To do almost anything physical without injury or fatigue, you’ll need a strong back.

Want great posture? Need a strong back.

Want to squat? Need a strong back.

Need to carry your children? Need a strong back.

Have to pull weeds? Need a strong back.

Hiking uphill? Need a strong back.

A strong back is one of the key factors in preventing chronic back pain and getting stronger in your lifts at the gym. I’ve put together an intense, high-volume workout for intermediate-advanced level athletes that will improve your posture, boost your confidence, and — best of all — keep you strong and healthy.

Before You Get Started, You Should Know This

This is a giant-set or superset workout. A giant or superset usually consists of a number of different exercises, for one particular body part, done in tandem.

Set one is performed for one exercise followed by set one of the next exercise, followed by a rest. Weight should be moderate to heavy since the reps are low and there is little to no rest between each exercise within the giant set.

Each rep should take you 2–3 counts on the positive movement. The positive movement is when you are pushing the weight. For example, with a pushup the positive movement is when you are pushing away from the floor.

But you also want to take 2–3 counts on the negative movement. This is when you are lowering the weight. So for a pushup, this is when you are lowering yourself to the floor.

When you do this right, you will feel the burn!

Be sure to take a 20-second rest between giant sets.

So, are you ready to shred that back? Here’s the workout:

Close Grip Pulldowns + Seated Rows

  • 8 Pulldowns
  • 8 Seated Rows
  • Rest 20 Seconds
  • Repeat 3x

Close Grip Pulldowns: Start with a reasonable weight and keep your hands narrower than shoulder width apart. Then slowly pull the bar down in front of your chest.

Seated Rows: Focus on the muscles of the back. Pulling close to the body will engage the back muscles, while pulling wider will engage the shoulders.

Straight Arm Lat Pulldown, Wide Arm Grip + Shrugs, Wide Grip

  • 12 Straight Arm Lat Pulldown
  • 12 Shrugs
  • Rest 20 Seconds
  • Repeat 3x

Straight Arm Lat Pull-Down: Using a wide bar, hold the grip as wide as comfortably possible. Pull the weight slowly down behind your neck until the bar touches your shoulders. Then squeeze your shoulder blades together and let the bar rise slowly up on the negative movement.

Shrugs, Wide Grips: From a standing position, use a straight bar or two dumbbells and hold the weight so it rests on your upper thighs with your arms hanging straight down. Keeping your arms straight, shrug your shoulders so the weight moves up to your waist level. Then slowly lower the weight back down.

Baby Get Back

The back is a large and complex muscle group and will require more volume than many of your other muscle groups. Just because you can’t see your back doesn’t mean it’s not important. Twice a week, take time to concentrate on your back muscles.

What’s your favorite back exercise? Let me know over on Facebook.

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