Back Rows - Cables, Barbell or Dumbbells (2 BEST TIPS!)

Get a bigger, wider back by training like an athlete

Back rows (done with either a barbell, dumbbell or cables) is by far one of the best ways to create a thicker, wider back. The problem is, in an effort to move lots of weight we sometimes forget to focus on the actual muscles we are trying to build. It is in these cases that the biceps tend to kick in, as well as the forearms, and dominate the pulling exercise. While this may temporarily help you to lift more weight on the row exercise, you’re doing yourself a disservice in the long run when it comes to your back and lats development.

In this AX JEFF video, I show you two tips to build a bigger wider back that you can feel working right away. When you do your barbell row (or any other version of rows for that matter), you want to position your wrist in extension. You can achieve this by bending your wrist backwards before you even perform your first rep. This will then be held the remainder of the set.

By bending the wrist backwards, you discourage the contribution of the biceps and wrist flexors in your forearms. If left to their own devices, you would find that these two muscles would want to kick in and help out as you try and complete the row. That is not desirable when you are trying to keep the focus on your back. This simple tweak literally takes just one set to implement, and you should start seeing and feeling the benefits right away.

The second tip that you want to use on your next barbell row is to initiate the movement by pinching your shoulder blades together and then moving the bar. Keep your arms straight and pull back with your shoulder blades or scapulae. This will set the shoulders into a packed position. In this position you will be able to lift more weight as your lats become functionally much stronger since they have a stable base of support to push from.

This is very similar to the concept of trying to jump high off of sand or off of a concrete pavement. Since the sand is much more absorptive of your energy, it disperses the power you generate before you can even exert it into your jump. The same thing happens with a row performed for your back without first setting your back and lats.

Try these two back workout tips and when you are ready to perform a complete training program that top professional athletes use to build ripped athletic muscle, be sure to head to and get the ATHLEAN-X Training System.

For more videos on how to get a bigger, wider back as well as complete back workouts, be sure to subscribe to our channel here on youtube at

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