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The Only 3 Back Exercises That We Need?

Hi CT,

I want to try a minimalist Program which has more back focus at the cost of everything else. I want to use the same exercises in every back workout.

What are the 3 Back exercises that you would recommend that I should take up.

I am not a big fan of Lat muscles. Unless you suggest a Lat movement I am not planning to include one in the training. In the Olympic lifts also I can do only the Power Cleans with good form.

I am planning to work out the back 3 times a week. I haven’t made up my mind if I should practice different Rep-ranges in each workout or the same Rep ranges. I would like to hear from you about this idea too.

Looking forward to hear from you.(Apologies if my English is not good)


Pull up


God, Thanks for the simplistic answer. I was interested in knowing which combination would be closest to 100%. For example TBar Rows + Pull Ups + Straight leg deadlift or Seated Rows + Chinups + Deadlift etc etc.

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It doesn’t matter. Just row, chin-up (weighted if you’re strong enough) and Deadlift.
You don’t need to neglect the rest of your body to build a thick back. Just make sure you are pulling twice a week and eating


Well, the power clean is a great movement but I wouldn’t see it as a back exercise.

And what is this “I’m not a big fan of lats” thing? Is it more like you don’t like the look of big lats or that you don’t like “lats exercises”? While . I personally believe that horizontal pulling movements should be trained heavier than vertical pulling ones, you should still have both horizontal and vertical pulling exercises in your plan.

So my own personal recommendations would be:

  • Deadlifts or rack pulls from below the knees
  • T-bar row
  • Chin-ups if you can do them, lat pulldown if not

Hi CT, Thanks for the answer.

By “not a big fan of Lats” I meant that visually I am not a fan of Bodybuilder Lats which are too big just below the arm pit. A thick upper back with good traps & good erector Spinae is what I find more appealing.

I can do Body weight pull ups. I will keep them in the routine as per your suggestion. I was just worried if I don’t do a movement like Lat Pulldown how does it affect the remainder of the back.

Again, Thanks a ton for your answer. It is just something I want to try to see how my Body responds. Will give this a 3 month run and then move to something else :slight_smile:

Also, don’t be so tied to this idea. Do 3 movements for 4-6 weeks then pick another 3.

I bet no one sticks with three movements for their entire training career… your strengths and weaknesses, as well as goals and desires, will change and you will need to adjust.

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