“COMPLETE” Back Workout (Width, Density, Strength!)

Daily complete workouts for more than just a big back here

A complete back workout needs a few elements in order to be called this. First of all, if you want to build a complete back you need to focus on building lat width or v-taper, lat thickness or density, and the often overlooked lower back endurance and strength. Many people tend to overlook the last component of this as it is not as impressive as the first two. That said, if you are one of them, you are likely holding back the kind of lats size and strength that you could be seeing from your hard back workouts. Let me explain.

The strength of your lumbar paraspinals is crucial if you want to develop a complete back. Your lats and rhomboids rely on the stability that your lower back muscles can provide you for the big lifts. Think about the deadlift, row, or the barbell dead row (as seen in this video) and realize just how important the stability of the lower back is to helping you lift a lot of weight on those moves not to mention stay healthy when performing them.

If your lower back is weak you will either break form and get injured or you won’t be able to create the stabile platform that your lats and upper back need to exert their strength. That said, in this back workout video, I show you a complete back workout routine that you can do to start building a seriously bigger, wider back.

I start by targeting the mid back with heavy lat pulldowns and barbell dead rows. These two exercises aim to increase the thickness and width of the v-taper in the lats. I perform 3-4 sets of each with a weight that allows me to get 8-10 solid but heavy reps in good form. Before moving onto the next zone however I finish up this one with a combination exercise that targets the all important low back muscle endurance. I do this with the static hyperextension with dumbbell Y lift.

Next I move onto the often times weaker upper back muscles. Here I hit them with the hi-boy rows and perpendicular landmine rows. These two exercises allow me to alter my bar path to allow my elbows to travel higher up on my chest. This allows me to work the upper back much more efficiently and overload once again with the same rep and loading scheme as before.

Once again I finish with a new version of the static hyperextension exercise. This time I row a pair of dumbbells for 12-15 reps while trying to keep the tension and strength in my lower back.

I finish with the angle of death back exercise. This complete back exercise is the perfect ending for the complete back workout. As you can see, it hits every part of my back and the rest of my posterior chain. I try to do as many reps as I can until failure.

If you want to start looking much more athletic, with ripped muscles from head to toe, you need to start training like an athlete. This means working muscles together that prefer to work together and having a plan every time you hit the gym. The ATHLEAN-X Training system available at does exactly that. If you want to start building 100% ripped athletic muscle in the next 90 days, I invite you to get the program and let me coach you through every workout.

For more back workouts to build wider lats, thicker mid back or just overall back and lat strength, be sure to subscribe to our channel here on youtube at

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46 comments
  1. Joe Paredes / August 29, 2015

    All Board to Snap City!! Please present your voucher upon entering the
    sliding doors.

    • Bryan Loo / April 9, 2016

      +Joe Paredes You don’t have to go heavy. It is your ego that hurts you.

    • Mark Richardson / July 11, 2016

      +randomcandy1000 I see people in my gym doing deadlifts with rounded backs.
      Now that IS snap city baby!!

  2. SubnetMaskedMan / August 29, 2015

    You know Jeff you should be doing a video on differentiating all Athlean X
    Offerings, from ultimate arms to Athlean Xtreme to Athlean Xero. Your
    website is good but I need more detail on the differences.

    • porly loem / December 26, 2015

      uh

    • tdylan / December 26, 2015

      +Derrick GW Yes, it’s good for a complete beginner

    • Derrick GW / December 27, 2015

      +tdylan Thank you for the answer.

  3. Daniel Jurišević / August 30, 2015

    Pull ups? isn’t that the best for the back?

    • Dart Rador / January 30, 2016

      +Łukasz Bańkowski Oh really? I thought you train legs with pullups

    • massimo magistrali / February 20, 2016

      +Łukasz Bańkowski No they are not simple and they require a strong muscle
      in your arm most people dont have, they can have a strong back but if they
      dont have a developed arm for it then its hard.

    • matt atherton / February 20, 2016

      +Łukasz Bańkowski to avoid back injury the only thing is a straight back
      and bent knees. straight back is most important though. don’t let your back
      start to curve if you are doing anything that requires low back: deadlifts,
      barbell rows, seated rows, etc. keep that low back straight.

    • James Sarvan / February 22, 2016

      +massimo magistrali I started training only 2 months ago and I do about
      40-50 pullups every workout. I do 5 at a time and then multiple sets until
      I hit about 40 or 50. So if a beginner like me can do it, then I bet it is
      pretty simple. My back really started to grow after starting this as well.
      I guess advanced guys that have problem doing them are just too fat.

    • TheWadsta / March 3, 2016

      +Daniel Jurišević I agree, but they’re a great way to start and finish your
      workout.

  4. kingv911 / April 20, 2016

    Everything looks great but those high rows look a little risky for the
    shoulder. It appears it’d be pretty easy to cause impingement similar to an
    upright row.

  5. miricle man / April 27, 2016

    thank u very much.I am folowing you and i am growing after 9 months of
    stagnation so howmuch cost your diet plan?

  6. ReSpawn / May 17, 2016

    zero control on those high rows, you gotta control them. Go down in lbs

  7. Adam Grabowski / May 26, 2016

    youve been saying recently that its very important for your workout not to
    be longer than 40 minutes but this one looks like it would take well over
    an hour

    • Bob Schatz / May 26, 2016

      Not if u put in that work

    • long25714 / June 17, 2016

      the ideal workout time should be 45min – 60 min, anything more means your
      not doing it right, or your training for some other purpose. you have to
      reduce rest time and move to each workout with little to no rest. and try
      not to do uni-lateral workout cuz that will double the time

    • zack ouyang / July 6, 2016

      not if ur cutting…I’m adding 20 mins cardio time after lifting so its
      like 1:30

  8. David Feeley / May 26, 2016

    Like it!
    As someone who is a beast on the leg press (520kg)I often get lower back
    pain, so using this will help no end. In separating my routine to daily
    body zones.

    Thanks :)

    • Martellen / July 5, 2016

      And then I can say for sure that you’re a half-repper…

  9. Sergey Rinov / June 5, 2016

    The last exercise is interesting. I have to try it!

  10. Florian eswein / June 7, 2016

    the right side of my back is increasing in size, but my left side remains
    the same. I can’t seem to make it grow, the same goes for my biceps. how do
    I fix this?

    • long25714 / June 17, 2016

      masturbate with the other hand.

    • Florian eswein / June 17, 2016

      +long25714 haha where’s the fun in that?

    • Gautam Bajaj / June 28, 2016

      +long25714 ????

  11. Johnny Bravo / June 15, 2016

    Momentum is a outside force

    • WhyTheHellNot11 / June 21, 2016

      You are right; impulse is the time derivative of force. I’m not sure what
      that guy is thinking — he might have gotten momentum confused with inertia.

    • Johnny Bravo / June 21, 2016

      +long25714 not at the ” same intensity” isn’t intensity the goal . Force
      the muscle to completely fail. Not lactic acid burn but complete muscular
      failure . Positive static negative

    • Johnny Bravo / June 21, 2016

      +WhyTheHellNot11 stop now ur using words. The bottom line is if I swing a
      weight it’s not the same as lifting. Guys this isn’t that hard your a
      lifter not a swinger .

    • Spike Lee / July 1, 2016

      I don’t know the big terms but I know that when you use momentum, your
      muscles aren’t doing any work while the momentum is at work.

    • madmike987655 / July 5, 2016

      Yes and no..
      Even holding a really heavy weight at the top of the lift for a second, its
      working the muscle. the momentum part isnt doing much at all though

  12. Arsenius Sofian / June 29, 2016

    do you have any alternatives for barbell dead row ? I had a lower back pain
    and you know, cant lift heavy

    • Spike Lee / July 1, 2016

      Dumbbell rows

    • Forte Astro / July 2, 2016

      cable rows but while standing feels amazeballs

    • Patriot1790 / July 19, 2016

      I do bent rows on the Smith Machine. I have spinal arthritis, so I have to
      be careful what I do.

  13. Saurav Bhattacharjee / July 6, 2016

    Had back workout today should have seen this before I left for the gym

  14. Ryan Nachtrab / July 8, 2016

    Jeff is a strong motherfucker – he doesn’t use much less weight than I do
    (sometimes the same) and I’m way bigger than him

  15. Shock / July 18, 2016

    this video gave me herpes

  16. Simon Guy / August 1, 2016

    Man the theory behind your workouts is solid but sometimes I think you just
    want us to be the weirdest looking guy in the gym haha

  17. Salem Almasoud / August 2, 2016

    do you take protein shakes ??

  18. J Cr / August 7, 2016

    Jeff I want to see your calf muscles!!!

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