Looking to gain mass and make your waist appear smaller? You need to build your upper back with the best upper back exercises created for men.
When performing these exercises, make sure you’re wearing proper hand protection to prevent injuries, as you will be lifting heavy weights. Without gloves, you run the risk of getting calluses and delaying your progress.
Head to the gym, gloves in tow, and add some of the best upper back exercises out there to your weekly workout routine.
The Best Upper Back Exercises for Men
To strengthen your upper back, give these moves a try:
Barbell Rows: Hold onto a loaded barbell with both hands. Position your hands shoulder-distance apart with your palms facing you. Bend your knees and lean forward slightly from the waist. Aim to position your back almost parallel to the floor. Begin with your arms hanging straight down from your shoulders. Exhale, bend your elbows and raise the barbell to your chest. Let your elbows finish higher than your back and at the top of the movement, contract your shoulder blades together. Pause for one second then inhale and slowly lower the weight to the starting position. Aim to perform two or three sets of eight to 10 reps.
Dumbbell Upright Row: Build your traps with upright dumbbell rows. Hold onto a dumbbell in each hand with your arms straight and the dumbbells resting on your thighs. Your palms should be facing your legs. Exhale, bend your elbows and raise the dumbbells up toward your shoulders. Keep your elbows higher than your hands and the dumbbells close to your body as you lift. Inhale and slowly return to the starting position. Complete two or three sets of eight to 10 repetitions.
T-Bar Row: Enhance your overall upper body and upper back with a plate-loaded T-bar row. Straddle the bar as you stand on the platform. Hold onto the handles with your hands positioned at shoulder-width distance apart, or slightly wider. Bend your knees and slightly bend forward. Exhale and pull the T-bar toward your mid-section. Inhale and slowly release. Aim to keep your lower back straight. If you find you are moving your torso to raise the weight, reduce the load.<
Dumbbell Shrug: Target your upper back with shrugs. Stand with your feet at hips-distance apart. Hold onto a dumbbell in each hand with your arms at your sides and your palms facing in. Exhale and shrug your shoulders toward your ears. Aim to raise them as high as possible. Inhale and slowly lower to the starting position.