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How to do deadlifts, bent over rows, and barbell shrugs for back strengthening?

Updated on March 13, 2011

How to do a deadlift?

The barbell deadlift is an exercise designed to hit the lower back. As usual, I would recommend that every time you start with a new exercise, do it with an extremely light weight to develop a good and safe form of lifting. The whole idea is to become habitual with the weights, so first try light weights and then increase the weight.

Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart or slightly wider with shoelaces directly under the barbell and toes pointed slightly outward. Bend the knees a little for a better grip on the floor. Ensure that the arms are held straight at all times and are not bent at the elbows. The shoulders should be in same place throughout the movement - never, never returned. In defining yourself in this position, you should be able to lean back slightly up from the heel of the foot - not your fingers.

The key is to drive using the power of the thighs while keeping the bar in contact with the body at all times. When you will reach a certain point in the lift, the back will be involved in straightening your torso up. To lower the bar, simply reverse the movement, still in control at all times.

The secret to a good deadlift is not to lift, as such, but to pull the bar upward. As with any practice makes perfect, you will find your technique to work for you over a period of time. The main thing to remember is not to start the lift with your back and not around the back. Just concentrate on keeping your back flat throughout the movement and supply of the legs and the back will be involved on their own initiative and in a safe manner.

Start doing deadlifts with very very light weights for becoming habitual like this lady is doing it with a ball.
Start doing deadlifts with very very light weights for becoming habitual like this lady is doing it with a ball.
Increase your deadlift weight a little.
Increase your deadlift weight a little.
For super heavy deadlifts, you must be a professional in weight training, so need to do these much heavy weights if you just want to strengthen your back
For super heavy deadlifts, you must be a professional in weight training, so need to do these much heavy weights if you just want to strengthen your back

How to do bent over rows?

Bent over rows is an exercise that works the latissimus dorsi muscle that is slightly higher than the lumbar. Secure a barbell elevator to depart the following position: Knees slightly bent, a double overhand grip slightly wider than shoulder width, with a flat back with your torso bent over to hip up almost parallel with the floor. The barbell should be hanging below you at arms length. Now, maintaining this position and concentrating on lifting the bar using the back muscles, pull the bar to the top of your belly and touch your sternum. Leave a little to squeeze the upper and lower slowly to the starting position.

This is an exercise rather difficult to get used to. The key is to maintain your position and stay flat back parallel to the floor and above all just focus on lifting the weight, which is possible with the back rather than the biceps. Of course, the biceps are involved in lifting, but by focusing on your back, you will learn to train yourself to lift more.

Again, I recommend you start very light and try to develop a sense of this exercise in your back. I also think giving a further compression in the upper part of this exercise can further help develop a feeling. Furthermore, it is possible to develop coordination and muscle control in your lat trying to flex at will. Practice this regularly and delicately.

Start your bent over row like this
Start your bent over row like this
End your bent over row like this
End your bent over row like this
Standing bent over rows
Standing bent over rows

How to do dumbbell or barbell shrugs?

Finally, we get to the top most muscle in the back - the traps. Shrugs is a simple exercise that can be done using dumbbells or a barbell. I assume that you are using a barbell. In a standing position, hold the barbell with a double overhand grip about shoulder width as well, allowing it to hang down below you. Now, all you have to do is just shrug our shoulders as high as possible, giving a good solid squeeze slowly to the upper and lower parts.

You will notice as you start this movement, it is relatively easy, however, as you start to fatigue, you will automatically have a tendency to bend at the elbows and begin to assist the lift by using the biceps. Do not do this and ensure all the lifting you are doing, the power is coming directly from your collection of shoulders.

Least but not last, I would recommend to continue to perform basic stretching exercises to maintain and improve flexibility with lifting weights to strengthen your back. Slowly and steadily, this will become a habit for you and you will start feeling flexibility and strength in your back. Please tell me how you feel after doing these exercises and let me know via the comment section below.

See this man doing barbell shrugs.
See this man doing barbell shrugs.
You can also do shrugs with dumbbells. I have done both dumbbell and barbell but I love doing dumbbell, not because it is easy but it provides more strength to my back.
You can also do shrugs with dumbbells. I have done both dumbbell and barbell but I love doing dumbbell, not because it is easy but it provides more strength to my back.

Comments

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    • profile image

      soumya 

      6 years ago

      sir,....it help for increase my waist....pls tellme

    • soni2006 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajinder Soni 

      8 years ago from New Delhi, India

      It's my pleasure joecseko that you found this hub useful and informational plus thanks for the additional info.

    • joecseko profile image

      Joe Cseko jr 

      8 years ago from New York, USA, Earth

      Good work, my friend and colleague. The conventional deadlift is by far my favorite exercise, and most commonly pulled me ahead at the end of powerlifting meets. I particularly like your description of how to set up. This is where most people blow it with this lift.

      Very nice

    • soni2006 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajinder Soni 

      9 years ago from New Delhi, India

      That's great friend.

    • ocbill profile image

      ocbill 

      9 years ago from hopefully somewhere peaceful and nice

      i just started the bent over row a few months ago. I am glad to see I am doing it correctly.

    • soni2006 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajinder Soni 

      9 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Thanks a lot friends.

    • Veronica Allen profile image

      Veronica Allen 

      9 years ago from Georgia

      Good hub.

    • Waren E profile image

      Waren E 

      9 years ago from HAS LEFT THE BUILDING............

      I used to weight-train a long time ago,this hub is very good,thanks!:D

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