The back muscles, along with the shoulders, provide the overall width of the upper body. Also, it supports the entire body’s weight and posture, a reason why it is also commonly trained by people at the gym. Along with barbells and dumbbells, the following are some machine exercises a person can perform to develop a wider back.
Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown
One exercise that hits the back muscles, making them wider, is the wide-grip lat pulldown. According to Body Building, the compound pulling exercise primarily targets the latissimus dorsi or the lats, but it also engages the shoulders, middle back, and the biceps.
To perform the exercise, the person sits down on a pull-down machine with a wide bar connected to the top pulley. Then, he adjusts the knee pad of the machine to fit his height. The knee pads prevents the body from being pulled and raised by the resistance attached to the bar. Next, the person grabs the bar with his palms facing forward using a wide grip. In the said grip, the person’s hands have to wider than the shoulder width. The medium grip hand distance is equal to the shoulder width while the close grip distance is narrower than shoulder width. For the exercise, the wide grip will be used.
The person brings his torso back around 30 degrees while having a curvature on the lower back and sticking the chest out. Then, the person pulls the bar down until it touches the upper chest, with the upper arms and shoulders back and down. A good practice is to keep the upper torso stationary that the arms are the only ones that will move. Also, the forearms should only hold the bar and are not used in pulling it down. After the contracted position, the person squeezes his shoulder blades together and gradually raises the bar back to the initial position until the arms are completely extended and the lats are fully stretched. The exercise is done for the planned number of repetitions.
Seated Cable Row
Another machine exercise that develops a wider back is the seated cable row. According to Fit Link, the person adjusts the seat for the shoulders to be placed mildly higher than the handles. Then, he sits with his back in neutral alignment and his feet flat on the floor. Next, he grabs the handles with the hands evenly spaced. Once ready, the person retracts his scapula and pulls his elbows past his ribs. Next, stops briefly and squeezes the muscles between the shoulder blades and gradually straightens the arms. As per the publication, the angle of chest pads differ between row machines that the person should not rely too much on the chest pad by relaxing the torso into it. Also, the legs should be active and the shoulders should be pulled down and back to poise the body properly.
Pull-ups are usually done with the person’s own body weight; however, those who find it hard to do the routine may opt to do it with a machine. According to Body Building, the exercise is a compound pulling sort and it primarily works the latissimus dorsi or the lats, along with the middle back and the biceps.
To perform the exercise, the person uses a pull-up machine or attaches a strong band to a pull-up station. As per the publication, the tension should be enough to pull the lower leg up. Then, he grasps the bar with an overhand grip outside shoulder width and hangs at full arm extension. Once ready, the person keeps his body straight and contracts his lats to pull himself up as high as he can while he drives his elbows down. Then, the person gradually lowers his body until his arms are fully extended. The exercise is done for the required number of repetitions.
Overall, a strong and wide back aids in the body’s support, which include weight and posture. Along with the aforementioned exercises, total back development is also highly influenced by proper nutrition and adequate rest.