Time to pull your way to the v-taper of your dreams. Today is all about attacking the back with different angles so we can target every muscle grouping. 

For one reason or another, people might have to miss time at the gym. Especially in 2020 — we feel you. But back gains wait for no non-gender-specific pronouns. Luckily, resistance band workouts can put you leagues ahead of the competition. Not just because you’re still keeping in shape, but because these higher rep workouts can help you focus on the details of the back. 

After all, you can’t paint a masterpiece with a broad paintbrush. Let’s get to it.

Single Arm Kneeling Lat Pulldown

  • 4 x 12-20
  • Rest Time: 45-60 seconds

Ever wonder how to hit the lower lat and specifically the outside portion? Effectively working where the lat ties in to the obliques is tricky, but can make a massive difference in your overall aesthetics. These are a powerful tool to add to your arsenal.

  • Place a few inches of length of band over the top of a door, and close the door — the door should be closed all the way. Make sure the band is secure.
  • With your right hand, grip both sides of the end of the band in a neutral position. Kneel so that your left side is facing the door.
  • In the starting position your arm will start overhead. Pull down with your right hand until your elbow is at sixty degrees flexion. Squeeze the contraction for two seconds, then slowly perform the negative portion of the movement. That’s one rep. 
  • Do the same thing for the left side.

Band High to Low Row

  • 4 x 12-20
  • Rest Time: 45-60 seconds

Hitting the bra strap area of the back can be a pain, even when weights are available. This exercise is angled perfectly to target this area though. If anything, resistance bands might actually be a better option — or at least something to throw into regular back workouts to help you achieve a mind-muscle connection. 

  • Place a few inches of length of the band over the top of a door, and close the door — the door should be closed all the way. Make sure the band is secure.
  • Grip the end of the resistance band with both hands, placed shoulder width apart. Standing with a slight lean forward, pull the band down to the middle of your back and squeeze the contraction for two seconds. Slowly perform the negative.

Band single arm bent over row

  • 4 x 12-20
  • Rest Time: 45-60 seconds

 

  • Using either a banister or door, secure the band. It should be lower down either of them. 
  • Gripping both sides of the end of the band in your right hand, take a few steps back until you feel tension. Lean forward to where your waist has about a 120° bend. In the starting position you should feel a stretch in your lower lats. Leading with your elbow, slowly pull the band toward your lower back. Squeeze for 2 seconds. Perform the negative with control. 
  • Do the same for the left side. 

Banded Bent Over Row 

  • 4 x 12-20
  • Rest Time: 45-60 seconds

This is pretty much the same thing but with both hands. The only other difference is the tempo and rep range. As opposed to going slow with moderate rep ranges, for these, try to pump out as many reps as possible.

Band Straight Arm Pulldown

  • 4 x 12-20
  • Rest Time: 45-60 seconds

This one might be one of the greatest exercises for isolating the lats. Particularly the lower lats, which are responsible for creating that dramatic sweep on the back and adding to the taper.

  • Place a few inches of length of band over the top of a door, and close the door — the door should be closed all the way. Make sure the band is secure.
  • Gripping the end of the band with both both hands — palms down — stand back until you can feel a lot of tension when your arms are by your side. Lean forward slightly, and raise your arms overhead. 
  • From the starting position, focus on pulling with your lats. Keeping your arms relatively straight, pull the band down toward your pelvis. Squeeze. Then slowly perform the negative, focusing on stretching the lats as you do. That’s one rep.

Modification: For all you tall folks out there, you might want to try this one kneeling. 

Good Mornings

The lower back is probably one of the most overlooked areas of the back. Yes, it’s worked in deadlifts and squats, but if your goal is to build a back that’s defined from the waist up, then isolating your lower back with some exercises like Good Mornings is key.

  • Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, loop the bottom of the resistance band under your feet and the top over your shoulders. Grip the top of the band just outside your shoulders. This is your starting position. 
  • Keeping your core tight and very little bend in your legs, slowly bend over until you’re chest is a little past parallel to the floor. Pause and feel the stretch in your lower back and hamstrings. Focus on flexing your lower back (erector spinae) as you gradually return to the starting position.

Pull-Ups

The only reason I’m placing this exercise last is for logistical reasons. Many people can’t do pull-ups, and very few have access to pull-up bars in their houses. However, pull-ups still reign as king and overlord when it comes to hitting your back. If you have access to anything that can work as a pull-up surface, then add them to your routine. Here are some examples:

  • Playgrounds: if you feel like braving the outdoors, playgrounds have been my goto for years on holiday workouts when the world shuts down. Play with different grip placements for some variety. 
  • Door frame: Using an open door, face the side of the door, place your hands on both sides of the door frame. You’ll have to bend your knees. Perform pull-ups, alternating sides as you do.
  • Balcony
  • Home pull-up bars
  • Be creative.

Related Questions:

Can I just hit back to make my biceps grow? Sure. If you want them to look sloppy. If you want really impressive biceps, you gotta isolate them

Is a wider back enough to give me a good v-taper?  A wide back is only part of the equation. You also need to build the width of your deltoids

 

 

 

author: Logan
IG: loganlpeterson

 

Logan Peterson

Logan Peterson is an avid writer and an unprofessional, non-competitive bodybuilder. Logan has several degrees, all of which he made up to sound more credible (for obvious reasons, Legal said he can’t list them). In truth, he simply has an insatiable curiosity. After eleven years of obsessive research, he knows too much about fitness, nutrition, and supplementation for his own good. Despite all appearances, he’s fiercely nerdy. Outside of fitness, his passions are reading and writing; his genre interests run the gamut from litrpg to satire. Due to ADHD, he’s currently working on several novels, and will likely publish all of them at once. And yes, he wrote his own bio...in third person.

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