If you want a powerful, head-turning torso, you need to focus on your back. “Working your back really gives you that V-shape that everyone wants,” says Courtney Paul, a personal trainer at the New York–based YG Studios.
But a good back isn’t just for aesthetics. Developed traps and lats will help keep your posture in check, too. “In modern society and with modern technology our backs are caved forward due to sitting on the couch or looking at computers all day,” Paul says. “Working your back helps pull everything back.” Working your chest excessively but not hitting back day can exacerbate this problem too. So don’t skip out.
While you're at it, don't neglect your lower back either. Sure, your upper back is important for vanity reasons. But a weak lower back leaves you open to a host of injuries, bad posture, and crummy balance.
Here are the exercises you need to build and maintain a strong, cut back for life.