Back to Basics

by Lindsay Kent

Back to Basics

Having a strong back will not only help to keep you injury free but will provide your body with a powerful center to support corecentric and posterior chain work, along with creating a beautiful, sweeping V-taper that supports the appearance of a smaller waist as well.

Unfortunately, without the proper, simple techniques in place, the biceps and in some cases low back, including the erector spinae’s which support the base of your spine become over-engaged, negating the upper latissimus dorsi and rhomboids.

When performing back exercises, here are some common mistakes that you may see happening in the gym: Bent-Over Rows that look like shrugs or deadlifts, lat pulldowns with a triceps pushdown at the bottom of the movement, or seated rows that look more like rowing on a cardio machine!

Below are some reasons why you may see the incorrect movements during lifts

Making sure to choose exercises that hit both the vertical and horizontal planes of motion is important and you can use varying grips (prone, supine, neutral) to activate your musculature differently. You may also want to consider rotating a schedule of one week of hypertrophy, one week of strength, one week of hypertrophy and then a power week. Hypertrophy focuses on increasing the size of the muscle through repetition ranges of 8-12 and typical sets of 4. Strength decreases your repetition range to 6-8, focusing on moving heavier weight. Your final power week will focus on explosive eccentric and slow concentric movements and will focus on moving heavier weight faster, with up to 3 minutes of rest between movements. Repetition and set schemes will vary during this week. This periodized schedule will help to build size while promoting proper recovery and neuromuscular activation.

    Exercises To Consider

    • Deadlifts
    • Lat Pulldowns
    • Pull-Ups
    • Reverse Grip Pulldowns
    • Close Grip Pulldowns
    • T-Bar Rows
    • Bent Over Barbell or Dumbbell Rows
    • SA Dumbbell Curls
    • Cable Lat Pulldowns
    • SA High Rows
    • SA Cable Low Rows
    • Pullovers

    Happy Lifting!!

    Yours in Health and Fitness,

      Lindsay Kent

    Lindsay Kent
    Lindsay Kent

    ISSA CES Professor, Master Trainer, Spokesmodel, Fitness Editor/Writer, NPC Figure Competitor

    Lindsay Kent loves helping others to strive to be their best selves physically, mentally and emotionally, and is continually inspired to work with others change their lives through sharing her passion and knowledge. Lindsay believes that anyone can improve their lives and find their true self-worth and purpose, and she loves being an integral part of that journey. Lindsay is a Professor for the International Sports Sciences Association’s College of Exercise Science, and runs her own online training business, Lindsay Kent Fitness. She is an ISSA Master Personal Trainer which comprises several specialty areas, and is a current Spokesmodel for the ISSA and has been featured as the spotlight trainer and fitness professional in top fitness mags such as Oxygen and Muscle and Fitness Hers. She also writes columns and features for various fitness publications while also working as a fitness editor. Lindsay currently competes as an NPC figure competitor.

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