Developing a strong back is one of the most difficult things any bodybuilder struggles with. Because we can’t really see the muscles we are trying to work, developing a strong mind-muscle connection is difficult and lots of lifters out there say that they can’t really ‘feel’ their back engaging. And this could partly be explained because a lot of new lifters start with back exercises in the gym that are very difficult to master without prior experience. You see, most guys start off training their back with exercises like the barbell row, deadlift, and pull up.
And don’t get me wrong, these are Back Extension Machine for back development… but they are not good for a beginner. That’s because these exercises require more strength, better coordination, and balance. Not to mention impeccable lifting form. And when you throw these factors on top of the fact that a new lifter is just learning how to engage their back properly, you are left with a kid who does exercises with poor form and doesn’t get anything out of them.
This is why a lot of lifters end up having underdeveloped backs. They never take the time to learn a good mind-muscle connection with the proper exercises. They stick to the basics, pile on more and more weight, and their form progressively gets worse and worse. So, what are the ‘proper’ back exercises I just mentioned? Those done on gym equipment. Machine exercises are getting a bit of a bad rap from critics, but they are excellent for both beginners learning proper mind-muscle connection, and more advanced bodybuilders looking to develop their back muscles further.
But there are many machines out there, and you need to find those that are excellent. Each machine needs to be of high quality and made with the end-user in mind. Only then, can you truly make the most of your back training?
Here are some of the best back exercises machines:
The lat pulldown exercise works up the back muscles. The muscle it targets is called the latissimus dorsi also known as "lats." This exercise is performed with the help of an exercise machine with adjustable resistance and, in this case, plates. The exercise is performed while sitting with restrained upper thighs. While sitting, you have to pull down a hanging bar till your chin level.
Then you have to release it back up with control. This completes one round of exercise. Lat pulldown increases upper body strength.
As mentioned before, the latissimus dorsi muscle is targeted during this exercise. This muscle is present right below the armpits and spreads across the back. This exercise isolates the target muscles and focuses on the back. This prevents the biceps and triceps from getting tired.
This exercise helps you achieve a proper posture and makes pulling movements easier like, pulling a door, doing a pull-up, starting a lawnmower, etc.
This exercise should be performed properly to achieve a visible outcome. The right way to perform this exercise and any back exercise is with back workout machines.
Doing this exercise the wrong way will either delay the process or may not help you achieve your goals at all. Doing it the wrong way can also cause muscle strain and damage. It is essential to follow the right steps and instructions.
- Make sure you're comfortably sitting on the pulldown seat and keep your feet flat on the ground. Make sure the height of the bar is okay according to your height. You can adjust the height by lengthening or shortening the bar's cable or by changing seat height. Your hands should fully extend to reach the bars, but you must not stand up. That is the right height of the bars.
- Firmly hold the bar with an overhand and a wide grip.
- Pull down the bar with knuckles up grip. Bring down the bar till your chin level. Exhale during the pulling down motion. It's ok to shift backward, but your aim should be to keep your upper torso still. Engage your abs while you pull. You should stop pulling when your elbows cannot move further downwards without going backward.
- Maintain your square shoulders while simultaneously squeezing the shoulder blades.
- After reaching the chin level, gradually return to the starting position while maintaining the gradual ascend.
If the strong core is your goal, then this is the workout you should add to your routine. A strong core doesn't only include abs, but it also involves your lower back muscles. The lower back muscles help in giving you a good posture and stabilizes the spine. A strong lower back facilitates easier movements like turning to the sides, bending forward, and lifting things from the ground.
There are a few different ways to this exercise. You should select the method you want to follow depending on your comfort level, strength, and ability.
The right way to do a back extension:
To perform this exercise, you will require one of the back exercise machines. The back extension exercise should be done at a slow pace and under control, whichever method you go for. Fast movements and rapid reactions should be avoided as they can result in injuries.
If you have any back problems or shoulder issues, you must first consult a doctor before doing a back extension exercise. Arching you back beyond the required limit can cause unnecessary strain and injuries.
Back extension machine
This is one of the gym machines for the back that helps you perform the back extension exercise. An extension bench, which is most commonly known as the back extension machine, is often a part of the gym. The exercise on this bench is usually performed under the supervision of a trainer. It uses gravity to cause resistance.
You need to face the ground while your thighs are on the pad. Then you have to extend your spine upwards against gravity.
The benches are also available in a few different varieties, which allow you to perform the same exercise but on a different level. Mostly the extension bench is available in two angles, which are 90 degrees and 45 degrees.
Before starting the exercise, make sure that the pad is just below your hip bone. This will ensure that you can do a full-ranged motion with every movement. If you are new to this kind of machine, a trainer can help you understand the steps and adjust the pad properly.
Seated Row Machine
The seated row machine helps to develop the forearm muscles and the back muscles. This machine works as an all-rounder to help achieve middle back goals while giving a good forearm workout. This exercise is called the seated cable row and is performed on a horizontal machine with footplates and a bench. This machine is stand-alone equipment for a gym. This can be used for multiple workouts. It also helps in strengthening the upper body.
This exercise comes with many benefits. The seated row machine is one of the best back workout machines. This also targets the back muscles, especially the latissimus dorsi. It also works the upper arm and the forearm muscle. The triceps and biceps are the main stabilizers in this particular workout.
The gluteus maximus and the hamstrings are the other stabilizing muscles that come into play. This exercise is not particularly a rowing exercise, but it is performed to develop strength for such movements. It does not involve the classic rowing action even though it has the word row in it. This exercise engages your legs and abs together. While your abs and legs are engaged, you need to keep your back straight, this helps prevent injuries and strain.
Steps to use a seated row machine:
- Keep your knees bent while you sit on the platform. Hold the cable attachment. The attachment might be a bar or a triangle handle. Bend your knees enough so you can grab the bar. Your arms should be outstretched to reach the handle without letting your lower back curling over.
- Start pulling the handle and the weight towards the lower abdomen. During this step, try not to use the movement of the row by shifting your torso backward.
- By keeping your back straight, you can now target your upper and middle back. Keep your chest out and squeeze the shoulder blades together.
- Move the handle back to its position while maintaining a straight back. You can repeat this as many times as you are directed to.
GHD here stands for Glute Ham Developers. And that's exactly what the machine does. This machine is used to strengthen the hamstrings and glutes. But those are not the only muscles it works on. The machine also works on the quads, calves, core, hip flexors, etc.
The core includes much more than just the abs and the six-packs. The GHD machine works exactly on everything that makes up the core strength. This is one of the main perks of the GHD machine. The core consists of many layers of muscles in the pelvic floor, mid-section, stabilizing muscles, etc.; if you're able to stand straight, it is because of strong core muscles.
If someone's midsection is not that stable, their chances of getting injured and losing balance are much higher. A weak core can cause problems even in day-to-day routines like walking, bending, or twisting. The benefits of a strong core don't stick to just aesthetics.
Another major benefit of GHD is that it's a great tool to increase kinesthetic awareness or body awareness, covering everyday endeavors.
Rope pull helps in building endurance and strength. They are a perfect addition to a workout. They are excellent at strengthening your flexibility and griping properties. They provide you with an exercise that maximizes your results from other workouts.
Rope pull has many benefits, all of which contribute to building strength.
Increases Pull power:
One of the best ways to increase pulling power is by performing rope pulls. The repetitive pull movement gradually builds your muscle strength and capacity. It makes you more efficient than some of the other gym machines. The effectiveness increases as you need to have a strong grip and good control, making your muscles strong.
You need to keep the grip strong and tight during the entire exercise; this engages every muscle in the arms.
Maximize your grip endurance:
The rope pulls is the best exercise option for you if you want to improve your grip performance. The varying weight during the exercise increases the strength, and maintaining the hold on the rope improves grip performance. This exercise will help you pull harder and improve your general grip while also packing on more weight.
A flexible workout
One of the best benefits of rope pulling is that it provides flexible weight options for the rope. You can start at simple stages and build your way up to heavier weights. You can start with kettlebells, which can also vary in weight. For more intense workouts, you can involve sleigh pulls to your workout. The possibilities with rope pulls are endless.
Chest Supported Row Machine
If you ever feel to give your lower back a break but still work on the other muscles around it to support and build your structure, this is the right exercise. The chest supported row can be used in various ways, but they all contribute fully to the person's strength. This gives you a break from heavy axial loading while works the complete upper back region.
The chest supported row machine also comes in a few different varieties. There's one where you are in a seated position, while in the other one, you're lying down at a 45-degree angle.
Chest supported rows works very well at building a powerful mind to muscle connection. This workout also maximizes the efforts you put in other workouts like deadlifts.
The inclined bench creates support for you. Your lower back no more has to stabilize you this way, you can target the upper back muscles much more. There is no rocking motion. This way, you can also lift heavier weights.
The chest supported row minimizes the load on your spine. It isolates its function toward the upper muscles only. This makes it easier for you to recover, which further allows you to perform more.
Air Rowing Machine
An aerobic exercise or cardio equipment is a must exercise for any age. It contributes to the overall health and also helps maintain fitness goals. A few benefits of an air rowing machine are increased stamina, stronger immune system, weight loss, etc. The air rowing machine works on some major muscle groups. Thus, it works effectively on increasing oxygen intake and a raise in the heart rate.
Most of the rowers come with adjustable resistance, which helps you to work up to increase the heart rate and lower down for the resting rate.
Probably the best benefit of an air rowing machine is its capability to work out the lower body. By many enthusiasts, this machine is considered primarily to work on the lower body. The exercise involves the leg muscles like the muscles on the front thighs. The glutes and the calves also feel the burn during this workout.
It helps you achieve the glute goals and strong legs that you are looking for. Another benefit is that working out the lower body helps you burn out calories faster.
Rear Delt Fly Machine
The rear delt fly machine helps you strengthen your rear deltoids. This machine gently and gradually helps you to improve your shoulder workout.
The rear delt fly machine has quite a few benefits.
The machine strengthens the muscles in your shoulder. You achieve that by developing the posterior deltoids. It is sometimes considered as an accessory machine, but the rear delt fly can boost your results from other performances at other exercises like deadlift, overhead press, barbell bench press, etc.
Strong shoulders are an integral part of most types of workouts.
Lower your risk of injuries:
Unlike other free weight exercises, the rear delt fly provides a lot more stability. There is little to no strain on your lower back, and the core does not have to put in much work to stabilize you. The machine also restricts the range of motion, which prevents any hand injury.
This way, you can focus more on your training without worrying about any injury. This is an ideal shoulder workout machine for beginners.
And, as usual, don’t forget that having a weight machine is very important.