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  1. #1
    Registered User Omogt's Avatar
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    Upper back thickness

    My upper back is lacking. Im tryna build a thick upper back. Any exercises to help with that?
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  2. #2
    Registered User Heisman2's Avatar
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    Facepulls, Y raises (set a cable overhead and start from the end portion of a facepull, then raise your arms overhead), single armed pulley rows aiming for a high position, also consider 1+ exercises that focus on thoracic extension (flat back deadlifts or zombie squats for static work, actual thoracic extension from a hyperextension set up where you round the upper back and then straighten it out).
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    HeMB's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Heisman2 View Post
    Facepulls, Y raises (set a cable overhead and start from the end portion of a facepull, then raise your arms overhead), single armed pulley rows aiming for a high position, also consider 1+ exercises that focus on thoracic extension (flat back deadlifts or zombie squats for static work, actual thoracic extension from a hyperextension set up where you round the upper back and then straighten it out).
    Isn't that dangerous in regard of herniating a disc? Although I heard that thoracic spine is more resilient to herniations, it does not sound safe..
    Skwat bench ded
    but still DYEL?
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  4. #4
    Registered User Garage Rat's Avatar
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    Yes!
    First arm angle is important when targeting the upper back.
    To hit the teres,rhomboids and mid traps the upper arms should be angled out away from the upper body.
    They don't need to be 90 degrees but close to that.
    Focus on pulling from the elbows or elbow.
    I like one arm DB rows as can stretch the arm across under the body at the bottom and pull with a fullers contraction than with a barbell.
    If you want to get that mid trap initiate the pull with a shrug(don't bend the elbow)and continue the pull in one motion bending the elbow as you come to a full contraction squeezing the upper back.
    Support your self with the opposite arm on a bench or rack keeping the upper body fairly parallel to the floor.
    Going to heavy on these will not allow the full contraction or force you to jerk the weight instead of a good steady pull.
    The chest supported row bench if your gym has one is also good in that it diminishes help from other areas and lets you focus on the target.
    Just remember the upper arm angle.
    If the arm angle drops more to the sides the length of the lat get more work.
    You could do these on a bench propped up,lying face down using DB's.
    The same goes for pull down movements,elbows more out and i like to use parallel grip handles for these.
    A straight bar pull down wider than shoulder grip,elbows out the to the sides is another good one.
    I like to do scap retraction on these at the top and then pull down and contract using the upper back.
    The pull usually comes down to forehead or nose area.
    These hit the upper outer area well.
    Sorry for the long post,i hope you can use some of this advise.
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  5. #5
    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    - wide grip seated cable rows, pulling to just below chest

    - one arm db rows, pulling elbows up and out wide from body

    - chest supported db rows, pulling elbows up and out wide from body
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  6. #6
    Registered User Heisman2's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by HeMB View Post
    Isn't that dangerous in regard of herniating a disc? Although I heard that thoracic spine is more resilient to herniations, it does not sound safe..
    Good question. Shouldn't be if you can separate thoracic from lumbar due to the natural curvature. Same reason why rounded upper back deadlifting doesn't typically cause problems (which would likely be more dangerous due to more compressive forces being placed on the spine at the same times as doing thoracic extension, with a hyperextension setup there won't be much compression as the weight vector is going to be pretty much perpendicular to the spine). That said, I definitely wouldn't purposely push beyond a natural end range of motion with this, and I wouldn't attempt to max out. Some other ideas with a video here: https://www.vahvafitness.com/thoracic-mobility-routine/
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  7. #7
    Registered User Omogt's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Garage Rat View Post
    Yes!
    First arm angle is important when targeting the upper back.
    To hit the teres,rhomboids and mid traps the upper arms should be angled out away from the upper body.
    They don't need to be 90 degrees but close to that.
    Focus on pulling from the elbows or elbow.
    I like one arm DB rows as can stretch the arm across under the body at the bottom and pull with a fullers contraction than with a barbell.
    If you want to get that mid trap initiate the pull with a shrug(don't bend the elbow)and continue the pull in one motion bending the elbow as you come to a full contraction squeezing the upper back.
    Support your self with the opposite arm on a bench or rack keeping the upper body fairly parallel to the floor.
    Going to heavy on these will not allow the full contraction or force you to jerk the weight instead of a good steady pull.
    The chest supported row bench if your gym has one is also good in that it diminishes help from other areas and lets you focus on the target.
    Just remember the upper arm angle.
    If the arm angle drops more to the sides the length of the lat get more work.
    You could do these on a bench propped up,lying face down using DB's.
    The same goes for pull down movements,elbows more out and i like to use parallel grip handles for these.
    A straight bar pull down wider than shoulder grip,elbows out the to the sides is another good one.
    I like to do scap retraction on these at the top and then pull down and contract using the upper back.
    The pull usually comes down to forehead or nose area.
    These hit the upper outer area well.
    Sorry for the long post,i hope you can use some of this advise.
    Man appreciate the time that you spent to help me out. Is there any video with the db rows?
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  8. #8
    Registered User jdesey's Avatar
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    Yeah but

    Nobody mentioned good old school bench lat dumbell pullover. Go super heavy for a good stretch. I do them as my last exercise on back.

    Old school baby!


    https://youtu.be/yACg3ciPALc
    Last edited by jdesey; 11-30-2019 at 10:25 PM.
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  9. #9
    Harsh Truth Distributor xsquid99's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jdesey View Post
    Nobody mentioned good old school bench lat dumbell pullover. Go super heavy for a good stretch. I do them as my last exercise on back.

    Old school baby!

    https://youtu.be/yACg3ciPALc
    I don't consider dumbbell pullovers an upper back movement at all. They may provide a stretch on the lats, but for upper back thickness? No...

    Barbell rows, pendlay rows, seated cable rows (wide grip), and for me one of the very best has always been rack pulls.
    Last edited by xsquid99; 11-30-2019 at 10:43 PM.
    All it takes is consistency, effort, proper nutrition, good programming, and TIME.
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  10. #10
    Registered User FlySwiftPanda's Avatar
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    Do more exercises that work your upper back.
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