"There is no such thing as a weak man with a strong back" Ed Coan
A strong back, from the fifth lumbar vertebra to the first cervical vertebra, is the basis for maximum and sustainable training success. No other area has such a big effect on the rest of the body as the back. The stronger the back, the greater and more sustainable the progress in all other exercises, the better the posture, the lower the susceptibility to injury, the faster the build-up of muscle mass and the higher the maximum strength, jumping power and sprint speed.
In particular, the maximum strength of the back is the best indicator for the sprint speed of 0-5m.
In order to build a strong back, 3 exercise groups are crucial:
1. Pull-ups - One of the most effective upper body exercises that works the lats, scapula retractors, stabilizers and rotators as well as the elbow flexors. Pull-ups are one of the best indicators of upper body strength and one of the two most effective exercises to quickly build muscle mass and upper body strength. If you don't know how to do pull-ups yet, read this article to learn how to do pull-ups
2. Rows – Especially the variations where the elbow is in the contracted position at shoulder or elbow level are ideal for recruiting rhomboids and the middle trapezium, thus repositioning the shoulder blades to improve posture. In contrast, rowing variants on the abdomen recruit more lats and are an ideal variant for training the back at an advanced stage.
3. Deadlift - ...is not a back exercise. It's a leg exercise because the two primary joints—the hips and knees—are part of the lower body. However, due to the high isometric contraction of the erector spinae, lats, rhomboids, and trapezius, the deadlift is a crucial exercise in building a strong back.
All 3 exercise groups are crucial. None replaces another. Integrate all 3 exercises in all their variations into your training program for maximum progress. Here is an example of the progression of the back exercises in 4 phases of 6 workouts each. Pull-ups and rows are part of the upper body workout. Deadlifts are part of leg training.
Phase 1 - Pull-up, tight, neutral - Row, rope, to the neck, pronated - LH Romanian deadlift, shoulder-width, pronated grip
Phase 2 - Pull-up, supinated, shoulder width - Row, with rope, to neck, 4 fingers up - LH deadlift, off rack, shoulder width, pronated grip
Phase 3 - Pull Up, Pronated, Shoulder Width - Row, Rope, To Neck, Pronated, Fatgripz - LH Deadlift, Off Floor, Shoulder Width, Pronated Grip
Phase 4 - Pull-up, mixed grip, supinated/pronated, shoulder width - Row, with bar, to upper abdomen, pronated, shoulder-width grip, 1 1/4 back - LH deadlift, off floor, wide, pronated grip
The strongest back I've ever heard of is Ed Coan, the most successful powerlifter of all time. Bent over LH rows at 260kg, wide pronated grip pull-ups at 105kg plus 90kg of extra weight for 5 reps and 409kg LH deadlift at 99kg redefine standards.
You want to get stronger and faster, train your back - with these 3 exercise groups...
Picture: 100m sprinter and YPSI athlete Sven Knipphals, who set a new 60m personal best with 6.73s in the first competition of the 2016 indoor season and won the North German Championship a week later.