In Part 1 yesterday we looked at the basis of developing a great, powerful back. Now here I have a program for you that is tried and tested and you can follow it to develop that back superb back shape and size you crave!

The Program

A1. Dumbbell Row & Pause: Sets – 4 Reps – 8

Rest 30 seconds

A2. Dumbbell Shrugs: Sets – 4 Reps – 12
Rest 30 seconds

B1. Incline Batwings: Sets – 3 Reps – 6 (5 sec hold)
Rest 30 seconds

B2. Pull Ups: Sets – 3 Reps – 3 to 8
Rest 30 seconds

C1. Face Pulls: Sets – 3 Reps – 8
Rest 30 seconds

C2. Prone IYWT hold: Sets – 3 Rest 10 sec each
Rest 30 seconds

*A1, A2 means a superset, perform one set of A1 then one set of A2 until all sets are complete

Dumbbell Row & Pause

Muscles worked: Lats, rhomboids, Mid trap, biceps, erector spinae

1. Set up with a knee on a bench and the hand of the same side also on the bench. Your other foot should be on the ground with your knee bent slightly. Make sure this leg is back a bit so you have space to perform the row.

2. Now with the free arm you have, grab the dumbbell from the floor and set yourself so your back is flat and shoulders are squared up to the floor.

3. Initiate the row by driving your elbow straight towards the ceiling.

4. Once you reach the top portion where the dumbbell is to your body, hold for a 1 second pause. Control the weight back to the bottom and repeat until all reps are complete.

Dumbbell Shrug

Muscles worked: Upper Trap, levator scapulae

1. Stand with feet about shoulder width apart, knees soft, butt tight, core braced and dumbbells down by your side with a neutral grip.

2. Shrug your shoulders straight up towards your ears without rolling them in either direction. Make sure you do not tuck your chin as you shrug. Also do not jerk the weight uncontrollably, or bend your elbows at all while you shrug.

3. Hold the top position for a 1 count and then control the dumbbells back to the bottom.

Incline Batwings

Muscles worked: Rhomboids, mid traps

1. With a pair of dumbbells in hand, lie face down on an incline bench at 30 degrees.

2. Unlike the dumbbell row you will focus on pulling more with your hands on this exercise by taking your thumbs up towards your armpits. Your elbows will still be going towards the ceiling but they will be flared away from your body a little more. From above your torso would look like bat wings.

3. The final key to this movement is to think about squeezing your shoulder blades together. This time you will hold the top for 5 seconds each rep.

Pull Up

Muscles worked: Lats, Lower traps

1. Utilizing an overhand grip you will hang from a pull-up bar with a slight flex at the arms, feet together and slightly in front of you so your abs are tense and hands about shoulder width apart.

2, Initiate the pull by squeezing the bar and trying to drive your elbows behind you. This should bring your upper chest up to the bar. Do not jerk your head to put your chin above the bar, this does nothing for you except jack up your neck.

3. Lower yourself under control and repeat.

back workouts for men_4Face Pulls

Muscles worked: Posterior deltoid, rhomboids, rotator cuff

1. Using the rope attachment on a cable machine, set the height slightly above your shoulders. Grab the rope with your fists facing each other and walk back until your arms are extended.

2. Stand with one foot in front of the other for a proper base.

3. Keeping the elbows slightly elevated, pull the rope towards your face and, if capable, go until your hands pass your face to about your ears. Squeeze the upper back in this position and then return to the start position.

Prone IYWT

Muscles worked: Rhomboids, mid trap, lower trap

1. Lie face down on a bench with either extremely light weights (like 2.5 lb plates) or no weight at all.

2. Keeping your thumbs toward the ceiling the whole time, start by taking your arms straight overhead in an I shape.

3. Now make a Y shape with your arms. Then a W by pulling your elbows straight back from the Y position, and lastly a T by taking your arms straight out to the side.

4. Each position will be held for 10 seconds which will make one set.

Final tips

– Always master technique before using heavy weight.

– The mind muscle connection is a real thing so focus on feeling the muscles when doing the movements.

– You could use this specific protocol for anywhere from 3 to 8 weeks. Not every variable has to change in order to have variation in your program. Adding weight and increasing frequency will be enough to keep this going up to that 8 week mark.

– Listen to your body. If something doesn’t feel right stop doing it and consider seeking the help of an expert.

– To help with recovery and therefore maximize muscle growth make sure you are getting adequate nutrition.

The only thing left to do is train. Take this comprehensive men’s back workout with you to the gym and build the jacked back you’ve always wanted!

Connect with Expert Steven Schmitter

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Mel, 32y Location: London, United Kingdom Working with Pollyanna changed everything. I lost 13kg, got toned and have more energy than ever! Get same results!


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Chris, 50y Location: London, United Kingdom Lost 45kg after the age of 50 and now competes and wins physique competitions and runs marathons Check our weight loss plans