Instant Improver

How To Build Your Upper Back

Three easy exercises for neglected muscles

Many men spend weights sessions dreaming of bigger biceps or firmer pecs. But a better back? You can’t even see it. What’s the point?

According to personal trainer Alex West (boostyourbody.co.uk), there are a few. “Working on your back muscles can help you look slimmer, taller and make your chest seem larger by improving your posture,” he says. “A strong back also helps prevent back pain.”

If you’re guilty of back neglect, here are West’s essential exercises.

Chin-Ups

“Use an underhand grip and pull yourself up until your chest touches the bar/tree branch/whatever you’re hanging off,” says West, “then lower back down. Build up to three sets of 10.”

Lat Pull- Downs

“If you aren’t strong enough to do chin-ups, or want to add width to your body’s ‘V’ shape, lat pull-downs are for you. Using an overhand grip, drive the elbows down as low as possible. Do three sets of 12.”

Arm Rows

“Perfect if you’re stronger on one side than the other. Start with your weakest side, and only do as many reps with your strong side as you can do with your weakest to ensure even muscle development.”

Now all you need is a 360-degree mirror…

(Image: Corbis)