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My back exercises are getting stale need some new ones.I do bent over rows,one arm rows,lat pulldowns and pullups.I workout in a small gym have no t-bar row or any other row machine for that matter.They do have a lot of dumbbells and freeweights with no waiting.any ideas? oh do you guys shrug with back or shoulders? Thanks for any help.


Read Poliquin's top 10 back exercises...you can find it in a previous issue here at T-mag.

Also, there are countless variations to the "pull-up." You could just do pullups for the rest of your life with the various variations and your lat routine will never get stale.

I normally train traps with lats.

Also, don't neglect to train the back extensors...deadlift, its the best exercise ever invented.


Have you checked out the FAQ section? There's a whole bit there that will provide you a list/links to just about all of the back articles in previous issues of T-Mag. You'll get some ideas there.....


Issue 144 had a short topic called The Modified Gymnast routine, try that. Also read Ian Kings 12 weeks to super strength parts of that give some awesome w/outs and can give some ideas for designing your own.


Yes, you do have a t-bar and you don't even know it. Take a standard olympic bar (the one you bench with), put one end in a corner, or put one end in the corner of a bench press (the back, where you would spot someone), grab a close grip triangle (the one used for close grip cable rows) and attach it towards the middle to top of the end that is not in the corner and row away. You may also want to put some weight on the end that is not in the corner if you want to build some muskles. It's you choice.


You could try some of these...

BARBELL DEADLIFTS if there's sufficient
weight / stiff legs also


DB SWING CLEANS - where you raise the DB about 2 inches from the floor, then swing it back 1st then forwards as fast as possible - you need big BDs though.

PULLOVERS across a bench

PRONE DB/BARBELL ROWS - lie face down on a bench (an incline bench if poss) and use either DBs, barbell or best - a cable to perform some kind of row.

PRONE SHRUGS - you do this the same as the exercise above, but try a barbell with a wide grip - don't bend the elbows at all, just shrug back - a flat bench is best, but needs elevating

BODY WEIGHT ROWS - find something at waist height to hang off - like a table, and hang off it so that your body is in an 'upside down push up' position, pull yourself up. This is easy with no extra weight, and is probably best used as a finisher.

T-BARS IMPROVISED - I train at home sometimes - and if you have a latpulldown machine you can definately do t-bars. Take the bar off the lat machine and get a peice of rope/chain/old bra whatever and tie it loosely to the end of the knurling on an olympic bar. Place the other end such that it doesn't move much (this becomes more of an issue with more weight). It's great and very flexible.



Do some corner rows. Take a barbell, put one end in a corner and load the other end with 25 lb plates. Straddle the end of the bar with the weights and use it like a t-bar row. If the gym has one of the small "v" shaped attachments for the lat-pull, you can use it, or just hold onto the bar directly.


Try doing the bodyweight rows as KEV described with 1 arm at a time. I do them in a power rack and set the height as needed to meet your strength. You can do them on a smith machine also or even on a bench press. Anywhere that is stable enough.


really, bent over rows and pullups are bout all you need. Throw in dumbells for variety


There is one exercise that is REALLY good for putting on size that nobody seems to be doing: Dbl and Barbell Pullovers!


AMEN! I couldn't agree more. Pullovers rank right up there with rows, chins, and deadlifts for overall back development.


to make sure pullovers are targetting your back fully, I have found doing them on a decline keeps tension on the lats more as there is still a load (due to the inproved mechanical position)in the top position.