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How to Build a Bigger Back Using Your Chest

This guide will teach you how to build a bigger back using your chest. This unique perspective comes from Jeff at Athlean X.

How to Build a Bigger Back Using Your Chest

“If you are one that wants to know how to get a bigger back then you have to start by learning how to use your chest.  In this video, I show you that by focusing on the movement and position of your chest you can start getting a much better contraction on every back exercise you do.  The best part about this tip is that it is something that you can implement in your very next back workout on your first set.”

“The reason why this tip works is because it is difficult for many lifters to focus on the movement of either their back muscles or the arms as they pass into extension behind the body.  At the same time that they extend their arms behind their torso they often lean forward or allow their shoulders to round as they do this.  This acts to collapse the chest, protract the shoulders and make true extension at the shoulder joint even more difficult.”

How to Build a Bigger Back Using Your Chest

“That said, if you focus on the position of your chest it is much easier to accomplish this same movement.  The sternum is one of those target areas that we have good control over.  When prompted to “lift the sternum” or “stick your chest up and out”, we often find it much more easy to accomplish than “extending your arms behind your body”.  The question becomes, which part of my arm should go behind and how far behind.  When you focus on the breast bone or sternum you are able to do this without much thought and it takes your arms into the extension that they need to be.”

reverse hyperextension How to Build a Bigger Back Using Your ChestSource: Photo Courtesy of CrossFit Inc

“When you are able to experience better extension of the upper arms behind the body while keeping your chest up and out, you get an intense contraction of the lats, rhomboids and other muscles of the back.  You will be able to feel this contraction on even the first rep of trying this.  It’s back workout tips like this that are so powerful because you can do them without much trouble and see results as soon as you start doing them.”

How to Build a Bigger Back Using Your Chest

“This technique applies to every back exercise you do.  In the video, I show you how you can do it with lat pulldowns, barbell rows and one armed dumbbell rows.  There is no reason that it cannot be done on pullups as well if you are training back at home without equipment.  What you need to do is think about simultaneously pushing your chest up and out as you move your arms through the movement of the back exercise.  You should be consciously and actively moving your chest on every rep.”

How to Build a Bigger Back Using Your Chest

“Prior to starting this technique you will likely find that up until now you have been simply moving your arms as they should during the back exercise but had no focus on driving extension via movement of your chest.  Start doing this and I promise you will not only learn how to get a bigger back but you will start seeing more width, size and thickness of your back in no time.”

Video – How to Build a Bigger Back Using Your Chest

Learn More

Add the Pallof Press and Cable Crunch into your training.


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