Back Exercise for Muscle Definition

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The majority of my back exercises are aimed at adding muscle mass and bulk but I like to add one back exercise at each workout specifically for adding muscle definition and sculpting the back. After all, bodybuilding is not only about adding muscle mass but you also want definition. The seated row and its many variations depending on the angle and type of handle grips that you use is one such type of exercise that is ideal for this task.

The seated row exercise for the back is the last type of exercise that I like to do when I am working out my back. I don’t do it every week because I like to alternate it with another totally different exercise to vary up my workouts.

I use this exercise more for sculpting and adding definition to the middle part of the back, but it also works the lower back and lats. Depending on which bar or handle you use, you will work the back a little bit differently. To really focus on the middle part of the back I like to use a narrow grip v-bar with square handles called a Chinning Triangle or I will use two individual strap handles (non-metal ones). Of the two, my preference is to use the individual strap handles for each hand. Below are examples of each handle type for illustrative purposes:


Chinning Triangle

Gym Strap Handles

You can use any seated row multi-purpose machine to do this exercise or a machine that is specifically dedicated to this exercise like the Nautilus machine which is my favorite.

How you do each exercise is the same for both types of handles except that with the individual strap handles I begin with my palms facing downwards and I supinate my hands, and forearms during the movement meaning as I row back my hands turn inwards so that the palms by the mid-point of the movement are facing each other and remain so until I have rowed back as far as I can go and I hold it there for a second or two for added emphasis. Also, make sure you bring and keep your elbows as close to your sides as possible because if you keep your elbows out too much, you will not be focusing on the middle part of your back. Try keeping your elbows out just as an experiment and you will see what I mean! This is just a variation of the standard row for the back movement. As you return back to the starting position, the palms will face downwards.

With the Chinning Triangle or  v-bar handles the palms always face inwards (because the bar won’t allow any other type of grip) and the grip is much closer (hands are closer together) allowing you to concentrate more on the middle part of the back. Of course you can alternate between these two types of grips from week to week which I like to do. This allows you to work the middle part of the back slightly differently from week to week.

So basically I just wanted to show you a type of back exercise and its variations that is ideal for muscle definition and sculpting the back muscles when bodybuilding. A beautiful back just like a sculpted, large chest and amazing biceps will also get noticed.

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