Complete Back Workout | OLD SCHOOL & MODERN

January 4, 2017 by VAHVA Fitness

Complete workout for the back! Mixing both old school and modern exercises to produce great results.

When it comes to training any body part, it's important to include enough exercises to work all the muscles of that area. Versatility is the key.

Here is a great back workout that includes both bodyweight and weight exercises, and both old school and modern exercises to produce results. 

Pay extra attention to the curvature of the spine: it will make a massive difference in how the exercises will work the muscles. 

In general, when your upper back is arched and you have a thoracic extension, you will work the lower traps and other middle back muscles more efficiently. It's also very hard to hit the teres major muscle without arching your back.

When your upper back is round, it's much easier to hit the lats and biceps because other back muscles aren't fully engaged. 

Complete Back Workout

Arched wide pull up: 3 x 3-7 repetitions

Hollowbody pull up: 3 x 3-7 reps

Front pull: 3 x 3-6 reps

Lat pulldown: 3 x 10-20 reps

One arm lateral pulldown: 3 x 10-20 reps

Lateral raise with neck bridge: 3 x 8-10 reps

Decline overhead fly: 3 x 8-12 reps

Take 1-2 minutes of rest between sets and exercises. You can do this workout 1-3 times per week.

Back Workout Exercises

Arched Wide Pull Up

arched pull up

Take a wide grip and do a pull up while keeping your back arched. Arched wide grip pull up will work primarily the lats, teres major, posterior deltoid and middle traps.

Hollowbody Pull Up

hollow body pull up

Keep your lower back flat or slightly round by contracting your abdominals and do a supinated chin up. This variation will target the biceps and lats.

Front Pull

front pull

Bring your knees to your chest and pull yourself up with straight arms by utilizing your lats. Front pull will hit the abs and lats.

Lat Pulldown

lats pulldown

Lean forward in a 45-degree angle, keep your arms straight and focus on pulling the cable down with your latissimus dorsi. 

One Arm Lateral Pulldown

lateral pull

Take a kneeling stance and distance yourself from the cable so the cable comes from a 45-degree angle. Focus on pulling down with your one arm. Try to feel the teres major and lats working heavily.

Lateral Raise with Neck Bridge

lateral raise with neck bridge

Do a neck bridge and use light dumbbells to do a shoulder raise (shoulder adduction). This exercise was invented by the old school bodybuilder John Grimek and it will work the lats and teres major muscles.

Decline Overhead Fly

decline overhead flyes

Keep your back arched and do an overhead fly motion. Use light dumbbells. This is a great exercise to open up the ribcage and shoulders. The exercise works the chest and lats.


samuli jyrkinen

About the author 

Samuli Jyrkinen

Samuli is the ninja behind the scenes (photography, videography, websites, program platforms and more). He has been training religiously for over a decade and has a firm grasp of physical and mental fitness. You will find our story here.

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