Check out these 3 most underrated back exercises that will surely improve your gains and get you closer to your fitness goals.
Which movements do you think of when someone asks you about the best back exercises? Deadlift? Pull-up? Lat pulldowns? Those are really great for building muscle, of course, but sometimes you need to add variety to your training routine.
It is by differentiating your exercises that you can stimulate the same muscles but in a different way, which in turn will make them grow faster and stronger. Variety also helps people to overcome plateaus, improve the development of a targeted muscle, enhance mind-muscle connection and can prevent injuries in the long term.
The following list of the X most underrated back exercises was first shared by Mike Israetel. Dr Mike Israetel, PhD in Sport Physiology and co-founder of Renaissance Periodization, is a well-respected professor in the bodybuilding community. He doesn’t only talk about workouts and fitness tips, he often dives deep into health and nutrition.
It’s important to note that while variety is beneficial, it should be balanced with consistency and progression. Incorporate new exercises gradually, ensuring proper form and gradually increasing the challenge to continue stimulating muscle growth effectively.
Check it out below.
The 3 Most Underrated Back Exercises
Mike Israetel put bodybuilder Reed Wyatt through the gruelling process of doing some of the most underrated back exercises. Here is the list, with sets and reps:
- Assisted pull-ups – 4 sets of 10-20 reps (2 sets with parallel grip)
- Flexion rows – 4 sets of 10-20 reps
- Barbell curl – 2 sets of 10-20 reps
While it might sound easy these exercises, you need to listen to Israetel to know how to perform them to get the best results. For example, you need to focus on the eccentric part of the assisted pull-ups, controlling the descent and going as slow as possible.
And granted, the last exercise is a bicep-focused movement, but still.
See the video below for more.
What are the Best Reps and Sets for Building Muscle?
The best reps and sets for building muscle depend on your fitness level, goals, and training program. Here are some general guidelines to consider:
- Repetitions (Reps): Aim for 8-12 reps per set to build muscle. This range is known as the hypertrophy range and is ideal for stimulating muscle growth.
- Sets: Aim for 3-5 sets per exercise to promote muscle growth. This allows you to target the muscle groups from different angles and intensities.
- Rest periods: Rest periods between sets should be 60-90 seconds to allow for adequate recovery and optimal muscle growth.
- Progressive overload: To continue building muscle, it’s important to progressively overload your muscles by increasing weight or reps over time. Aim to increase the weight or reps by 5-10% each week.
It’s important to note that everyone’s body is different and responds differently to training. Therefore, it’s recommended to consult with a certified personal trainer or fitness professional to develop a customized training program that is tailored to your individual needs and goals.
How Often Should You Train Your Back?
The frequency of training your back depends on various factors, including your training experience, goals, overall training program, and recovery capacity. However, in general, most individuals can benefit from training their back muscles 1 to 2 times per week.
For beginners: If you are new to resistance training or have limited experience, starting with one session per week focusing on your back muscles is a good approach. This allows your body to adapt to the exercises and recover adequately between sessions.
For intermediate to advanced lifters: As you progress and become more experienced, you can increase the frequency to 2 times per week to provide more stimulus and promote further development. This can be done by splitting your training program into different sessions targeting different aspects of your back, such as upper back and lower back or vertical and horizontal pulling movements.
It’s important to note that while training frequency is important, so is allowing sufficient rest and recovery for your muscles. Make sure to listen to your body and give yourself at least one or two days of rest between back training sessions. This allows for muscle repair and growth.
Additionally, incorporating proper nutrition, sleep, and recovery strategies into your routine is essential for optimal results. Remember that individual factors and preferences can influence the frequency of training, so it’s important to experiment and find the approach that works best for you. Consulting with a qualified fitness professional can also provide personalized guidance based on your specific needs and goals.
- Barbell row: Anete Lusina on Pexels