For some, going to the gym can feel like a chore. For others, the gym is a release from the world where you can get your endorphins pumping and relieve some of the pent-up stress someone may have on a given day. Whatever the case, going to the gym and exercising is essential in keeping yourself in quality shape and a way to tone your back. That is not to say that the shape of anyone’s body is not “quality.” Still, with increased health risks – such as heart disease, diabetes, and more – coinciding with minimal exercise and heavyweight gain, it is important to keep oneself in good physical condition to prevent avoidable health risks.
But how does one get, and keep, themselves in good condition? Well, first of all, consistency is key. If you go to the gym regularly, you will burn off surplus calories as your body builds muscle, increases stamina, and adapts to the lifestyle of constantly being in the iron jungle.
Still, when some people go to the gym, they have specific goals. Of course, there is always the idea of the perfect “beach body,” but there is no such thing as perfect. Some may view that ideal body as too bulky, too toned, and so on. Regardless, being toned and strong is positive by societal standards, so there are a ton of people willing to get down to business and push the limits of their bodies.
As previously stated, not everyone has the same gym goal. But at the same time, most people want their muscles toned to show off all their work to themselves, their friends, and – if you are petty enough – maybe an ex-boyfriend or girlfriend. Still, toning muscles is a lot easier said than done, and there are a lot of misconceptions on how to actually get this done.
Yes, working out consistently will help tone muscles inherently, but doing lighter weight with a higher rep count will help tone more than actually build. For instance, the best way to build muscle is to do the opposite, lifting heavy weights but only doing somewhere between five and six reps per set. With that in mind, it will be much easier for someone to go out to a local gym and start reaching their goal of getting toned/stronger.
Whatever gym goal one has is obviously up to the individual, but a very popular muscle group people love to get toned is the back. So, without further ado, below you can find a list of five back exercises that will most definitely help tone your back:
One of the most common and well-known back exercises, lat pulldowns, is a classic workout to strengthen your back. By the looks of the name, it is fair for people to assume (which would be a correct assumption) that this exercise works the latissimus dorsi, better known to most as the lat.
One of the reasons that this is such a good exercise is the fact that there are multiple variations. The image that pops in most people’s heads when they hear “lat pulldown” is the wide grip lat-pulldown, but one could also do the one-arm, reverse close grip, v-bar, or behind the back lat pulldown.
T-Bar rows are a great exercise to help tone your back. It works so many muscles in your back that it is truly insane. The T-Bar row works the lower and middle trapezius while also strengthening the latissimus dorsi (the aforementioned lats), the posterior deltoid, the teres minor, and the teres major.
By completing this exercise, with the lightweight high repetition sets previously discussed, one can get their back shredded. Seriously, just look at all of the individual muscles that the T-bar row hits.
One of the reasons the supine row is such a great workout is because it is all on you. There are no weights, simply just pulling yourself and towards the bar of the smith machine or squat rack you are working on. With this being a bodyweight exercise, there is not much room for adding weight (even though people have most definitely figured some way out), but that makes it a great opportunity to lie back and do as many reps as possible.
*This exercise works the upper back muscles such as lats and trapezius’s (traps)*
Just like the supine row above, the classic pull-up is a bodyweight exercise. Still, it is very well known that if one wants to add weight to their pull-up, they can, but all in all, it does not matter. What matters is form and execution, not how much weight one is putting up.
But back to the original point. Pull-ups, however basic they may seem, do a terrific job of working those big old lat muscles at the top of your back. And, like it was just said, however you decide to do it is up to you. If you need to do an assisted pull-up, so what. Everyone starts somewhere; just make sure that wherever that starting point is, you are using the correct form, so you don’t hurt yourself.
Yes, another row. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. Almost all of the exercises that work the back are “pull” exercises, meaning one is pulling weight towards themselves instead of pushing like a bench press or shoulder fly.
Digressing, the bent-over row works similar muscles as the T-bar row, the difference being the bent-over row is typically a wider exercise that works more lat, than say the teres minor and major. Either way, the bent-over row, just like every other workout mentioned above, does an excellent job of toning and strengthening your back. So now that you have the tools, get out there and start hitting your gym goals. Just don’t listen to your music too loud; that is one of the causes of tinnitus.