Build a Stronger Upper Back: The Top 8 Exercises for Size and Strength
There’s no doubt about it: your upper back is important. It’s the part of your body that supports all of your other muscles and can help you lift heavier weights. But if you don’t develop a strong upper back, it can lead to injury, weakness in other areas, and compromised posture–not to mention less-than-optimal performance in most activities! So let’s bust out those dumbbells (or kettlebells or resistance bands) and get started building some size and strength in this area!
Weighted YRG (Yoga-based resistance training)
Weighted YRG (Yoga-based resistance training) is a form of exercise that uses your own body weight as the resistance. It’s an excellent way to build strength, flexibility and balance in the upper back muscles. Weighted YRG has been around for thousands of years and its benefits are proven by science.
The exercise uses weights that you can hold in each hand or place on top of your shoulders to provide extra challenge while still maintaining good form. When done properly, weighted yrg exercises can improve posture while strengthening weak areas such as your core and lower back muscles as well as increasing range of motion through increased stability at joints like hips/pelvis/shoulders/neck vertebrae etc…
The pull-up is a classic exercise for building strength, but it can also be used to improve your posture and core strength. To perform a pull-up, you’ll need to reach over your head with an underhand grip (palms facing away from you). From here, simply lower yourself down until chin level with control–if this sounds difficult even when you’re in good shape, try using assisted pull-ups instead! Once you can do 10 unassisted reps comfortably after stretching, move on to weighted variations like dumbbell rows or assisted chin-ups.
Once you’ve mastered those movements, try doing them as part of a circuit with other exercises such as dips or handstand pushups before moving onto unassisted forms like butterfly stretch/chin ups etc..
This exercise is a great way to work the back muscles. You can use a cable machine or resistance band to perform this exercise. Start with your arms straight and then pull them down to your sides. When you reach the bottom of the movement, contract your back muscles, hold for a second or two, then slowly release. Make sure that you don’t use momentum to move your arms down.
Beginners can start with two sets of 12 repetitions. Advanced lifters should perform three sets of 15 reps.
This is a great exercise because it works both your back and biceps. You can use dumbbells or resistance bands to perform this exercise. Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and holding the dumbbells at your sides with palms facing inward. Then lift them up until they’re about six inches from eye level, hold for a second or two, then slowly lower them down again.
Side raises are a great exercise for the upper back, as they work the entire muscle group from top to bottom and give you a full-body workout.
To perform this movement, stand straight with your feet hip-width apart and hold a dumbbell in each hand by placing your arms at shoulder height above your head. From this starting position, slowly lower the weights down toward the sides of your body until they are just below shoulder level (if it helps, imagine reaching toward one side of your body). Then raise them back up toward the front of your body before repeating on another side.
Repeat for desired number of reps (usually between 10-20), keeping good form throughout by keeping both shoulders pressed down against one another during each rep and holding tension throughout so that there is no slackening off or letting go at any point along either way!
- Use a dumbbell or kettlebell.
- Keep your elbows in and shoulders down.
- Raise the weight slowly, focusing on the front deltoids. Repeat for 10-15 reps.
Lateral Raises: This exercise works the outer deltoid muscles. You can either perform it standing or sitting down. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your arms straight and palms facing inward toward each other. Raise them out to the sides until they are parallel to the floor, keeping your elbows slightly bent. Lower them back down slowly and repeat for 10-15 reps.
Chin-ups are an excellent exercise for building size and strength in your upper back.
To do chin-ups:
- Grab a chin-up bar with an underhand grip (palms facing away from you).
- Hang from the bar with arms fully extended, palms down and chest up to form a “V” shape with your body as you pull up until your elbows lock out at 90 degrees or just above it (for more advanced variations, perform this move with hands closer together).
- Slowly lower yourself back down to starting position by flexing at the elbows as soon as they reach full extension–don’t let them straighten out before lowering back down!
Deadlift/Shoulder Press/Overhead Press
Deadlift/Shoulder Press/Overhead Press
The deadlift is a great exercise for the lower back, as well as the upper back. It adds strength and size to your upper back, but also works out your legs and core muscles too. This can be done with dumbbells, kettlebells or barbells if you prefer something more traditional than using machines like the Smith machine. You should do at least 2-3 sets of 10 reps per day (or 20+ reps if you’re training at least once per week).
You should be able to perform the following exercises with good form and control.
- Seated Upright Rows (1-5 reps)
- Barbell Rows (3-10 reps)
- Dumbbell Bent Over Rows (3-10 reps)
So there you have it, eight exercises that will help build a stronger and more powerful upper back. The key to the program is consistency, so be sure to do these exercises at least twice a week!
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