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Guide to Developing Your Middle Back Muscles

One of the most common things that you are going to notice among the top bodybuilders and lifters is that their Middle Back Muscles. And when we talk about the build, we are not talking about the size only. The thickness and detail of their mid backs are pretty impressive as well.

Not everyone can build their back that well. Professionals are called professionals for a reason. It takes a lot of time, effort, dedication, and patience to develop mid-back.

Listed below are the reason it is why it is a tough-feat to fully develop the mid-back:

  • The thing is that when we train, we are unable to see our back. Due to this, it becomes difficult to make the mind/muscle connection. Having that connection is crucial in building truly carved muscle mass.
  • This a common mistake most newbies are guilty of. And that is using the very poor form when training their back. Rather than trying too hard to fully experience the stretch and squeeze of every rep, the weights are pulled and moved from point A to B. This leaves the back severely under-worked and under-sized.
  • To target the mid-back area, you need to do specific exercises and body positioning and angles of pull. The mid-back is made up of middle/low trapezius and rhomboids. Every back exercise does not hit the mid-back as effectively as it hits the lats.

If you cannot relate to any of the above, and you think you are using a good form, total focus, and the right choice of exercises, but still can’t get that desired look, check these three unique movements.

3 Exercises to Build Middle Back Muscles

  • Behind Back Shrug

This exercise was done by Lee Haney while training for his Olympia years. Although many people do barbell shrugs behind their backs, with Haney, it was different. He was consistent at it and it was somewhat responsible for the amazing details in his mid-back, upper traps, and rear.

Here is what you have to do. Stand in front of a loaded barbell and take a shoulder-width grip. Now, lift the weight upward by performing half shrug and half upright row. Your goal should be getting the bar to about the height of your low back. You may have to arch your back while lifting the weight just a little bit to get the bar to this position. This is going to help you clear your rear end.

See that you keep your lower back muscles tight to avoid injury. See that you get a good squeeze at the top. You can do this exercise on a Smith machine as well.

  • Bent Lateral Dumbbell Raise

This exercise has numerous benefits. it works excellently for mid-back detail and development along with working on the rear delts.

First of all, bend over at the waist, so that your torso is almost parallel to the ground. See that you bend your knees just a little bit. This would relieve some of the pressure off the low back. Now, pick up a pair of dumbbells that are light in weight. Let them hang down in front of you.

Raise your arms out to the sides fully straight in such a way that they are parallel to your torso. Your elbows should be at shoulder height when you are at the peak of the movement. See that you aggressively squeeze your middle back. Do not use heavy weights for this exercise, or you will risk your form. You can do this while remaining seated, standing, lying face down on an incline bench, and some types of chest flye machines.

  • Rope Seated Cable Row

At a seated cable row station, use a rope attachment. Keeping your torso vertical, position yourself on the bench with your knees bit bent. As you bring your elbows up, out to the sides and back, pull the rope toward your neck. Ensure that the upper arms are parallel to the ground. This is to ensure effective activation of the mid-black musculature. All this happens while lessening lat recruitment. And before beginning each rep, let the mid-back stretch itself by keeping your torso vertical and releasing the shoulders forward.

At peak contraction point, squeeze the shoulder blades tightly together.  This is how your workout should be:

Behind Back Shrug…2 x 7-9
Bent Lateral DB Raise…2 x 13-15
Rope Seated Cable Row…2 x 10-12

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