A strong upper back is important to minimize injuries to the shoulder joint and shoulder belt. Many athletes and training enthusiasts love the pressure and pressure exercises: bench press, diagonal press, press down, dips and overhead presses. To balance these movements and improve the stability of the shoulder joints, however, antagonistic pulling exercises should be carried out. If these movements are neglected, the risk of injury increases.
I understand that pulling movements are not popular or are dominated by the "I can lift X amounts of weight" mentality, so unfortunately they can be neglected. "How much can you achieve by pulling down the handle or bending the row?" You never hear that, do you?
In order to strengthen the upper back / shoulder area, minimize the potential for injury and improve your ability to optimally exercise upper body sports skills, the following exercises for pulling the rear upper body should be included in order to counteract the exercises for anterior pushing that are emphasized by most trainees:
Wide handle pulldown / chin to upper chest Wide handle pulldown / chin to upper chest pullover machine High row facial feature Sitting / curved row Low row upright row Rear delt machine / bent bow External rotation of the rotator cuff
Think of it this way: for each thrust exercise there should be an opposite pulling exercise. Examples:
Overhead press – wide or narrow pulling down of the handle, machine sweater inclined press – high row or facial pull chest press – seated / bent row, low row, back of the head machine / bent fly take-off press / plunge – upright row
Before we go any further, we need to know two things:
It is literally impossible to isolate only a particular muscle when doing an exercise move. For example, if you perform a side lift to address your claws, both the anterior and medial deltoid muscles are activated along with the clavicle head of the pectoralis major (chest) and the supraspinatus (a rotator cuff muscle). In relation to this point, some front muscles are activated when performing traditional exercises for the back part / pulling. For example, during a pulldown with a tight grip and supinated forearms (palms facing you), the sternal head of the pectoralis major and the long head of the triceps support the lats, teresa major, and other posterior / pulling muscles.
And then there is the question of the venerable upright row – where does it belong? It's a pulling exercise, but it works with the deltoid muscles that are usually involved in anterior / shock exercises. What a dilemma. Let's go through a basic tutorial on the muscles and kinesiology of the upper back:
When discussing the upper back muscles, two anatomical points and relevant joint movements must be addressed: the shoulder blade and the upper arm. Shrug your shoulders up, down, front and back. This is your shoulder blade in action. Move your upper arm in several directions. This is your humerus articulating on the glenohumeral joint.
The following diagram shows the details of the movements and the muscles involved, taking particular account of the development of the upper back:
Training logs for the upper back muscles
There are many ways to develop the muscles of the upper back using different movements / exercises with a variety of overload protocols. I have provided a sample exercise that can be used in individual workouts, along with a few set / rep scripts that can be applied to them.
Upper back exercise movements for individual workouts:
Wide grip downwards Curved row Upright row
Pull-ups Low row of facial features
Row of pulldown bicep curl seats with a tight grip
High row rear delta machine sweater
Set / repeat script options that can be applied to them:
2 sets of each exercise with 10-14 and 6-10 rep range 2 sets of each exercise with 8-12 rep range 3 sets of each exercise with 12-16, 8-12 and 4-8 rep range 3 sets of each exercise all in a range of 6 up to 10 repetitions 1 set of each exercise in a range of 12 to 16 repetitions
Many options work for certain training days. Whether you're doing full body workouts two or three days a week, or using a split routine that trains your upper body twice a week, consider the upper back exercises above.
Make sure that you balance all common push exercises with opposite pull exercises for the upper back. Work it as hard as all of your bumps. This approach protects against shoulder injuries, allows you to achieve balanced muscles and improve your ability to perform sporting skills better.