5 Tips for Building Your Best Back Ever

4. Nix The Momentum

Using momentum during workouts isn’t always a bad thing. For instance, if you’re doing Olympic lifts, you’re purposefully generating momentum to develop your explosive power. In other cases, though, slinging weight around takes the tension off the target muscle and can make an exercise much less effective.

If you want to maximize the development of your back, you need to take it slower on a majority of your movements, including rows, pull-downs, and pull-ups. For example, during deadlifts and rows, a short pause at the bottom of each rep can help dissipate momentum.

MuscleTech brand ambassador Abel Albonetti is a fan of one particular move that incorporates that very trait:


Pendlay Row

This barbell exercise includes a dead stop at the bottom of each rep, with the weight set down on the floor. To do it right, place your feet about shoulder-width apart, with the fronts of your ankles flush against the barbell. Bend at the hips and take an overhand grip on the bar, just outside your ankles. Your back should be parallel to the floor, with your core tight and your eyes looking ahead to a spot on the floor. Pull the bar to your upper abdomen, leading with your elbows as they bend and squeezing your shoulder blades together at the top. Lower the bar along the same path and reset, putting the weight on the floor for a second before you pull it straight up again.


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