Sculpting a strong upper back | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Sculpting a strong upper back

Adam Spindler
Adam Spindler

About the Author

Dr. Spindler is a practicing chiropractor with 18 years experience specializing in chronic conditions and sports injuries. He has also been a personal trainer and strength coach for over 40 years with a certification as a strength and conditioning specialist. Through college and beyond he competed in bodybuilding shows, and powerlifting competitions throughout the New England circuit. He can be reached at 530-544-4400.

This is Part III in my upper body series. In the last two week’s we covered both arm and shoulder strength and development.

Many thanks to those who have attended my last two workshops. At this Saturday’s workshop we will be focusing on strength and development of the upper back.

You’re probably thinking that since I’m a chiropractor that this is about spinal health and low back pain, right? Not exactly. This article is on how to build, strengthen and sculpt your best back.

Famous mythical characters such as Hercules and Thor, are always shown having strong, wide and thick muscular backs. Even Mighty Mouse stood with an Arnold Schwarzenegger-like “lat spread.” Top athletes are often photographed at angles to show off their amazingly sculpted backs.

A strong and muscular back depicts a character of strength, hard work, endurance and dependability. Building a strong, sculpted and dependable back takes a lot of hard work and some “know how.” I’m here to provide the know how.

Let’s start with the latissimus dorsi. The most common exercises to develop this large muscle group are pull ups, rows (dumbbell or cable) and lat pull downs. I left out machine rows because of the extreme stress that this exercise puts on the sternal portion of the rib cage.

Next, we have the trapezius muscles. The primary exercise to develop the “traps” would be shoulder shrugs and all the variations: dumbbell shrugs, barbell shrugs, and cable shrugs. Keep chest up, neck relaxed and in slight extension. Also keep your core tight to avoid neck and lower back strain.

How many reps and sets should you do?

If you are passionate about developing a “serious back”—Seriously sculpted and seriously strong—you are looking at 4-6 different exercises and 4-6 sets performed at appropriate repetition patterns until failure.

This is the newest information based upon the latest research (in regard the muscular development) from the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Whether you’re a woman wanting a strong, shapely, feminine back or a guy wanting a big, thick impressive back, the same training principles apply.

Join me Saturday, Nov. 10, at 10 a.m. in my SpineFit Training Center (meet in the lobby at Fit Republic), for a free, fun and informative workshop on “How to Strengthen, Develop and Sculpt a Beautiful Back.”

I will teach you how to choose the best exercises, rep ranges and set numbers specific to your needs and goals.

All attendees will receive a free spinal fitness, nerve function evaluation and athletic symmetry exam.

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