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How to use gym machines for a sexy back

How to use gym machines for a sexy back

Continuing our series by Jonathon Lomax, this week we’re looking at building a strong, sexy back. Here’s our guide to the best gym machines to use for that perfect V shape.  Good luck - we’re right behind you!

Back muscles 

It helps to know your back muscles. The trapezius and the rhomboids work the upper back. The Lasissimus dorsi help the rotators in the middle, and the Erector Spinae work along the spine. Building power in your back, shoulders and triceps improves your physique, boosts posture and prevents injury.

So what gym equipment should you head for?

  • Pull up bar 

Great for beginners, chin ups and pulls up are the king of back exercises. Using your own bodyweight building your back naturally as well as building grip strength. Best results are gained by focussing on squeezing all your back muscles as you pull your shoulder blades down. Find some great ideas here. Aim for 2 sets of 25.

  • Lat pulldown weight machine

Basically like a machine version of chin ups, this primarily works muscles in the upper back. A bar is pulled down to the chin and then released, as demonstrated here. The Lat machine is a great starting exercise for those who can’t do pull-ups.

  • Rowing machine

Rowing builds strong back muscles (particularly upper back) as well as providing one of the best full-body low-impact workouts. Proper form is the most efficient way to a strong back, and avoiding lower-back injuries. Start on a low resistance and build up to between 6 and 10. Vary between interval-based workouts, pyramid training and longer distances. 

  • T bar rows

As demonstrated here, this equipment focuses on developing the upper back.  Keep your abs tight as you pull the bar towards your chest. Keep your elbows in and remain bent-over throughout. If you have back issues, choose a pulley row instead. 

  • Barbell rows

An advanced, but highly effective exercise for building the large back muscles. Correct technique is crucial, as demonstrated here. Palms should face you.  Be sure to touch the bar to the chest and place back on the floor each time. Pull your elbows towards the ceiling to target your upper back rather than using your biceps.

Support your back. Use the gym!