The Only 3 Back Exercises You Need to Build a Muscle Shield

The 3 back exercises you need to build a muscle shield…

The back consists of many different individual muscles. A well-developed back is at the cornerstone of any physique.

It’s all well and good being built from the front. Without the back the package is unfinished.

People will see through you, literally. The back can give that V-taper which many aspire to attain. A pair of wide lats will accentuate the shoulder-to-waist ratio too.

This will give you a dominating appearance and make you have lats like a jumbo jet.

If you don’t want to look like a jumbo jet, stick around because these back exercises are great for anyone.

Historically backs were built from lifting heavy objects during hard strenuous labour.

Due to technological advancements we have lost the benefits from these sorts of activities.

Now we must resort to other methods to build a thick, wide back.

There are tons of different variations of the back exercises outlined below. I will be using the standard and most used variations for clarity and effectiveness.

If you maintain consistency and build muscle with these over time, then rest assured that your back will grow along with it. In this post I will be sharing with you in-depth videos which cover a lot of the main technique points.

The deadlift – fullbody as well as a back exercise

Toted by many as the king of all exercises, the deadlift has few challengers. As well as hitting the back hard, the deadlift works a large number of muscles especially those of the posterior chain.

Yes this includes the legs.

Not only will the deadlift ensure that your back appears like a mountain range with many peaks and valleys, but it is also a fantastic measure of strength.

I heard once that if you can deadlift 600lbs then you can pull the head off a horse. While I have no doubt that may be true, I haven’t experienced it first-hand (yet).

Here is an example of how to perform the deadlift correctly:

As this is a compound movement which engages a lot of muscles, care should be taken when performing the deadlift.

If not done correctly, then you risk going to snap city (shoutout to the hodgetwins)

Don’t let me scare you.

I’m not trying to.

When done right the benefits of the deadlift are phenomenal for your neuromuscular efficiency and muscular development.

Once the form is locked down real strength gains can then be made. Getting strong on the deadlift will cause your back to explode, simple.

A 4 plate or 2x bodyweight deadlift is  a respectable number in any weightlifting communtiy. This is a good target to aim for.

The pull-up

The pull-up is one of the greatest testers of relative strength there is.

It is also the best out of all the back exercises to cause your lats to explode.

There is no equipment required for this one. All you need is a bar.

This can be found in any park near you. If you can’t get to a gym there are no excuses.

It is pretty simple really. You pull yourself up vertically.

It’s not that simple for many people though. Pull-ups are a difficult exercise for many to execute.

Unlike press ups, pull-ups require you lifting your full body instead of the partial weight of your body.

The majority of people are out of shape and are overweight. They carry a large amount of excess body fat which serves them no purpose for function or health.

This excess weight is dead weight when it comes to pulling yourself up. Many don’t even have the strength to even perform 1 pull-up.

That can be fixed. There are numerous variations of the pull-up that can be done to progress onto your first pull-up.

  • Band pull ups
  • Get the help of someone
  • negative pull ups

Slowly you can progress onto attempting a pull-up on your own as you move off the assisted work.

“How can I help this process?”

  • Get strong on other pulling movements

When you strengthen your back and arm muscles with other movements this will help your pull ups tremendously.

Often times you are not just weak at pull-ups, you are just weak all over. Building strength on the other two exercises mentioned in this post will have great carry over to your pull-up capability.

  • Lose weight (bodyfat)

As mentioned earlier, those with high amounts of bodyfat will struggle with chin-ups. By losing weight alone you will notice a big difference in the number of pull-ups you can do.

Here is a video on how to perform a pull-up correctly:

The chin-up is another great back exercise with a very similar movement pattern. The difference is that chin-ups involve more bicep work than pull-ups which isolate the lats far more. If you are in need of some additional arm size then chin-ups could be your go-to exercise.

Either one will pack on plenty of arm size however.


Row’s come in many forms but each has one thing in common: they are all horizontal pulling motions.

There is more room for change in this department due to the high number of variations available.

The standard bent-over barbell row should be your point of entry if you are just beginning to build your back up. This will offer the best potential for muscle growth and strength gains for beginners.

Once you lock in your form with the bent-over barbell row you can move onto to more variations depending on your goals and preferences.

Here is a video on how to perform the barbell row correctly:


Rear delts get hit as well.

Getting strong

The biggest driver of muscle growth is progressive overload. Muscles (yes including the back) grow as a result of an increased training stimulus acted upon them.

Doing these back exercises will allow you to do just that.

To continue gaining muscle the stimulus must be increased over time. This stimulus is a result of progressively overloading the muscle. When this is enacted, your muscle will be forced to adapt and thus grow.

The easiest way to overload a muscle is to increase the resistance (weight) on a lift. That is good news because the 3 exercises that I have talked about in this post have huge potential for growing strength.

There you have it. The top 3 back exercises to build a muscle shield. You simply can’t go wrong if you put these lifts into practice.

They have stood the test of time for decades. Other back exercises come and go but the ones that provide the best results remain standing.

Thanks for reading,

Stay tuned.

P.S Leave a comment down below to let me know what you think. How has your back training progressed?

2017-07-25T06:55:27-07:00 By |Fitness|6 Comments


  1. […] pull up is the king of exercises for back width. It targets the lats like no […]

  2. […] chin up is a fantastic back and biceps […]

  3. […] progressing on the dip, a dip/pull-up belt is needed to hang the weight from yourself. This exercise can put a lot of stress on the […]

  4. Philip Braselmann July 25, 2017 at 2:00 pm - Reply

    Glad you keep it up mate. If you need advice you know how to reach me 🙂

    • Peter July 25, 2017 at 3:41 pm - Reply

      Of course, thank you

  5. […] back is an essential part of any […]

Leave A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.