T Nation

How to Develop the Middle Back ?

Hi TNation,

I am a new member and would like to know how to develop the middle back(the area between scaplua) ?

I have reasonably wide spread lats and good traps but the lower middle traps and the rhomboids are totally missing, giving my back a non-thick view. I do Barbell Rows(body parallel to floor and pulling to chest) and body weight pull ups + Shrugs on my back day.

I am 200 lbs and 185 cms tall

Let me know what exercises would target that area and if someone knows of a back specialization routine please let me know so.

thanks,
Abhi.

Inclince Trap Raises

Maybe i would do work that area first when i get in the gym and repeat hitting that area before i leave the gym.
Reverse flys machine or dumbbells, hold at max contraction and slow the eccentrics/negatives. Going high frequency 4 times plus weekly is also working for some people.
All the best !

[quote]Ct. Rockula wrote:
Inclince Trap Raises
[/quote]
Dumb question, but do you sit on the incline bench like youre doing an incline press or your face facing the seat?

DEADLIFT

Barbell rows from the floor, and deadlifts. T bar rows work too if you have access to equipment.

Since you’re already doing weighted pullups, try this for the lower trapezius:

From the deadhang, pull yourself up without bending the arms, slowly, holding on top for a second or two.

It’s not a lot of ROM, but it’s effective isolation. You can do it as a preexhaust right before the actual pullup.

You hands should be pronated and placed probably at bit wider apart than shoulder wide, because the fibres run diagonally. After your pre-exhaust set, you can of course change grip and width for the pullup.

The already smoked lower-trapezius will have to fire heavier to keep up.

Stay strong-
S.

[quote]Michael Crehan wrote:
DEADLIFT[/quote]

I seriously was waiting for someone to say “facepulls” instead of deadlifts.

rows to your chest

For the middle back: Very wide grip to your upper stomach/chest with a pretty close to parallel torso, slightly above it and control on the lowering, rack deadlifts from below knee, mid shin, knee level, deadlift from floor, deadlift from blocks, just deadlift a LOT and relatively heavy, yates rows, and many other things.

[quote]chobbs wrote:

[quote]Ct. Rockula wrote:
Inclince Trap Raises
[/quote]
Dumb question, but do you sit on the incline bench like youre doing an incline press or your face facing the seat?[/quote]

facing the seat

[quote]chobbs wrote:

[quote]Ct. Rockula wrote:
Inclince Trap Raises
[/quote]
Dumb question, but do you sit on the incline bench like youre doing an incline press or your face facing the seat?[/quote]

Face to ground. Shrug against gravity.

Well there’s activation exercises and then there’s bigger weight training movements that you could use as well…

YTWL on incline bench (lowest incline) with light dbs (3-5 pounds) before every upper body workout to get activated. Retract scap before every rep and make sure you feel it in the intended areas.

Forearm wall slides
scapular wall slides
behind the head band pull apart

Inverted Rows
Facepulls
CT recently recommended dead stop snatch grip BB rows for middle/lower traps
Scapular retractions in inverted row position with weighted vest

Basically any horizontal pulling movement - Just make sure you keep your shoulders out of your ears (don’t shrug up, keep shoulder blades down) and really focus on squeezing your shoulder blades together and holding the contraction for a second or two.

I’d say just pick a couple activation exercises to do during your warmup and experiment with lots of different types of horizontal rowing movements, make notes of which ones you “feel” the most in the intended areas and then use those exercises and cut out the ones that are not working for you.

[quote]chobbs wrote:

[quote]Ct. Rockula wrote:
Inclince Trap Raises
[/quote]
Dumb question, but do you sit on the incline bench like youre doing an incline press or your face facing the seat?[/quote]

Face down.

Arms at 10 and 2

Raise.

Find the sweet spot for you in the range of motion and work that part of the set for your reps.

You can also do shrugs in that position.

^that’s a great exercise for shoulder health too

i’d suggest good old t-bar rows… not on a machine or anything fancy… just an olympic bar in the corner with a rowing handle… do 4 sets on back day between 8-15 reps

[quote]rds63799 wrote:
^that’s a great exercise for shoulder health too[/quote]

Exactly.

This is how I currently have to perform my lateral raises (due to a shoulder issue I’m dealing with.)

[quote]Ct. Rockula wrote:

Face down.

Arms at 10 and 2

Raise.

Find the sweet spot for you in the range of motion and work that part of the set for your reps.

[/quote]

So wait, is it kind of like doing “Y’s” but only inverted and with DBs? Forgive my newbness. I have done prone shrugs before and they really hit the lower traps. I would like to try these if I can figure out how.

[quote]Iron Dwarf wrote:

[quote]rds63799 wrote:
^that’s a great exercise for shoulder health too[/quote]

Exactly.

This is how I currently have to perform my lateral raises (due to a shoulder issue I’m dealing with.)[/quote]

I do a few sets in my warm up and my shoulder feels better than it has in years. Works really well with resistance bands.

Crucifixion cable pulls. Stand in the middle of the cable pulls. Position the pulls higher than your head. Grasp handles and pull to the side like you’re a Super Saiyan transforming. It’s a short rang of motion but it isolates the area you want to and it’s by far the most taxing of that area. This is of course after you’re using close grip rows as your staple already.