The key to a good workout is intensity over duration. It’s more important at the end of your workout to be happy knowing that you pushed yourself hard and worked your body, rather than how long you trained for. With that in mind, this back workout is perfect for those who want a challenging workout that can be done with limited time.
These 4 key exercises will focus on all round back development and aiming for a minimum of 5 rounds and 20 minutes will be enough to feel like a good workout. These exercises should ideally be done in a circuit to maximise intensity and reduce time between exercises. If you must change any of them slightly to do that you can interchange pull ups with lat pull-downs and close-grip v-bar pulldowns with chin ups.
Do a minimum of 5 rounds but you can do up to 7 rounds. All exercises should be done to failure so not set amount of repetitions is required.
WIDE-GRIP PULL UPS
Jump up and grab the handles overhead in the widest grip you can manage. Lower yourself as far down as you can go and all the way back to the top lifting your chest up to keep the movement as strict as possible. If you want to make these more challenging you can use a weight belt to add some plates or a kettlebell to your body to increase the weight lifted.
BENT-OVER BARBELL ROWS
Preload a barbell to a challenging weight you can do at least 8 reps with, around 60-70% of your bodyweight should be enough. Using an overhand grip perform the bent-over rows until failure and ensure you have a pause at the top and squeeze the shoulder blades back to fully contract the muscles.
SEATED CABLE ROWS
These cable rows are great for helping to build more mass on your back as well as aiding muscle definition. Set it to a challenging weight you can aim for a minimum of 12 reps with and use the handles or v-bar for a close grip. Go until failure and add as many extra reps as possible.
CLOSE-GRIP V-BAR PULLDOWNS
Using an underhand grip, similar to chin ups, this exercise will help isolate the lats (latissimus dorsi) to specifically on this group of muscles without tiring out the biceps or triceps. Keep the weight heavy but enough to perform at least 10-12 challenging reps. Aim for failure and go for broke.
Keeping rest to a minimum and going for as many rounds as possible will give you a solid back workout that even on limited time will yield great results.