Training your body usually is an out of sight, out of mind thing, which brings the discussion towards the back muscles. There are four major muscles of the back where are: Rhomboids, Trapezius aka “traps,” Latissimus dorsi aka “lats” and erector spinae aka “lower back.” The two rhomboid muscles, help with squeezing the scapula (shoulder blades) together. There are three sections of the traps, which are the upper, middle, and lower traps, that form the diamond shape of the back. One of the broadest muscle that gets most praise towards physique are the lats, which often creates a V-shape wing spread from the back and front near the armpits. Lastly, the lower back muscles, once develop, creates what most call a “Christmas tree” look.
Basic Anatomy Of the Back
Trapezius: The attachment of the traps start from the back of the skull, and from the spine onto the lateral part of the clavicle (collarbone) and scapula (shoulder blades).
Rhomboids: The attachment of the rhomboids start from the spine onto the scapula (shoulder blades).
Lats: The attachment of the lats starts from the spine onto the humerus (upper bone).
Erector Spinae: The attachment of the erector spinae starts from pelvic area onto the spine of the upper back and neck.
Functions Of The Back and Why You Need To Care
The upper traps functions:
- Elevation and rotation of the scapula (think of shrugging your shoulders)
The middle traps functions:
- Retraction of the shoulder blades together (think of squeezing your upper back)
The lower traps functions:
- Depression and rotation of the scapula (think of bringing a raised hand down to your side)
The rhomboids, both minor and major, functions:
- Retraction of the shoulder blades (squeezing of the upper back)
The lats functions:
- Extension of the upper arm (think of bringing your upper arms behind you)
- Adduction of the upper arm (think of bringing your upper arms close to you)
- Medial Rotation of the arm (think of doing L-flies with arms)
The erector spinae functions:
- Stabilization of the spine (works along with abs when squeezing)
- Extension of the spine (think of curling your back)
- Lateral flexion of the spine (think of bending side to side)
- Rotation of the spine (think of twisting your upper body)
Aesthetic and Strength Purpose for Training Back
The back is full of muscle groups that can make or break your performance and appeal. With the lack of a dominant upper back, your posture will suffer. Although the chest is a symbol of pride (mainly for men), the chest will get improper exposure if you are slouching. Slouching will weaken the traps, rhomboids, rear shoulders, and other back muscles for the most part, which will lead to an injury and an imbalance between the back and chest.
With a strong back, you can present the chest, shoulders, arms and other muscles with the respect that it deserves. Another thing that is interesting is that when you train the back, other muscle groups such as the rear shoulders, rotator cuff muscles, and biceps also collaborate to help. Therefore becoming stronger and gaining the size needed in the process. The functionality of the back is that you can perform more efficient pull movements such as bringing objects closer to your body. Functional strength of the back is a tremendous player when it comes to significant lifts such as deadlifts, squats, and bench press.
What Sample Exercises Target The Back
Couple exercises that train the traps and rhomboids are deadlifts and cable rows. Middle back exercises for the lats will be lat pull downs and pull ups. Lower back exercises that will work are back extensions and stiff leg deadlifts too
Aesthetics is a factor when training the various muscles in the posterior. Along with having an aesthetically pleasing v-taper physique, nothing matters more than being able to perform just as good as you look. Posture is significantly improved as it is both a player with strength and looks. If you see yourself struggling with gaining size and power in the back area, click here to download my aesthetic back training guide today that includes: numerous exercise for each section of the back, nutrition tips, words of encouragement and much more.