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Muscle-Building Workout and Diet


What’s up, guys? Jeff Cavaliere, ATHLEANX.com. Today we’re going to do the definitive back
training workout video for you. This is why: because I’m breaking out four damned markers
for you guys. As a matter of fact, it’s a whole new package of markers to make sure
the – Jeff muscle markers – that you get what we’re talking about when it comes to
back training. Look, first and foremost, people don’t give
the back the respect it deserves. Because they can’t see it they don’t want to train
it. Those that are training a little bit more seriously, of course you’ll train your back,
but as you’ll see by the time this video’s done, there’s a lot more going on in the back
than the lats. As a matter of fact, you can see, I’ve got
a whole damned road map going on back here and a lot of ink was used to make sure that
we get you to understand that. So I’m going to break it down muscle by muscle and tell
you why you need to do certain things and what the best exercises are to target those
areas so you have a better understanding the next time you attack your back workout. Okay, let’s start with the lats. That’s probably
the one that you’re, at least, training. So what we want to do is look at the anatomy
of the lats to better understand what they do. They feed into the “X” in our back. Not
just me. I’m not the only one that has an X implanted in my back. It’s actually something
we all should strive for. What that is, that’s the lat, as it feeds
down and in, and you’ll have the X that kind of goes like this in your back. It’s the thoracic-lumbar
fascia that the lats will feed into. We’ll talk about that muscle in a second. It feeds
into it there, and then they fan up, and around. So how would you train these? Well, you want to make sure that you’re pulling
your arms down and into your sides, and we’re going to do that with exercises like pull
ups, or as I’m showing you here, a lat pull down. Why is it that you might feel it more,
or at least more of a stretch when you’re doing an underhand lat pulldown, as I’m showing
you here? Well, look at the anatomy again. If I have
my arms in front of my body like this, instantly you see that I’m getting more stretch, more
of a lengthening here of the lat as it reaches all the way around the back, and up around
here at the top. Whereas, if I put my arm to the side here, I’ve just taken away all
that extra stretch. So you might feel it more by doing an underhand
version of this. Both of them are ultimately going to end down at your side, at peak contraction
of the lats, but you’re going to at least have an understanding now, why one may feel
better than the other. The next muscle group we’re going to attack – because it takes
a huge portion, it covers a large area of your back – are your traps. When you look at them they’re big ass muscles.
They’re the ones over here taking up all this space. They literally start at the base of
your head, on the bump here on the back of your head. They come all the way down your
spine, they fan out here, they come back in, and they actually have different purposes
and different functions depending on the area of that muscle we’re talking about. So you might have heard people talk about
the upper traps, and you have people talking about the lower traps. Well again, look at
the direction of the fibers. The fibers of the upper trap are coming down this way. So
I always talk about one of the big flaws people make when they train their traps, is to strictly
just lift straight up and down. That’s not really training the lats the way that they
actually have to be trained. If you’re taking into respect the orientation
of the fibers going down this way, then you actually want to be pulling up and at an angle.
So I’ve actually developed the exercise here that I showed you in a previous trap video,
that actually does just that. Now, you don’t have to use a band to do this. You could use
a lower cable, weighted, heavy, and you can pull at an angle up against that slope and
then twist and turn because we’re going to get some of that retraction of the scapula
as well. So we’re building into the major functions
of the upper trap. The next thing we’re going to do is then look at the lower trap and these
fibers are going to run up in this direction. So what they do is, they actually stabilize
down and back and hold your shoulder blades in place, down and back. So we can actually
attack them with an exercise like the inverted Y. you take a light set of dumbbells – again,
if you’re not used to training these muscles you’re going to have to get used to it because
you need to train all of them in order to get your back to show the way it’s supposed
to. You want to get your arms up and over your
head, keeping your shoulder blades down and back. Especially as you raise the weight up,
it gets more challenging. Your shoulder blades want to fly away. Keep the packed down and
back and you’ll hit both the upper and now the lower traps. Next we have another one
of those muscles that you probably don’t really think about that much, but if you want to
have a complete back and a total back development you’d better start. It’s the terres major.
Look, it’s really close in proximity here to the lats. Guess why. Because they all have the same
function as the lats. But there’s one key differentiator that you can do to target this
a little bit more effectively. It’s going to be the width of the grip on a lat pull
down. So you saw me do the lat pull down before. I’m going to show it to you again here. You
can see my grip here, the width of it is sort of neutral, about shoulder width apart. If you want to start targeting and favoring
a little bit more of the terres major then you’re going to widen that grip out, about
as far as the bar will go. Perform the exercise the same way, but you can see that you’re
getting more activation. You can actually see that muscle contracting right here underneath
that drawing I have. Obviously, it moves underneath the pen, but you can see that area now, contracting
a lot more. That’s the quickest and easiest way for you
to start building this important area and maybe feel that divot that you have in the
back from ignoring it for so long. Next we’re going to talk about three muscles at once.
People don’t even know that they’re actually separate muscles a lot of times. It’s the
rotator cuff. We’re talking specifically about the supraspinatus, the infraspinatus, and
the terres minor. Again, muscles that you never even think about
training when it comes to back when you’re all focus on lats, lats, lats. But again,
they’re really important because they actually fill in this space up here in your upper back,
above and below the spine of your scapula. That’s where we get the supraspinatus and
the infraspinatus. Obviously, the rotator cuff is a very vulnerable group of muscles
that become injured often in people that don’t train right. That’s a lot of us, but we can tell that if
we give it some attention, it actually can respond well and also complete that upper
back development. Here’s how to do it: you’ve got to externally rotate your arm. If you’re
not externally rotating your arm in some exercise then guess what; you are not training these
muscles. There’s no other way to train them. All they do, for the most part, is externally
rotate. So they take your arm and they move it outward
in the socket. So what we can do is we can take an exercise like a W raise. All these
exercises are ones that we actually program in ATHLEANX because I know how important they
are and how you need to make sure that you’re focusing on these. The W raise is one of them.
You bend over like you’re going to do a rear delt raise, but from here we’re actually going
to rotate the arms backward. I’m actually trying to, as you see me here,
move my thumbs back behind my body. I’m not just doing this. I’m doing this and this,
externally rotating here at the shoulder so that I’m getting a little bit of that rhomboid
activation – which we’re going to talk about next – and also the external rotation. So
I’m hitting all three of those muscles at once. So I mentioned the rhomboids. Let’s
talk about the rhomboids. Again, if I look at this side of my body here,
you’re not going to really see them because they’re buried deeper than the traps. So the
traps are going to cover it all, but if you look at this side of my body over here, you
can see that the rhomboids are right up in here. Now, the idea is they run up at a little
bit of an angle. So when you’re doing your rhomboid exercises like a T, all we’re trying
to do is pull our shoulder blades closer together. They attach on the shoulder blade to the spin.
So when they shorten, all they’re going to do is bring the shoulder blade from around
the body, back closer to the spine. But because of the angle that they run, when we do our
Ts, if you come up at a little bit of an angle, you’re actually going to hit them even better.
Again, these are exercises that you have to do. Rowing will actually work these muscles
too, but the idea is, you have to at least attack them a little bit more directly – sometimes
with lighter weights – to get more activation and better overall development. Finally, we’ll end at the low back. Again,
we’re going to talk about some of the top muscles and some of the ones that are underneath.
The ones we all talk about is the Christmas tree action, right? We’re looking at all the
fibers that run this direction here, and we want to know how we do that. Well, really,
the most important thing, especially for the safety of your low back, are the muscles that
run up and down. They’re basically acting like guide wires
that are actually strengthening and stabilizing your spine. Well, we can do that with something
as simple as a hyperextension. If the fibers are going straight up and down you can do
what I’m showing you here. You’re just going to go from a flexed position to an extended
position, or to a neutral position, and strengthen the muscles that way. But there’s something
I think you could do even a little bit better. I’ve talked about before how these thoracial
lumbar fascia has the lats that feed into it. so if they’re touching and feeding right
into it, as you can see down at the bottom there, then obviously they’re going to have
some kind of effect if you could get the lats to be activated as well. So we can do that.
We can combine the two. If you could get into this band, as I show you, now you’re going
to flex forward. So the band wants to pull me in this direction. Now, if I have to resist backward and pull
against the band, I’m working those final erectors – great – but at the same time
I can pull my hands out inside the band and also now engage the lats. It’s going to give
you the opportunity to start getting that low back – not just stronger – but to
stand out and look a lot better. All right, you might be asking “Jeff, is there one exercise
– you’re usually good at coming up with exercises – one that I can do that’s going
to hit every muscle in my back?” Well, unfortunately, not every single one
because there’s a lot of muscles going on back there, as you see. But there is one move
here that will combine a lot of these things together. That is, you get yourself out of
hyperextension again. You allow your body to fold over in the starting position. So
you’re pretty much perpendicular to the ground. If I’m holding a pair of heavy dumbbells down
here at the ground and I lift them straight up, I’m actually in the frontal plane as I
would be with a lat pulldown, but I’m basically doing an inverted lat pull down. I’m working the lats, I’m working the terres
major, I’m getting those muscles to fire up, but I’m not even done yet because what I do
is, I then return the weights back down, I come up into a normal hyperextension, I’m
now working all those muscles in the low back that we talked about; all those deeper muscles.
At this point, I now hold at the top, and then I do a row. I pull the dumbbells up close
to my sides and I try to recreate those shoulder blades together. So now we’re working on some
of those mid-scapular muscles. I’m not necessarily doing all that great of
a job at getting the lower traps and not necessarily doing all that great of a job of getting the
upper traps. We are trying to retract and hold, but we can do things maybe a bit better
for that, but you get the idea. A lot of things are working at once here. So if you only have
a very short amount of time, this might be the one quick option that you want to try
to do. So there you have it, guys. Breaking out the muscle markers to help you
to understand, not just how important it is to train your back, but really how many ways
you have to train your back if you want to get the most out of it. If you guys are looking
to put the science back in strength, I hope these things make it a lot easier for you
to visualize, but it do this every single time we do a workout. In our ATHLEANX training
system I try to break down the science and put it back in strength so that you understand,
not just what to do, but why you’re doing it. Once you do, I guarantee the results come
a lot faster. You can find our ATHLEANX program over at ATHLEANX.com. In the meantime, if
you’ve found this video helpful, if you want more muscle markers, of course – I might
even break out six, or two backs next time, depending on what we cover. Make sure you
leave your comments below and I will do my best. In the meantime, I’ll see you back here in
just a couple days to cover more of what you want to see. See you!

100 thoughts on “Best Back Workout Video Ever (HIT EVERY MUSCLE!!)

  1. I watch at least 2 or 3 Athlean X videos on whatever body part I’m about to train, helps reinforce the basics and why I’m doing what I’m doing. Thanks Jeff and crew.

  2. Wow i never saw anyone explain muscle exercise so damn good , thanks for sharing with us jeff , M gonna hit your exercise style now thanks

  3. Im so lucky news feed showed me this channel, I used to do a lot of sport, but I got injured on my back, and my spine started to hurt, the doctor said I should strengthen my back muscles without putting pressure on my spine, im so lucky I found this channel.
    Thanks Jeff

  4. I think Jeff’s body is ideal, not bulky or not to lean. I usually look at his videos when I want to know how to target a specific muscle group. So on back day I can better work these muscles. Great video!

  5. Jeff deserves some recognition and rewards for his commitment to helping people workout properly and creating amazing workouts never seen.

  6. 2:54 mistaken word spoken …! he should've say traps not lats … made me confused for a while this mistake :))

  7. When I do lat pulldowns, why do I feel it more in my biceps and chest almost. Hardly pumps myback at all!! Should I lower weight and focus on squeezing the lats??

  8. Bought his program. best value I gave ever seen for any info/training product. Great presentation and layout, well explained, well worth the money.

  9. Your video have helped so much in improving my workout. Especially this one I've felt a major difference in the workouts I walk out of the gym now actually feeling like I hit the muscles right and I'm not even lifting as much as I was before

  10. Started watching your videos yesterday after searching for shoulder workout and now I’ve been watching your videos for the whole night cus I couldn’t stop! I’m a girl but I absolutely love how you explain how the muscles work and how to target them all. Definitely going to use your videos for all my workouts! Thea from Norway 🙂 I am excited to go to the gym today!!

  11. great videos on this channel!! it would be helpful, in your videos, if we could see you body positioning a little more clearly. the weird camera angle, like in the W raise part of this video, makes some of your examples hard to see the total exercise-often times your hands or feet float out of frame so things like- foot positioning- body angle to the floor -hand positions – are obscured –great stuff! keep it up!

  12. Hey Jeff I follow your programs religiously and I have a question, only when I do pull ups my right bicep tendon feels tight.

  13. Uhhhh, I was told by a trainer to do the lat pull down by pulling the bar behind my back. Is that a thing?

  14. Is it oké for the head to hang in there like that and put pressure against gravity ( The last exercise I mean). Is it oké for you head? Because the blood might go there too much? I am just asking, I'm a trainee in becoming a personal trainer so I want to do whats best for the body.

  15. I’m not really understanding the inverted Y for the lower traps. I’m not really able to feel myself targeting this the way I should. Can someone expand on this one?

  16. Jeff, thank you so much for the detailed explanations. This knowledge is changing my training mentality/approach. Recently introduced to your channel so, hopefully my results as well.

  17. A great video. I've sorted out most of my shoulder problems (rounded, thoracic flexion) and my back in finally starting to show because of Jeff's videos! Good stuff

  18. Doctor said that I bear inflammation in all back muscles that they're blocking my rhomboids from living and breathing so when I sat longtime I get a symptom of forward head posture. came to see ur doings not talkings

  19. You dont show correctly some exercises from different angles. The explanations are perfect but better image of the exercises would be appreciated

  20. Awesome…. the best video for back and proper exercise for each and every part which i couldn't find in any other chanel

  21. I like watching Jeff videos for tips and tricks but I hate following his routine he makes it no fun because the exercise movement are so damn awkward

  22. I swear, people that work out have the shortest attention span. You can't sit and learn from a 11 min video?

  23. Agree with many of the comments from other viewers. I've taught exercise to adults and teens for 30 years. Jeff is the most detailed and easiest to understand. Also, his ability to explain things clearly without a bunch of nonsense really is a credit to his craft. I have students use his advice frequently in classes I teach. Kudos to Jeff on doing an excellent job!

  24. Exercise Movements in this video: (Notes to Self)
    Lats:
    – Pull ups or Lat Pull Down 1:30
    – underhand Lat Pull Down 1:40
    Upper Traps:
    – Traps Twist and Turn with Bands 3:05
    Lower Traps:
    – Inverted Y 3:38 (Tip: keep shoulders down and back)
    (other Trap Activation Movements: Weighted Shrugs, Cable Shrugs, etc)
    Teres Major:
    – wide Grip Lat Pull Down 4:27
    Rotator Cuff: External Rotation Exercises
    – W raise 6:10
    Rhomboids:
    – T raise 7:15 (Rowing will also activate this muscle)
    – Bent Over Rows
    Lower Back:
    Hyperextension on GHD machine 8:00
    Banded low back extension 8:32
    Major Muscles: (All in one)
    on GHD machine, do Inverted Lat Pull Down and then go down, then do a Hyperextension and then hold on top and then row 9:19 – 10:05

  25. Juvenile:
    "In a healthy body — a healthy mind"Who is not indifferent – Charity fee for equipment -WebMoney WMID 879329632430 Z721659873225
    E110221243924
    G399697528818

  26. So just to round things up guys,, never leave the gym, hit every muscle everyday and leave NOTHING to chance, your wife will have to bring meals to the gym for you.

  27. Nice, buddy. Where did you pick up so much knowledge? I left it at the gym for years and learned a lot, but by looking at your advice, I realized how little I knew

  28. i dont understand … i train on one day my biceps and my back but how shall i do so much under 1 hour? could someone pls help me ?

  29. There isn’t a single heavy compound movement (such as a deadlift, barbell row) or the facepull in this workout (which Jeff likes a lot). So how can this be the perfect back workout???

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