How to Get a Wider Back (Build Awesome Strength and Muscle)

This excellent video and explanation from Jeff Cavaliere will teach you how to get a wider back.

How to Get a Wider Back

“The fastest way to get a wider v-taper back is to focus your attention on the muscles in the back that contribute the most to width. In this video, I’m going to show you the best back exercises you can do to build up your lats, teres major and teres minor in order to get the widest back possible. We are breaking out the science here to get you the best results you can from your workouts.”

“First, it always helps to look a bit at the anatomy of the muscles you are trying to develop. In the case of back width, the three that have the greatest impact are the latissimus dorsi, teres major and teres minor. Odds are, you may have been focusing a pretty good amount of attention at developing your lats but have you ever stopped to think what you should be doing for those other two muscles.”

15 Top Back Exercises for Growth How to Get a Wider Back

Training All the Back Muscles

“The truth is, if you want to build a great v-taper back then you need to look at the best ways to train all of these muscles. The good news is, all it takes a few small tweaks to exercises you may already be doing to shift the focus of the workload onto either of these three muscles. When you see just how easy this is to do you won’t feel overwhelmed at all and will be excited to go try some of these small exercise tweaks right away.”

How to Get a Wider Back with Machines

“First, let’s talk about the lat pulldown machine. Actually, this machine is a little misnamed since you can preferentially train more than just the lats here. That said, if you want to hit the lats the most you want to be sure to perform an underhand pulldown or a rocking pulldown. The key here is that you want to get the elbows out in front of your body as far as possible to place a greater stretch on the lats. Also, as you pull down, each of these exercises will give you the best chance to keep your arm tightly adducted to your side to maximally activate the lats.”

Shifting Focus to the Teres Major

“If you wanted to shift the focus to the teres major all you have to do is take a much wider, overhand grip on the bar and do a pulldown. This takes away some of the lat favorability of the exercise and shifts the load more to the muscle you are trying to develop.”

“By attaching a rope to the pulldown machine you can incorporate external rotation at the shoulder and do a better job of recruiting the teres minor (a rotator cuff muscle) to perform the exercise. The name of this exercise is the face pulldown, and it’s a fantastic exercise for building up the complete v taper of your back.”

Pull Up Bar or Lat Pulldown Machine

“Keep in mind, all of these variations can help you develop a wider back and all of them can be performed on a pullup bar if you don’t have access to a lat pulldown machine.”

How to Get a Wider Back with Landmine Setups

“Additionally, you can target the teres major with a landmine setup as shown in the video. Once again, remember to keep your elbow out wide away from your torso and position yourself perpendicular to the landmine olympic bar setup. Want more lats? Just step to the side of the bar and pull it up parallel and tight to your body and you’ll shift the focus instantly.”

One Arm High Pulley Row

“Finally, the one arm high pulley row is a great way to place the lats on tremendous stretch and take them through their full range of motion. This may be one of my favorite ways to build a wider back. Shift the attachment to a rope handle and perform the tried and true face pulls and you’ve just added another exercise to your teres minor building arsenal.”

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Muscles of the back

The back is made up of many different muscles. The erector spinae and trapezius are two large muscles that connect to your vertebrae and allow you to bend forward and backward.

These muscles also help you rotate your torso from side to side or twist it from top to bottom. The supraspinatus, infraspinatus, subscapularis, teres minor, and teres major are all small muscles that help stabilize the shoulder joint as well as move it in various directions.

How to Get a Wider Back – Erector spinae

The erector spinae is a group of muscles that run along the spine. The erector spinae originates on the sacrum, T12-L1 vertebrae, and all ribs. It inserts onto the pelvis and lower back.

The erector spinae are involved in many movements of the body: they extend, flex and rotate your trunk; they also help you perform lateral bends and backbends; they stabilize your spine when you’re standing or sitting upright—and even keep you steady when walking at different speeds!

Contraction causes extension (straightening) or rotation of your trunk.

How to Get a Wider Back – Trapezius

The trapezius, or trap muscles, are a pair of narrow, fan-shaped muscles that originate at the occipital bone (the bones at the base of your skull), nuchal ligament (a ligament in the back of your neck), and spinous processes of C7 through T12. They insert onto your clavicle, scapular spine, and acromion process.

The traps lift and move your scapulae (shoulder blades). They also rotate them around their own axes as well as around each other.

When you shrug your shoulders up to your ears, your traps contract and lift them up into a position called “retraction”.

How to Get a Wider Back – Supraspinatus

The supraspinatus is one of the four rotator cuff muscles. Its origin is from the greater tubercle, which is a part of the scapula (shoulder blade). Its insertion is located at an area called “subscapularis fossa,” which is basically just below your shoulder joint.

The function of this muscle is to abduct (move away from your body) and externally rotate (rotate outwards) your arm.


The infraspinatus lies on the posterior (back) surface of the scapula, with its more superficial fibres blending with those of the teres minor. Its tendinous insertion into the greater tubercle of the humerus is a strong muscle that helps to stabilize and strengthen the shoulder joint during arm movement.

The infraspinatus originates from several areas: along the medial border of scapula, about two thirds down along its posterior surface. Also, by contributions from supraspinatus and teres minor.


The subscapularis (also called the subcap) is a small, triangular muscle that lies on the posterior surface of your shoulder blade. It originates at the medial border of your scapula and inserts into the lesser tuberosity at the base of your humerus.

The subscapularis helps stabilize your shoulder blade, assisting other muscles in internal rotation and abduction of your arm.

Teres minor

The teres minor originates from the lateral surface of the upper portion of the lateral border of the scapula, just above and behind the posterior part of its spine. The upper three-fourths of its fibers increase in length as they run obliquely downward to their insertion on the medial side of the shaft of humerus near its articulation with its radius.

Teres major

The teres major is a long and narrow muscle that originates in the posterior surface of the lateral border of the scapula and inserts at the medial border of the humerus. The teres major rotates your arm inward toward your body (medial rotation). It also draws your elbow backward, which helps to stabilize your shoulder joint. This allows you to do activities such as reaching behind you or overhead.

The teres major is innervated by C5-C6 spinal nerves, as well as by axillary and musculocutaneous nerve branches from C5-C7 nerves.


The muscles of the back are very important in helping us move around and perform everyday functions. They also help protect our vertebrae from injury by supporting them during physical activity.

The exercises listed and explained above will help you get a wider back.

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