When you look at a back you want to tick several boxes in order to create the overall illusion you're looking for. The main areas are width, depth, separation and that overall v-taper illusion. As well as that you want as much thickness as possible, all the way from the bottom of your neck right down to your erectors. Depth provides the image of muscle maturity in my opinion, giving a physique the finishing touches in some respects. Here are 3 exercises which will definitely add overall thickness to different areas of your physique.
Erectors - Rack Pulls
Starting at the bottom, building a thick set of erectors really helps give a very strong look to your back with the muscles protruding from either side of your spine. Rack pulls are potentially the ultimate way to help pack on overall mass across your back, whilst bringing extra thickness to your erectors. Deadlifts are also another option, however I feel in some respects rack pulls are more isolated and also reduce the risk of injury in most instances.
Rhomboids - T-Bar Rows
The middle area of your back is where a lot of detail shows when in condition, and it's also where a lot of people lack thickness. To help thicken this area you really need to think outside of the box and utilise specific exercises with a lot of isometric squeezes so that the weight transfer goes directly into this region. In my opinion one of the very best exercises for adding thickness to the mid region of your back are T-bar rows. These are especially effective when you utilise isometric contractions which force the rhomboids to hold the stress and load over other areas of the back. The key is to go heavy enough, yet not go so heavy that you're unable to get the feeling you need within the area.
Traps - High Stance Machine Rows
The traps go one third of the way down your back therefore they are definitely something you need to consider when it comes to adding overall thickness to the area. If you take a machine row and place the seat low so that when you row you're actually pulling the weight in towards your upper chest. To further exaggerate the deliberate isolation of the lower traps with this exercise, keep your elbows very high and you'll feel the squeeze right across your upper back/lower neck.
Lats - Seated Cable Rows
Using close grip seated cable rows is one of the best ways to add overall thickness to the outer area of your back, such as the lats. As you pull the weight into your midriff make sure that you're able to control the weight and force an isometric contraction, to really engage the outer lats. The lats can take longer than other areas of the back to develop thickness which is why you really need to make every rep count!
Your Back Workout
Rack Pulls 3 X 6-8 T-Bar Rows 3 X 8-10 Bent Over Single Arm Rows 3 X 8-10 Close Grip Seated Cable Rows 3 X 10-12 High Stance Seated Machine Rows 3 X 10-12
**90 Seconds rest between sets**
The application is just as important as the formation of the workout. Every rep you must really squeeze your back muscles and for this specific workout I want you to implement a 1 second isometric hold at the top of each rep to really force a maximal contraction. To further the impact I want you to utilise 4 second negatives on every rep. I’d recommend that you use lifting straps to avoid your grip giving out as this will be hugely taxing on this area, potentially leading to failure before your back has truly been broken down.