The Rapid-fire Workout for a Powerful, Muscular Back

Main trim in six back biceps and traps day two tuesday
James Michelfelder

As enjoyable as bench-pressing may be, focusing too much on chest and arms and not enough on your back can have real performance consequences. Training your back improves posture, results in more power production, and, not to mention, completes that ever-desired V-taper look. “A strength-and-conditioning program is simply incomplete without a back-training regimen. “Continuous pressing (like flat and incline bench) without back training leads to strength imbalances; you have to balance out your pressing to keep muscles firing so one area is not overdeveloped or underdeveloped,” says C.J. Murphy, M.F.S., owner of Total Performance Sports in Everett, MA. “Since all power is transmitted through your torso, you want to develop the torso, and the back is half the torso.”

Build serious back strength with this five-move back workout designed to improve athletic performance.

Rest a maximum of 60 seconds after each exercise.


1. 45-Degree Barbell Row

Sets: 5
Reps: 12-15
C.J. says: Get about 15 reps the first set and pyramid up in weight so you can only get about 12 perfect reps on your last set.

2. Pullup or Band Pullup

Sets: 1
Reps: 50
C.J. says: Use a band if you can’t do at least 6 reps

3. Shrug

Sets: 5
Reps: 12-15
C.J. says: Follow same procedure as 45-degree barbell row.

4. TRX Y

Sets: 4
Reps: As many as possible

5. TRX T

Sets: 4
Reps: As many as possible
C.J. says: Do face pulls if you don’t have a TRX.

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