7 Exercises for a Shredded Back

Training for mass is a necessity if you want to get big. And there’s no doubt that exercises like deadlifts and heavy rows will get you there. But what many find to be difficult is attaining a shredded back.

I’m going to share a list of 7 exercises that if done properly will bring out the detail in your back and help you get shredded. I’ll also list the full back workout below.

The Ultimate Lean Muscle Stack

Shredded Back Exercises

Lat Pulldowns: This back exercise targets your lats, building that width between your arms and back. Don’t swing or jerk the weight!

Plate-Loaded Rows: If your gym has one of these, they’re great for taking your lower back out of the equation. You can get a deeper stretch and contraction using this machine. It’s the next-best exercise to doing barbell rows with free weights.

Seated Rows: An old school back exercise, yet very effective. You can really contract your back muscles at the top of the movement. You can also get a deep stretch on the descent of the movement.

Cable Pullovers: This back exercise brings out extreme detail. Your lats will blow up as you pull the weight down towards your torso. Do these slow using controlled reps.

Dumbbell Rows: Dumbbell rows is one of my favorite back exercises. It’s also the most exhausting and will make your lats sore the next day. I like to releasing the weight slowly, doing negative reps for those last few reps.

Reverse-Grip Pulldowns: Doing lat pulldowns with a reverse, or underhand grip, targets the muscles in the middle of your back and your lower lats.

Back Workout with High Reps

This is one of my recent back workouts using the 7 exercises I talked about above for getting a shredded back. It’s a combination of high volume and high reps.

  • Lat Pulldowns
    • 4 sets x 15 reps
  • Plate-Loaded Rows
    • 4 sets x 15 reps
  • Seated Rows
    • 4 sets x 12 reps
  • Cable Pullovers
    • 3 sets x 12 reps
  • Dumbbell Rows
    • 3 sets x 12 reps
  • Reverse Grip Pulldowns
    • 3 sets x 10 reps

* Although I didn’t go super heavy, I still chose a challenging weight for each exercise. That last set is tough to pump out those reps. If I didn’t quite get the number I wanted, I would do a rest-pause set (rest 7-10 seconds and go again).

Get the Most Out of Your Workouts & Get Lean

How to Train Back for Definition

I’d now like to give you some tips on how to train back for definition. If you’ve been following my workout blog, you’ve heard me say this several times. You can’t just move the weight from point A to point B. Rather, you have to force your muscles to move the weight.

That’s the difference between powerlifting and bodybuilding training styles. If you’re wanting to just get strong, the objective is to merely lift a lot of weight. You’re going to use multiple muscles to do this, sticking with compound exercises.

With bodybuilding, or any physique-based training style, the goal is different. You don’t (or shouldn’t) care about how much weight you can lift. Your objective is to build the muscle.

There are a few ways to do that. One is by using concentrated reps. This means forcing your muscles to do the work. Another is through high volume training. More overall sets and reps will pump more blood into the muscle, thus creating the pump.

You can also increase your workout intensity with controlled reps. I don’t want you to confuse this with doing super slow reps. Again, it’s all about feeling the muscle work. You can also try techniques such as supersets, rest-pause sets, and drop sets to increase your workout intensity.

Combination Workouts with Back

Part of getting ripped an shredded is burning more calories during your workouts. As the techniques listed above will help, you can also add another body part.

It’s common to train a smaller muscle with back (preferably after your back workout). I will typically do some biceps after back. For example, you could choose two exercises for biceps and do 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps.

I’ve also trained traps after back. And I’ve known some to train triceps after back. The point is this keeps you in the gym a little longer, which burns more calories. Doing a little cardio, such as walking, will also help burn more calories.

Supplements to Get Shredded

Lastly, there are some supplements worth mentioning to help you get shredded. One is amino acids, or more specifically, BCAAs (branched chain amino acids). BCAAs promotes protein synthesis and prevents the breakdown of protein during workouts. This is important for the fat burning process and you’re able to build more lean muscle and kick-start recovery.

Another is a powerful fat burner called Instant Knockout. This is the strongest conditioning agent I’ve come across. It was originally created for MMA fighters. Now bodybuilders and physique competitors are using it to get into extreme condition. You can read my review here.

Train with Passion,


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