What does a slim man stand out from a man? Exactly – a strong, athletic and broad back . True to the motto: “A wide back can also delight”, I will give some basic tips in this article on how you can build an athletic and wide V-cross with the right back exercises can!

Broad back? You have to know that

Nobody is born with broad back muscles. However, anyone can build a broad back with hard back training and the right back exercises .

The muscle that makes you look wide from the front and back is called musculus latissimus dorsi . This muscle makes us pull things towards us. Evolution gave us this muscle so that we can quickly climb up and down the trees.

Since hardly anyone climbs up a tree these days, this muscle atrophies and narrow is therefore normal. But if you don’t want to be “normal” and want to stand out from the crowd with a beautiful, strong and wide back, you need a en well well thought-out training plan with the right back exercises.

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Wide V-cross through correct back training

Do you do pull-ups while training your back?

If not, you should change that as soon as possible! With this back exercise I have achieved my best results in terms of a wide back. However, it was also a long and hard way to get this back exercise properly mastered and my first 12 clean pull-ups.

Many beginners avoid the pull-up bar for several reasons:

On the one hand, they are ashamed of only doing one or two repetitions or none at all and on the other hand, the pull-up is an extremely strenuous back exercise. Pulling 40 kilograms on the lat pulldown is much more comfortable than your own body weight on the pull-up bar. But muscle building must be exhausting!

Train to your physical limit , because only then will the body build up the back muscles.

You can not do any pull-ups or only very few? No problem!

When I started training at that time, I just managed a clean pull-up , on the second repetition I was hanging on the bar like a wet sack. But I didn’t give up, I bought a pull-up bar for home, one that can be wedged into the door frame.

I was very ambitious and tried to do clean pull-ups with my new pull-up bar on a regular basis. I trained according to this cluster system and after a few weeks it worked better and better. I felt and saw the first progress, which motivated me extremely!

TIP: If you don’t want to do any pull-ups in the gym or if you generally train at home in your own home gym, then I recommend the following pull-up bar for home. Such pull-up bars are not expensive, but are very effective for building up the back muscles


Are you still looking for the right pull-up bar for your home? Here is my favorite:

The multi-grip pull-up bar from PULLUP & DIP

  • Professional multi-grip pull-up bar for the door frame
  • incl. eyelet for attaching a sling trainer or punching bag
  • quick and easy assembly
  • very stable steel construction, high quality workmanship
  • incl. e-book & pull-up band

The perfect chin-up repetition in 3 steps

  1. Grab the bar about shoulder width with an under or overhand grip and pull yourself up up to the breastbone – yes exactly to the breastbone! For many trainees, the execution at eye level on the bar ends. When done correctly, your chin is above the pull-up bar. Only those who pull themselves all the way up will use the back muscles completely down to the last muscle fiber.
  2. Then hold this position for a second and slowly lower yourself all the way down to the starting position. From there it goes up again.
  3. This is the only way an optimal repetition looks like!

More pull-up tips

  • Make sure that you make a hollow back while pulling up, you will quickly notice that you will hit the back muscle very well!
  • If you can only manage one, two or three repetitions at the beginning, it doesn’t matter and it’s normal.
  • Do 2-3 sets of it and really give it your all with each repetition, it has to burn really hard and in the end you shouldn’t be able to do a single repetition. Your goal for the next back workout or the next but one should be to do one more pull-up repetition.
  • If you regenerate extensively and you eat well, then you will achieve that too. Your goal should be to be able to do 12 clean reps at some point. Once you have arrived there, you can attach additional weights with the help of a dip belt.
  • Are you still not making any progress with your pull-up training? Then instead of doing pull-ups, try first with rack chins to strengthen your back muscles. You can find 5 more mistakes why you are not making progress with pull-up training in this post …

Can a wide back be built up using pull-ups alone?

We now know that pull-ups are one of the best back exercises for a wide back. However, the pull-up should not be the only back exercise in your training plan.

The back muscle not only consists of lattisimus dorsi, but also the trapezius , the rear deltoid and the lower back muscle are in a beautiful shape of the back involved and also make you look broad from the side.

In order to optimally train the entire back muscle, I recommend that you also integrate rowing variants, such as barbell rows into your training plan. Of course, the supreme discipline in back training should not be missing either, namely the deadlift .

Back training plan – this is how effective back training can look like

If you are currently using a full body training plan for your training, then I would design the back part as follows:

  • 2 sets of pull-ups 8-12 WH
  • 1 set of deadlifts 8-12 WH
  • 1 set of rows while sitting on the 8-12 WH cable

For a 2-split training plan, your back training should look like this:

  • 3 sets of pull-ups 8-10 WH
  • 2 sets of deadlifts 8-10 reps
  • 2 sets of rows standing, bent forward 8-10 WH

You can increase the volume again for the 3-way split version:

  • 3 sets of pull-ups, 6-10 reps
  • 3 sets of deadlifts, 6-10 reps
  • 3 sets of rows standing, bent over, 6-10 WH

TIP: In my opinion, the lower back area is trained enough with the deadlift. If you want, you can add 1-2 sets of Hyperextensions to your training plan.

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