much weight as you possibly can, 70 degrees is the best angle to position yourself in. Then, just pull the barbell upward from the ground and raise it to your waist.
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3. Seated Cable Rows
Finish the workout with a couple of warm up sets and 3 work sets consisting of 8-10 reps of seated cable rows by using a long bar. Use and overhand grip at shoulder width to add thickness to the rhomboids and the teres major. You can slightly lean forward when initiating the movement to get a better stretch in the lats. Bring your elbows outward and the bar to the upper ab area or to the lower chest area. When you pull your elbows back as far as you can, it helps you to better stimulate your upper back and to reach peak contraction.
After finishing this workout give yourself around a week of rest so that back can recover. You can also add deadlifts or pullover as a substitute to the Hammer strength pulldowns to make the workout sessions interesting and keep you motivated so that you can achieve the back development you’ve always wanted to have.
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THE WORKOUT FOR BACK WIDTH
- Hammer Strength Machine Pulldowns -3 sets x 8 reps
- Bent over Barbell Rows (body at 70 degree angle to the ground) – 3 sets x 8 reps
- Seated Cable Rows – 3 sets x 8 reps