The ONLY 2 Upper Back Exercises You Need


The ONLY 2 Upper Back Exercises You Need

 The upper back is a crucial area to target when it comes to building a strong and well-rounded physique. Not only does a developed upper back contribute to better posture, but it also plays a significant role in enhancing performance in various exercises such as the bench press, deadlift, and squat. In this article, we will delve into the only two upper back exercises you need to incorporate into your training routine for optimal results.

Exercise 1: Throat Pulls

One of the most effective exercises for building a big and yoked upper back is the throat pull. This exercise targets multiple muscles in the upper back, including the traps, scapula, and posterior deltoids. There are two variations of throat pulls that you can choose from, depending on the equipment available to you.

Variation 1: Cable Throat Pulls

If you have access to a cable machine, you can perform cable throat pulls using a rope attachment or an easy curl bar attachment. To execute this exercise, follow these steps:

  1. Set the cable machine to a low setting and stand at a distance, creating a 45-degree angle with the cable.
  2. Position yourself with your hips slightly back, ensuring proper form and alignment.
  3. Initiate the movement by rowing the cable towards your throat, focusing on pulling your clavicles back as far as possible.
  4. Avoid shrugging your shoulders up; instead, focus on squeezing your traps and engaging the upper back muscles.
  5. Maintain control throughout the movement and perform the desired number of repetitions.

Variation 2: Incline Bench Throat Pulls

If you don't have access to a cable machine, you can perform throat pulls using an incline bench and an easy curl bar. Here's how to do it:

  1. Set the incline bench so that you can kneel on the bottom pad and lean over slightly.
  2. Straighten your upper back and initiate the movement by pushing back and activating your lats.
  3. As you let the bar swing, row it up towards your throat, focusing on driving through your traps.
  4. Keep your elbows in and maintain proper form throughout the exercise.
  5. Control the movement during both the upward and downward phases to maximize the benefits.

Exercise 2: Face Pulls

The second exercise that should be a staple in your upper back training routine is the face pull. This exercise not only targets the upper traps but also engages the rear delts, middle traps, and lower traps. It is an excellent choice for improving posture and developing a well-rounded upper back.

To perform face pulls, you will need a cable machine with a rope attachment. Here's how to execute the exercise:

  1. Attach the rope to the cable machine at chest height.
  2. Take an underhand grip on the rope, keeping your elbows at a 90-degree angle.
  3. Initiate the movement by pulling the rope towards your face, focusing on external rotation at the shoulders.
  4. Squeeze your upper back muscles and aim to take your thumbs back behind you.
  5. To engage the lower lats, raise your arms slightly while performing the face pull.
  6. Control the movement throughout, paying attention to both the concentric and eccentric phases.

By incorporating these two exercises into your upper back training routine, you can effectively target and develop the muscles responsible for proper posture and enhanced performance in other exercises. Whether you choose throat pulls or face pulls, or even better, combine them in a superset, you are ensuring comprehensive upper back development.

Benefits of a Strong Upper Back

A strong and well-developed upper back has several benefits, both in the gym and in everyday life. Here are some reasons why you should prioritize training your upper back:

  1. Improved Posture: A strong upper back helps maintain proper alignment, reducing the risk of postural issues such as rounded shoulders or a hunched back.
  2. Enhanced Performance: The muscles in the upper back play a significant role in exercises like the bench press, deadlift, and squat. Strengthening these muscles can lead to better performance and increased lifting capabilities.
  3. Injury Prevention: A weak upper back can contribute to imbalances and compensations, increasing the risk of injuries in the shoulders, neck, and spine. Strengthening these muscles helps maintain stability and reduce the likelihood of injury.
  4. Better Aesthetic Appearance: A developed upper back creates a V-shaped physique, enhancing overall aesthetics and symmetry.
  5. Functional Strength: Strong upper back muscles are essential for carrying out daily activities that involve lifting, pulling, and pushing.


In conclusion, the only two upper back exercises you need to focus on are throat pulls and face pulls. These exercises target multiple muscles in the upper back, including the traps, scapula, rear delts, and lats. By incorporating these exercises into your training routine, you can improve posture, enhance performance, and reduce the risk of injuries. Remember to perform the exercises with proper form and control, gradually increasing the weight and intensity as your strength improves. So, get ready to build a strong and well-developed upper back by incorporating throat pulls and face pulls into your workouts. Happy training!

Additional Information: It is important to note that before starting any new exercise program, it is recommended to consult with a qualified fitness professional to ensure proper form and technique. Additionally, listen to your body and adjust the exercises and weights according to your individual fitness level and capabilities.


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