The intricate anatomy of the back provides support for the head and trunk of the body, strength in the trunk of the body, as well as a great deal of flexibility and movement. The upper back has the most structural support, with the ribs attached firmly to each level of the thoracic spine and very limited movement. The lower back allows for flexibility and movement in back bending (extension) and forward bending (flexion). It does not permit twisting.
The trapezius is a large superficial muscle that extends longitudinally (north/south) from the occipital bone (base/back of skull) to the lower thoracic vertebrae (mid-spine/back) and laterally (east/west) to the spine of the scapula (shoulder blade). Its function are to move the scapulae and support the arm. The trapezius has three functional regions: the superior region (descending part), which supports the weight of the arm; the intermediate region (transverse part), which retracts the scapulae; and the inferior region (ascending part), which medially rotates and depresses the scapulae. Essentially the trap's are a main support to the load of which your arms may endure, while supporting the neck/head.
Latissimus dorsi muscle:
Literally meaning, "broadest muscle of the back". Is the larger, flat, dorso-lateral muscle on the trunk, posterior to the arm, and partly covered by the trapezius on its median dorsal region. This muscle is commonly known as the, "lats". The latissimus dorsi is responsible for extension, adduction, transverse extension, flexion from an extended position and medial internal rotation of the shoulder joint. It also has a synergistic role in extension and lateral flexion of the lumbar spine. The lat's are essentially utilized best when pulling with your arms and/or are heavily involved in the swinging movements in the sporting world.
Erector spinae muscle:
The Erector spinae is a muscle group in humans and animals, which extends the vertebral column. It is not just one muscle, but a bundle of muscles and tendons. It is paired and runs more or less vertically. It extends throughout the lumbar, thoracic, and cervical regions, and lies in the groove to the side of the vertebral column. It is the biggest/widest in the lumbar (lower) region of the back and begins to taper/narrow as it ascends upwards toward the base of the skull. While there are several other muscles in the lower-back in my opinion this is key muscle to focus on when strengthening and/or training your lower-back. Essentially, think of this muscle that surrounds your entire vertebrae/spine.
Below is a, anatomical view with descriptions outlying the muscles discussed. Hopefully this gives you a little bit more insight into your back and gives you a little more information to work off of as you train your back.
Here is a sound back workout program. If you are looking for more ideas or a change to your already in-place back training program. The following back-program might be just what you are looking for. In most cases when writing training programs I generally like to include the deltoids (shoulders). However, for the purpose of this article. I will specifically focus on the back muscles - furthermore the three main muscle groups discussed above.
*After a proper warm-up and stretch.
- Dumbbell shrug @ 3 sets x 8-10 reps
- Behind the back barbell shrug @ 3 sets x 3-5 reps
- Lat pull-down @ 3 sets x 12-15 reps
- Seated row @ 3 sets x 6-8 reps
- Back extensions @ 3 sets x 20-25 reps
- Forward-grip pull-ups @ 3 sets x till failure
To make this back training program a touch more difficult execute this training program as a circuit. Meaning execute each exercise one set at a time, with little to no rest between sets. Once all exercises have been completed once, execute cardio of your choice for 2-3 minutes focusing on keeping your heart-rate at 70-80% of your Maximum heart rate. Then repeat until all sets have been attained.
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Tags: back back workout back training latissmus dorsi trapezius
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