T Nation

Mid Back Struggling

Stop trying to be fancy and just build muscle.

[quote]spar4tee wrote:
Stop trying to be fancy and just build muscle.[/quote]

Well yes but first you need the knowledge to build the muscle, as i’ve said I don’t want to just rely on shrugs and deadlifts.

[quote]killerDIRK wrote:
Have you tried Face Pull’s ? just asking out of curiosity. This site has a good video if you need it.[/quote]

Yeah I do them on shoulder day to hit the rear delts, havn’t seen any trap growth from them though

[quote]Bailey H wrote:

[quote]spar4tee wrote:
Stop trying to be fancy and just build muscle.[/quote]

Well yes but first you need the knowledge to build the muscle, as i’ve said I don’t want to just rely on shrugs and deadlifts.[/quote]
Rows have been stated several times

Bailey H, be careful of listening to these arm chair experts who jump straight to “always do” or “never do” when it comes to certain exercises or form. Does he have the back development you aspire to have? It may be a riskier form but the point of the full range of motion rows I described is to gain the fullest development through increased range of motion. When most people do rows they are never fully extending and never fully flexing. If you did this for biceps it wouldn’t be a question as to why they aren’t fully developed. But with back OMG that would be terrible. Not using the full range of motion in your traps is why they are underdeveloped. Give it a try with a medium weight you can handle very strictly before you pass judgement on why I recommend not packing your neck for rows.

[quote]ElevenMag wrote:
Bailey H, be careful of listening to these arm chair experts who jump straight to “always do” or “never do” when it comes to certain exercises or form. Does he have the back development you aspire to have? It may be a riskier form but the point of the full range of motion rows I described is to gain the fullest development through increased range of motion. When most people do rows they are never fully extending and never fully flexing. If you did this for biceps it wouldn’t be a question as to why they aren’t fully developed. But with back OMG that would be terrible. Not using the full range of motion in your traps is why they are underdeveloped. Give it a try with a medium weight you can handle very strictly before you pass judgement on why I recommend not packing your neck for rows.[/quote]

You really believe that cervical movement contributes much to trap growth, even tho the neck is not loaded at all during rows?

[quote]spar4tee wrote:

[quote]Bailey H wrote:

[quote]spar4tee wrote:
Stop trying to be fancy and just build muscle.[/quote]

Well yes but first you need the knowledge to build the muscle, as i’ve said I don’t want to just rely on shrugs and deadlifts.[/quote]
Rows have been stated several times[/quote]

Yes but it would be nice to have more than one exercise, hence why im asking.

[quote]Bailey H wrote:

[quote]spar4tee wrote:

[quote]Bailey H wrote:

[quote]spar4tee wrote:
Stop trying to be fancy and just build muscle.[/quote]

Well yes but first you need the knowledge to build the muscle, as i’ve said I don’t want to just rely on shrugs and deadlifts.[/quote]
Rows have been stated several times[/quote]

Yes but it would be nice to have more than one exercise, hence why im asking.[/quote]

Why do you need more than one exercise for one muscle?

Here’s some variations for you anyway. Look them up.
Dumbbell rows
Pendlay rows
Barbell rows

Oh and btw, in case you dind’t know, myosaurus is his avatar. So he just might be kinda worth listening to…

[quote]Bailey H wrote:

[quote]spar4tee wrote:

[quote]Bailey H wrote:

[quote]spar4tee wrote:
Stop trying to be fancy and just build muscle.[/quote]

Well yes but first you need the knowledge to build the muscle, as i’ve said I don’t want to just rely on shrugs and deadlifts.[/quote]
Rows have been stated several times[/quote]

Yes but it would be nice to have more than one exercise, hence why im asking.[/quote]

You shouldn’t add exercises for the sake of adding them. Get strong on deadlifts(600 for reps), rows(400 for reps) and shrugs(800 for reps) and you wont be complaining about you’re mid back anymore.

[quote]Anus Bleach wrote:

[quote]ElevenMag wrote:
Bailey H, be careful of listening to these arm chair experts who jump straight to “always do” or “never do” when it comes to certain exercises or form. Does he have the back development you aspire to have? It may be a riskier form but the point of the full range of motion rows I described is to gain the fullest development through increased range of motion. When most people do rows they are never fully extending and never fully flexing. If you did this for biceps it wouldn’t be a question as to why they aren’t fully developed. But with back OMG that would be terrible. Not using the full range of motion in your traps is why they are underdeveloped. Give it a try with a medium weight you can handle very strictly before you pass judgement on why I recommend not packing your neck for rows.[/quote]

You really believe that cervical movement contributes much to trap growth, even tho the neck is not loaded at all during rows?[/quote]

Do your traps connect to your neck? I know mine do. I believe putting the muscle through the full range of motion is key to full development. You probably wouldn’t argue this for something as far as someone who underdeveloped from 1/4th or 1/2th squats but when it comes to rows, OH MY!

In order to fully stretch the traps at the beginning of the row you need your chin on your chest, have a concave chest, and let your arms out as far as possible with a slight bend in them (to protect elbows) and in order to fully contract them at the end you must be looking at the ceiling , your scapula retracted fully, elbows pulled back as far as allowed (the bar touching your chest) and back entirely arched.

OP is lacking in the belly of his traps where they connect to the spine near his upper back. This could be because he never works them through the full range of motion hence why I offered my solution to his problem.

Oh and one last bit about the neck not being loaded. The traps must use your neck as a anchor point when drawing the head backward, raising the shoulder girdle, or rotating the scapula. Hence the need to stretch them out by tucking your chin to the chest or contracting them by drawing head back as far as possible

[quote]ElevenMag wrote:

[quote]Anus Bleach wrote:

[quote]ElevenMag wrote:
Bailey H, be careful of listening to these arm chair experts who jump straight to “always do” or “never do” when it comes to certain exercises or form. Does he have the back development you aspire to have? It may be a riskier form but the point of the full range of motion rows I described is to gain the fullest development through increased range of motion. When most people do rows they are never fully extending and never fully flexing. If you did this for biceps it wouldn’t be a question as to why they aren’t fully developed. But with back OMG that would be terrible. Not using the full range of motion in your traps is why they are underdeveloped. Give it a try with a medium weight you can handle very strictly before you pass judgement on why I recommend not packing your neck for rows.[/quote]

You really believe that cervical movement contributes much to trap growth, even tho the neck is not loaded at all during rows?[/quote]

Do your traps connect to your neck? I know mine do. I believe putting the muscle through the full range of motion is key to full development. You probably wouldn’t argue this for something as far as someone who underdeveloped from 1/4th or 1/2th squats but when it comes to rows, OH MY!

In order to fully stretch the traps at the beginning of the row you need your chin on your chest, have a concave chest, and let your arms out as far as possible with a slight bend in them (to protect elbows) and in order to fully contract them at the end you must be looking at the ceiling , your scapula retracted fully, elbows pulled back as far as allowed (the bar touching your chest) and back entirely arched.

OP is lacking in the belly of his traps where they connect to the spine near his upper back. This could be because he never works them through the full range of motion hence why I offered my solution to his problem.[/quote]

How come I’ve never seen a pro bodybuilder, strongman, powerlifter, or olympic lifter doing this? In fact I’ve never seen ANYONE doing this.

What you’re saying is akin to saying that since the biceps crosses the sholder and is slightly involved in raising your humerus, you should add in some kind of front raise when you curl to increase your ROM.

[quote]hastalles wrote:

[quote]ElevenMag wrote:

[quote]Anus Bleach wrote:

[quote]ElevenMag wrote:
Bailey H, be careful of listening to these arm chair experts who jump straight to “always do” or “never do” when it comes to certain exercises or form. Does he have the back development you aspire to have? It may be a riskier form but the point of the full range of motion rows I described is to gain the fullest development through increased range of motion. When most people do rows they are never fully extending and never fully flexing. If you did this for biceps it wouldn’t be a question as to why they aren’t fully developed. But with back OMG that would be terrible. Not using the full range of motion in your traps is why they are underdeveloped. Give it a try with a medium weight you can handle very strictly before you pass judgement on why I recommend not packing your neck for rows.[/quote]

You really believe that cervical movement contributes much to trap growth, even tho the neck is not loaded at all during rows?[/quote]

Do your traps connect to your neck? I know mine do. I believe putting the muscle through the full range of motion is key to full development. You probably wouldn’t argue this for something as far as someone who underdeveloped from 1/4th or 1/2th squats but when it comes to rows, OH MY!

In order to fully stretch the traps at the beginning of the row you need your chin on your chest, have a concave chest, and let your arms out as far as possible with a slight bend in them (to protect elbows) and in order to fully contract them at the end you must be looking at the ceiling , your scapula retracted fully, elbows pulled back as far as allowed (the bar touching your chest) and back entirely arched.

OP is lacking in the belly of his traps where they connect to the spine near his upper back. This could be because he never works them through the full range of motion hence why I offered my solution to his problem.[/quote]

How come I’ve never seen a pro bodybuilder, strongman, powerlifter, or olympic lifter doing this? In fact I’ve never seen ANYONE doing this.

What you’re saying is akin to saying that since the biceps crosses the sholder and is slightly involved in raising your humerus, you should add in some kind of front raise when you curl to increase your ROM.[/quote]

Granted its a little exaggerated, he does have a point: Getting the neck into a good position can help the scapulae depress down, which is especially useful if you’re prone to tight neck muscles and too much “shrugging” as you row. I wouldn’t DRIVE your chin in and down and then CRANK your neck up as you are rowing, but thinking about a good, stable neck position can certainly help with the “feel”.
Outside of that, “sternum pull-ups”, in which you lean back starting with the top of your head and pull your sternum to the bar as you pull up, has helped tremendously with the “feel” of my mid and low traps. I use a neutral grip (palms facing each other) but to each their own. Just be careful if you are prone to hyper-extending your back; I am, so I do these with straight legs and a flexed butt.

herp derp

[quote]hastalles wrote:

[quote]ElevenMag wrote:

[quote]Anus Bleach wrote:

[quote]ElevenMag wrote:
Bailey H, be careful of listening to these arm chair experts who jump straight to “always do” or “never do” when it comes to certain exercises or form. Does he have the back development you aspire to have? It may be a riskier form but the point of the full range of motion rows I described is to gain the fullest development through increased range of motion. When most people do rows they are never fully extending and never fully flexing. If you did this for biceps it wouldn’t be a question as to why they aren’t fully developed. But with back OMG that would be terrible. Not using the full range of motion in your traps is why they are underdeveloped. Give it a try with a medium weight you can handle very strictly before you pass judgement on why I recommend not packing your neck for rows.[/quote]

You really believe that cervical movement contributes much to trap growth, even tho the neck is not loaded at all during rows?[/quote]

Do your traps connect to your neck? I know mine do. I believe putting the muscle through the full range of motion is key to full development. You probably wouldn’t argue this for something as far as someone who underdeveloped from 1/4th or 1/2th squats but when it comes to rows, OH MY!

In order to fully stretch the traps at the beginning of the row you need your chin on your chest, have a concave chest, and let your arms out as far as possible with a slight bend in them (to protect elbows) and in order to fully contract them at the end you must be looking at the ceiling , your scapula retracted fully, elbows pulled back as far as allowed (the bar touching your chest) and back entirely arched.

OP is lacking in the belly of his traps where they connect to the spine near his upper back. This could be because he never works them through the full range of motion hence why I offered my solution to his problem.[/quote]

How come I’ve never seen a pro bodybuilder, strongman, powerlifter, or olympic lifter doing this? In fact I’ve never seen ANYONE doing this.

What you’re saying is akin to saying that since the biceps crosses the sholder and is slightly involved in raising your humerus, you should add in some kind of front raise when you curl to increase your ROM.[/quote]

Or you could do one arm curls from a pulley above you with your elbow held with your other hand to the side of you head. You can really feel a difference in the peak contraction. Give it a try. Never seen any bodybuilder do it? Your not looking hard enough my friend. I’ll give you three. Ever experiment on your own or are you strictly part of the monkey see monkey do crowd of bodybuilding. Give em a try before you criticize

These aren’t quite the exact same technique of row but all three tucked there chins and rounded their backs while rowing

Boyer Coe

[photo]35916[/photo]

Steve Reeves

[photo]35919[/photo]

Steve Davis

[photo]35917[/photo]

[photo]35918[/photo]

[quote]Bmacres wrote:

Granted its a little exaggerated, he does have a point: Getting the neck into a good position can help the scapulae depress down, which is especially useful if you’re prone to tight neck muscles and too much “shrugging” as you row. I wouldn’t DRIVE your chin in and down and then CRANK your neck up as you are rowing, but thinking about a good, stable neck position can certainly help with the “feel”.
Outside of that, “sternum pull-ups”, in which you lean back starting with the top of your head and pull your sternum to the bar as you pull up, has helped tremendously with the “feel” of my mid and low traps. I use a neutral grip (palms facing each other) but to each their own. Just be careful if you are prone to hyper-extending your back; I am, so I do these with straight legs and a flexed butt.[/quote]

Exactly, I didn’t think this needed to be mentioned. You don’t use any momentum when you put yourself in riskier than normal postures. This is a movement to fully stretch and peak contract under control with strict form as I advised. Seriously try it if your doubting me, you really can feel the traps work the full range of motion

I don’t understand how such a simple question became such a huge thread.

Anything (mostly pulling movements) that causes you to squeeze your shoulder blades together will work this muscle.

Regular shrugs probably won’t do much for the lower middle traps.
But if your leaning/bending in the right angle you can directly work this muscle so next time you’re in the gym get creative and see what you can come up with or think about what movements will maximally contract this part of your body. Its a little muscle and I’ve found the little muscles in my body respond best to isolations. (Traps, delts, arms and so on)

Certainly, neck position affects trapezius stretch and contraction just as shoulder position affects your biceps. But you don’t actively move your shoulder on curls do you? Same with pulling your head back until you’re looking at the ceiling. Maybe you’re exaggerating or I’m not understanding or something.

Experimentation is great and if your method works for you and isn’t hurting you, then by all means keep it up. And I’ll (very carefully) give it a shot next time I row. But honestly, I just don’t see it. :slight_smile:

Admittedly, my upper traps absolutely suck so I’m certainly no expert there.

By the way, where’d you get those pictures? Cool stuff.

I don’t have a very impressive physique or anything, but I noticed that once I added kroc rows my back blew up… check my log for a before and after picture if you want proof, its on the second last page of my log…
-Kroc rows
-Deadstop Dumbbell rows
-Deadlifts
Imo best back exercises

Reeves Deadlifts.
A deadlift with a shrug at the end. Awesomeness.