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The Best Back Machines for Building Muscle

When working the back muscles, gym-goers often rely on free weights. While these are great exercises, you might be missing out on some of the best back machines for muscle-building. This article will describe multiple gym back machine exercises ideal for targeting the back muscles. We’ll also provide tips on how to properly perform these exercises, as well as variations that can help add intensity to your workout.

Anatomy of the Back

Before we get into the best gym back machines, it’s important to understand the anatomy of the back. The back consists of numerous muscle groups, including:

  • Latissimus dorsi (lats): These are the large, flat muscles on either side of the back. The lats attach to the lower back and run all the way up to the shoulder blades. The function of the lats is to bring the arms down and back.

  • Trapezius (traps): These are the muscles that run from the base of the neck, out to the shoulders, and down to the middle of the back. The traps are responsible for shrugging and rotating the shoulders.

  • Erector spinae: This is a group of muscles that runs along the spine from the base of the neck down to the lower back. The erector spinae helps to straighten and rotate the spine.

  • Teres major and minor: These are small, round muscles located under the lats. The teres muscles attach from the lower back to the upper arm (humerus). The function of the teres muscles is to help rotate the arm.

  • Rhomboids: These are muscles between the shoulder blades. The rhomboids attach from the spine to the shoulder blade. The function of the rhomboids is to pull the shoulder blades together.

Now that we’ve reviewed some of the main back muscles, let’s look at the benefits of gym back machines.

 

Benefits of Gym Back Machines

Gym back machines offer a number of benefits, including:

Isolation: When using gym back machines, you can isolate specific muscle groups. This is beneficial if you’re looking to target a particular area of the back. For example, the lat pulldown machine allows you to specifically target the lats.

Safety: Gym back machines can be safer than free weights, as they offer stability and support. This is especially beneficial if you’re new to lifting or have any existing injuries.

Variety: Gym back machines offer a wide range of exercises that can target different muscle groups. This variety can help keep your workouts interesting and prevent boredom.

Now that we’ve reviewed some of the benefits of gym back machines, let’s look at some of the best gym back machines for muscle-building.

Best Back Machines for Muscle-Building

Here are some of the best gym back machines for muscle-building:

Exercise #1: Lat Pulldown

The lat pulldown is effective for targeting the lats. Proper form is necessary when performing the lat pulldown to reach full activation of the Latissimus muscle group.

To perform this exercise:

  • Sit down at the lat pulldown machine and grasp the bar with an overhand grip.

  • Place your hands shoulder-width apart.

  • Lean back slightly and bring the bar down to your chest.

  • From here, slowly extend your arms back to the starting position.

Exercise #2: Seated Row

The seated row and one-arm dumbbell row are both effective for targeting the middle back.

To perform the seated row:

  • Sit down at the machine and grasp the handles with an overhand grip.

  • Lean back slightly and pull the handles towards your chest.

  • From here, slowly extend your arms back to the starting position.

Exercise #3: Assisted Pull-Up

The assisted pull-up is effective for targeting the lats, middle back, and traps.

To perform this exercise:

  • Adjust the machine to your height and grasp the handles with an overhand grip.

  • Lean back slightly and pull yourself up until your chin is over the bar.

  • From here, slowly lower yourself back to the starting position.

Exercise #4: Reverse Fly

The reverse fly is effective for targeting the rear delts.

To perform this exercise:

  • Adjust the machine to your height and grasp the handles with an overhand grip.

  • Lean forward slightly and bring the handles out to your sides.

  • From here, slowly return to the starting position.

Exercise #5: T-Bar Row Machine

The T-bar row is effective for targeting the lats and middle back. An exercise that incorporated less low back movement, like the machine t-bar row, can better work the upper back muscles.

To perform this exercise:

  • Load the desired weight onto the machine and adjust the pad to your height.

  • Place your feet on the platform and grasp the bar with an overhand grip.

  • Keeping your back straight, row the bar up to your chest.

  • From here, lower the bar back to the starting position.

Exercise #6: Chest Supported Row

The chest-supported row is effective for targeting the lats and middle back.

To perform this exercise:

  • Adjust the machine to your height and place your chest on the pad.

  • Grasp the handles with an overhand grip and row the bar up to your chest.

  • From here, lower the bar back to the starting position.

Exercise #7: Cable Face-Pulls

The cable face-pull is effective for targeting the rear delts.

To perform this exercise:

  • Attach a rope handle to a high pulley and grasp the handles with an overhand grip.

  • Pull the handles towards your face, keeping your elbows high.

  • From here, slowly return to the starting position.

Exercise 8: Cable Pulldowns

Cable pulldowns are effective for targeting the lats.

To perform this exercise:

  • Attach a rope handle to a high pulley and grasp the handles with an overhand grip.

  • Pull the handles down to your chest, keeping your elbows close to your sides.

  • From here, slowly return to the starting position.

Now that we’ve reviewed some of the best gym back machines for muscle-building, let’s look at some tips to help you get the most out of your workouts.

Tips for Using Gym Back Machines

Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your gym back machine workouts:

  • Warm up before using any gym back machines. A warm-up will help increase blood flow to your muscles and reduce the risk of injury.

  • Use a lightweight to start. This will help you get a feel for the exercise and ensure that you are using the proper form.

  • Focus on squeezing your back muscles throughout the entire range of motion. This will help engage more muscle fibers and lead to greater muscle growth.

  • Don’t forget to cool down after your workout. A cool-down will help reduce muscle soreness and improve recovery.

 

Common Mistakes People Make When Using Gym Back Machines

The first common mistake people make is not performing the movement slowly and being controlled. Avoid rushing through the exercises and focus on quality over quantity. Being able to perform the movement with sufficient time under tension is vital for muscle growth.

The second common mistake people make is not using a full range of motion. Be sure to lower the weight all the way down and extend your arms fully at the top of each exercise.

The third common mistake people make is not breathing properly. Be sure to inhale as you lower the weight and exhale as you lift the weight.

Summary

In summary, some of the best gym back machines for muscle-building are the lat pulldown, seated row, and T-bar row. These exercises are effective for targeting the lats, middle back, and rear delts. Remember to use a full range of motion and focus on quality over quantity. Breathe properly and be sure to warm up and cool down after your workout. Following these tips will help you get the most out of your gym back machine workouts and see results.

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