The back is one of the biggest muscle groups on our bodies. So many times while working our backs, we tend to ignore many back muscles. There are many smaller muscles other than just lats and traps that you might not even know about.
Today, we give you a workout that will involve every back muscle there is. First, we will give the name of the muscle and then the corresponding exercise that you have to perform for that muscle and the sets and reps.
1. Splenius Capitis, Semispinalis Capitis & Splenius Cervices
These muscles are located in the upper part of the back near and above the traps. The Splenius Capitis and Splenius Cervicis are primary rotator muscles and extend down from the neck and head. The Semispinalis Capitis, on the other hand, is a secondary rotator cuff muscle. These three muscles are at times overstretched and also get weak because of poor posture. Desk workers especially suffer a lot with these three muscles. A postural condition which is known as ‘rounded shoulders’ is commonly observed.
The neck rotation exercise works all three of these muscles. It’s basically sort of a stretch and you can use it while warming up. Start with your head in a neutral position and then rotate your head. Keep your mouth closed and teeth together, and place your index, middle and ring fingers of your right hand on the right side of your cheek. Push on your cheek as you turn your head to one side until you feel a slight tightness. Inhale and hold this position for 10 to 15 seconds. Repeat on the other side and perform four to five rotations on each side.
2. Rhomboids (Major and Minor)
Rhomboids are also often ignored during a workout. These two muscles are located in the middle part of your upper back. They can literally change your posture and change your height in a matter of days if worked out properly.
You basically have to just hold the dumbbells and pull them towards yourself while lying on a flat bench. But correct form is very important. Try to bring them fully to the top and slowly too. Perform 3 sets of 10-12 reps of this exercise.
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3. Supraspinatus, Teres Minor & Infraspinatus
These three muscles are part of the rotator cuff. The rotator cuff is prone to injuries so you need to exercise these three muscles. In almost every other back and shoulder exercise, these muscles support the shoulder in external rotation.
Almost all other activities in daily life where you have to lift your arm like bathing, dressing, eating, etc., uses these muscles, especially the supraspinatus. These three work together in almost every exercise and are difficult to isolate separately. Perform 2 sets for the first exercise below for 3 sets of 12-15 reps and the second one for 4 sets of 10-12 reps.
4. Serratus Anterior
This is undoubtedly the most neglected muscle of the entire back. No one ever talks about working out the serratus anterior in the gym. The basic function of this muscle is to help you raise your arms above your shoulder level.
To perform scapular push-ups, start by being in a push-up position. With your arms straight, slide your shoulder blades outward away from each other, and then inwards towards each other.
Repeat this movement for 4 sets of 10-12 reps. Scapular push-ups are an exercise that completely isolates the serratus anterior but the form is very important, especially the part where you have to protract your scapula and not elevate it.
5. Serratus Posterior
The serratus posterior muscles are located in the lower part of the back and they help your upper body and ribs in movements like bending and twisting. These muscles bear the weight of the upper body and are heavily involved in movements like walking.
There are a lot of exercises that help with the serratus anterior, one of them being ball balance which you will perform in this workout. Do the below-mentioned movement for 3 sets of 10 reps.
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6. Erector Spinae
These muscles are located in the lower part of the back and help to stabilize the entire upper body. The best exercise for the erector spinae is deadlifts.
You definitely know about deadlifts as they are the basic compound movement that everyone who works out should know about. Though it does not isolate the erector spinae muscles, it does put great emphasis in on thesm. Perform 5 sets of 5-8 reps.
7. Lattimus Dorsi and Teres Major
Known as Lats in gym slang. Lats are the muscles that extend outwards from the back and makes you look like you have wings extending outwards — you need to have these to get that V-Taper look. Teres major also is associated greatly with the lats and almost every lat exercise works the teres major muscles.
When it comes to the lats, other than pull-ups, this is the first exercise that comes to mind. The reason this is a great exercise to perform for you lats is because you can change the attachment and you can adjust the weight accordingly. Perform 4 drop sets of this exercise for 10-12 reps.
The trapezius is one of the few muscles that can be seen even if you are fully clothed. A strong indicator of a good physique, the trapezius is located as an intermediate slope between the neckline and the back.
Dumbbell shrugs are the best exercise to isolate the traps. This is a simple movement — try to touch your ears with your shoulders and the lower the weight. It doesn’t get any easier. Perform 3 sets of this exercise with heavy weights for 5-8 reps.