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Spinal Erectors to Traps Connection

I have great spinal erectors and upper traps. But my middle back, connecting the two areas for that pythons-straight-down-the-entire-back look, is relatively lacking. How do people build this area of the middle back for that python look? Does it need to be targeted using a specific lift, or is this a matter of conditioning? Picture provided for example.

I’m guessing this guy has a huge deadlift. Those and any kind of low row (elbows tucked in close to hips, bar to abdomen) will fill in the lower lats.

It would help if he was more conditioned to actually tell if the bulk of what looks like erectors is actually lower lats. I’m having a hard time deciding

Is he jhonnie jackson?? Right??

JOHNNIE O!

[quote]lemony2j wrote:
I’m guessing this guy has a huge deadlift. Those and any kind of low row (elbows tucked in close to hips, bar to abdomen) will fill in the lower lats.

It would help if he was more conditioned to actually tell if the bulk of what looks like erectors is actually lower lats. I’m having a hard time deciding[/quote]

I know anatomy quite well as part of my career: On any normal person, what you’re seeing on the surface consists of the erectors from the waist up to the middle of the back. But from the top down to the middle is all traps. People think the traps are just the lumps at the top but traps go much lower down and overlie the rhomboids (and also the erectors). Lower lats aren’t really a part of the “python” muscles. Although the lats overlie the erectors as well; you can tell the difference because the lats fan out diagonally while the erectors go straight up and down. And you can even see on Johnnie’s back where the V-shaped lats separate from the up-and-down erectors.

I have it on good authority (lots of youtube videos) that Johnnie Jackson deadlifts a lot of weight.

[quote]LankyMofo wrote:
I have it on good authority (lots of youtube videos) that Johnnie Jackson deadlifts a lot of weight. [/quote]
Oh really? I thought people said deadlifts do shit for you back, he must be doing other things for his back. I mean powerlifters don’t have big backs, right? They also have tiny arms since they don’t have an arm day, right?

^ sarcasm

[quote]rser wrote:

[quote]lemony2j wrote:
I’m guessing this guy has a huge deadlift. Those and any kind of low row (elbows tucked in close to hips, bar to abdomen) will fill in the lower lats.

It would help if he was more conditioned to actually tell if the bulk of what looks like erectors is actually lower lats. I’m having a hard time deciding[/quote]

I know anatomy quite well as part of my career: On any normal person, what you’re seeing on the surface consists of the erectors from the waist up to the middle of the back. But from the top down to the middle is all traps. People think the traps are just the lumps at the top but traps go much lower down and overlie the rhomboids (and also the erectors). Lower lats aren’t really a part of the “python” muscles. Although the lats overlie the erectors as well; you can tell the difference because the lats fan out diagonally while the erectors go straight up and down. And you can even see on Johnnie’s back where the V-shaped lats separate from the up-and-down erectors.[/quote]

I agree with most of this but you can usually see where the erectors stem out from and his just stop a few inches short of that…

Either way he’s a friggin beast, he looks like a teenage mutant ninja turtle

[quote]rser wrote:
Does it need to be targeted using a specific lift, or is this a matter of conditioning?[/quote]
A little of both. What’s your current height and weight?

What does your current back workout look like? (The exercises, sets, and reps.)

I’m pretty sure a picture of your “great” back would’ve been more relevant.

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]rser wrote:
Does it need to be targeted using a specific lift, or is this a matter of conditioning?[/quote]
A little of both. What’s your current height and weight?

What does your current back workout look like? (The exercises, sets, and reps.)

I’m pretty sure a picture of your “great” back would’ve been more relevant.[/quote]

5’10.5" & 243lbs

I do this back routine 2x/week:

Deadlift 4x6
Bentover Rows 4x6
Behind-neck Pulldowns 4x6
Wide-grip Chinups 4xFailure (I try to get at least 24)
One-arm Dumbbell/Cable Rows 3x8

All lifts are heavy.

Picture included; sorry for the terrible quality.

nice back and tris!

[quote]browndisaster wrote:
nice back and tris![/quote]

Thanks.

Looking at myself from this perspective for the first time, I actually am able to make out the development in my middle back. Its visibility seems to depend much on the pose used. Regardless, Chris Colucci, what recommendations do you have?

[quote]rser wrote:

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]rser wrote:
Does it need to be targeted using a specific lift, or is this a matter of conditioning?[/quote]
A little of both. What’s your current height and weight?

What does your current back workout look like? (The exercises, sets, and reps.)

I’m pretty sure a picture of your “great” back would’ve been more relevant.[/quote]

5’10.5" & 243lbs

I do this back routine 2x/week:

Deadlift 4x6
Bentover Rows 4x6
Behind-neck Pulldowns 4x6
Wide-grip Chinups 4xFailure (I try to get at least 24)
One-arm Dumbbell/Cable Rows 3x8

All lifts are heavy.

Picture included; sorry for the terrible quality.[/quote]

Beast.

[quote]rser wrote:
5’10.5" & 243lbs

I do this back routine 2x/week:

Deadlift 4x6
Bentover Rows 4x6
Behind-neck Pulldowns 4x6
Wide-grip Chinups 4xFailure (I try to get at least 24)
One-arm Dumbbell/Cable Rows 3x8

All lifts are heavy.
[/quote]

Your back is well on the way…nice work.

Do you do the bent rows overhand?

I am not a fan of behind the neck pulldowns.
I am a big fan of straight-arm pulldowns…the kayak MOE is a nice alternative to the conventional method.

[quote]BlueCollarTr8n wrote:

[quote]rser wrote:
5’10.5" & 243lbs

I do this back routine 2x/week:

Deadlift 4x6
Bentover Rows 4x6
Behind-neck Pulldowns 4x6
Wide-grip Chinups 4xFailure (I try to get at least 24)
One-arm Dumbbell/Cable Rows 3x8

All lifts are heavy.
[/quote]

Your back is well on the way…nice work.

Do you do the bent rows overhand?

I am not a fan of behind the neck pulldowns.
I am a big fan of straight-arm pulldowns…the kayak MOE is a nice alternative to the conventional method. [/quote]

I usually do them overhand, though I will switch to underhand every once in a while. I do like underhand better because I can feel my lats straining more and it really forces proper form which, as we know, is very difficult but very important with bentover rows. Actually, writing this, I realize I cannot honestly justify overhand grip (for myself); it allows me to use more weight but I do cheat a little more, and I think I go to it instead of underhand because I’m so spent after doing deadlift and other things first. Beginning next session, I’ll be doing underhand.

Actually, I didn’t start behind-the-neck pulldowns until very recently. I just felt that I was able to get my lower traps/rhomboid area to burn a little more which I’ve never been able to do. Even if it’s just in my head, I still do the chinups so I haven’t been at a loss for a more serious exercise. Regardless, I’ll absolutely agree with the prior posters who said that deadlifts are paramount to all else for getting the trap and spinal erectors to bulge out from top to bottom, with chins and bentover rows tied for a distant second. Relatively speaking, the behind-neck pulldowns may very well be inconsequential regardless of the “burn” I get. Beginning next session, I will drop the behind-neck pulldowns and go back to focusing more on just chins.

[quote]optheta wrote:

[quote]rser wrote:

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]rser wrote:
Does it need to be targeted using a specific lift, or is this a matter of conditioning?[/quote]
A little of both. What’s your current height and weight?

What does your current back workout look like? (The exercises, sets, and reps.)

I’m pretty sure a picture of your “great” back would’ve been more relevant.[/quote]

5’10.5" & 243lbs

I do this back routine 2x/week:

Deadlift 4x6
Bentover Rows 4x6
Behind-neck Pulldowns 4x6
Wide-grip Chinups 4xFailure (I try to get at least 24)
One-arm Dumbbell/Cable Rows 3x8

All lifts are heavy.

Picture included; sorry for the terrible quality.[/quote]

Beast.[/quote]

Thanks.

[quote]rser wrote:

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]rser wrote:
Does it need to be targeted using a specific lift, or is this a matter of conditioning?[/quote]
A little of both. What’s your current height and weight?

What does your current back workout look like? (The exercises, sets, and reps.)

I’m pretty sure a picture of your “great” back would’ve been more relevant.[/quote]

5’10.5" & 243lbs

I do this back routine 2x/week:

Deadlift 4x6
Bentover Rows 4x6
Behind-neck Pulldowns 4x6
Wide-grip Chinups 4xFailure (I try to get at least 24)
One-arm Dumbbell/Cable Rows 3x8

All lifts are heavy.

Picture included; sorry for the terrible quality.[/quote]

DAMN FINE RESULTS…

I gotta up my game!

[quote]Null wrote:

[quote]rser wrote:

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]rser wrote:
Does it need to be targeted using a specific lift, or is this a matter of conditioning?[/quote]
A little of both. What’s your current height and weight?

What does your current back workout look like? (The exercises, sets, and reps.)

I’m pretty sure a picture of your “great” back would’ve been more relevant.[/quote]

5’10.5" & 243lbs

I do this back routine 2x/week:

Deadlift 4x6
Bentover Rows 4x6
Behind-neck Pulldowns 4x6
Wide-grip Chinups 4xFailure (I try to get at least 24)
One-arm Dumbbell/Cable Rows 3x8

All lifts are heavy.

Picture included; sorry for the terrible quality.[/quote]

DAMN FINE RESULTS…

I gotta up my game!
[/quote]

Thanks.

Go heavier on deadlifts every few workouts such as ramping up to a 3-5rep max

Umm… keep doing what you are doing, because you look pretty impressive. JoJ is on another level of back development(especially his erectors+traps, both lower+upper) even in comparison to almost every other pro BBer, so while it’s certainly a back to aspire to I wouldn’t use his development as a comparison to say your back is lacking. His conditioning in that picture also helps it stand out more.