T Nation

Weak back, no spot for pull ups

Hello everyone, ive been working out my chest and arms for the longest time now. My posture is a bit screwed and someone at the nearby fitness center said its probably because i havent been working on my back so my chest muscles are pulling my shoulders forward. I dont know how viable this knowledge is, but i want to start working out my back. Heres my problem, i have no tree’s around my area, nor do i have a pull up bar. What other excercises can i do on my bench or what not to work out the same muscle groups? I have a body solid weight bench with incline, decline, flat bench, dip station, olympic bar, leg-developer. I also have a curl bar and dumbells, and 100 lbs worth of weight. What can i do with this and what type of weight should i start with? Id really like to build my lats up to get a better shape out of my body, and no matter how many shrugs i do i cant seem to build up my traps(thats the muscle right?) BTW, i have dial up connection and when i try and use the search it takes forever and a day. So i was hopign i could get some info straight from the horses mouth. Thanks alot for your time.


Deadlift, snatches, cleans, rows.

Hi Chris,

Check out the FAQ to your left on Back Exercises.

One solution to the chin bar problem - go to the hardware store, or to the bike shop, and get Bike Hooks - ones that can support up to 400 pounds.

Then, drill some holes in either your concrete wall (assuming you know how to do this), ceiling studs, whatever - into a strong fixture.

Then, slide your Olympic bar in the hooks, and you have a chin bar.

At least, that’s what I did in the past - of course, someone will probably say I almost destroyed my house…

Bent over barbbell rows, dumbbell rows etc.

Can you get one of those doorway pullup bars?

Have a go at barbell rows, one arm rows and deadlifts.

Woh that was fast. You guys play no games huh. Ok, what is the precise method of doing deadlifts and what in the world are snatches?

If your shoulders are rounded, you should be taking down the volume on your internal rotators (lats included) and stretching them instead (along with your levator scap and upper traps). Focus on your external rotators, mid/lower traps, and rhomboids.

You can create your own one-arm T-bar row: lodge the Olympic bar in a corner, load the other end with weights. Row.

Ok im not big word friendly. Sorry, im not stupid, but i dont know some of the technical terms you guys are using. A bit more of an explanation would be greatly, GREATLY appreciated. As in, what types of excercises would work the muscle areas you are speaking of. I dont want to come across as arrogant, im just not completely getting what everyone is saying. Ok, maybe i am stupid. shrug

With almost 300 articles available free online with this info and photos, not many people are going to explains the basics to you. The search engine isn’t perfect, but it’s faster than waiting around on someone to tell you the things you can find on your own at T-mag.

Just hit the “previous issues” button and go to town. We’re a helpful bunch, but we don’t bend over backwards to help if someone is just being lazy.

Start with those “best back exercises” or “top ten back movements” articles.

If your chest is overdeveloped, which it seems to be along with your shoulders, your lats may be causing the problem too. That’s what EC was saying. Work on rhomboids (mid back), low traps (right above rhomboids) and whatever else EC said.

Deadlift (regular): load the bar on the ground. feet shoulder width apart, hands about 3-6" beyond feet. Bend down at the knees. Keeping a tight arch, lift the bar off the ground using your hips and ass while keeping the arch. At the top stand up straight, but don’t roll your arms back. Put the bar back down. Repeat.

Snatch: Olympic lift where you take the bar from A) the ground or B) the hang position (holding it at the thighs) and forcefully throw it up to arms length above the head and hold it there. You have to have good technique or you will hurt yourself. Find someone who knows how to do it and learn from them.

Clean: Same as snatch, except you go to your shoulders and catch the weight under your chin.

The only problem with our standard deadlift answer is that his post mentions that he has about 100 pounds of weights. This is obviously going to limit his deads. He might be able to do higher volume bent over rows and cleans but he’ll eventually be limited there as well.

You may not have a chin bar or live by a tree, but there’s got to be a set of monkey bars at the local elementary playground. Doesn’t there?

yeah, but he can make a board like goldberg did in the photo forum.

check out this for some exercises


basic, but good for the newbie’s

More than any amount of back work, you need to educate yourself. Buy a good anatomy book, buy Charles Poliquin’s “The Poliquin Principles” and start reading. Also, even with your dial-up you should be able to get to the FAQ and access the beginner articles listed there. Once you do that, pull up the printable version and download it. This won’t take much time and then you can spend the next few days reading.

One other idea would be to print out this thread and show it to your PT at the gym. S/he can explain the technical terms. (Hopefully.)

Good luck.

Chris41279, a year ago when I first started reading T-Mag, I had never done any of the exercises that are being suggested to you. But I’ve read tons of articles, looked at the pictures, read the description of “how to,” experimented and asked for help when I needed it. What seemed a bit overwhelming in the beginning doesn’t seem at all technical now, but of course I did my homework.

As TEK suggested, use that search engine. There are no shortcuts. You’re going to have to put the time in and read to learn how to fix/correct your problems and achieve your goals. And as you read the “technical jargon” over and over again, it will start to make more sense.

BTW, having a dial-up connection is NO excuse. I have a dial-up connection and use the search engine all the time.

Eric’s a pretty smart guy and has great expertise in the area of shoulder integrity and rotator cuff muscles and balance. You got advice there that’s worth paying for. In fact, he’s got an article on the subject coming out shortly.

FYI, I had the same problem (rounded shoulders) as you a year ago, and I’m convinced my imbalances and rounded shoulders ended up being responsible for bad biomechanics in some of the exercises I did, resulting in rotator cuff surgery I had to have. Get a handle on your situation and fix your problem. It’s more than just your posture at stake. Muscular imbalances cause injuries.

Good luck to you!!!