Ask the Experts: Why Do Back Exercises Work My Biceps More Than My Back? | STACK
X

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

Ask the Experts: Why Do Back Exercises Work My Biceps More Than My Back?

April 11, 2013

Must See Strength Training Videos

Q: Back exercises seem to work my biceps more than my back. How can I fix this?

A: If you feel a burn in your biceps during a back exercise, you are probably doing it wrong. A simple technique flaw will fail to engage your back and inadvertently turn it into an arm exercise. Despite your everlasting quest to build huge biceps, this should not be your goal with back exercises.

When performing a back exercise, you need to actually pull with your back. It’s easy for your shoulders to remain in a forward position, prompting you to complete the exercise by pulling your elbows backwards. Prevent this by pulling your shoulders back and squeezing them together during the move.

Try segmenting a back movement into two parts. First, pull your shoulders back as far as possible to initiate the pull. Then pull your elbows back to finish the movement. Once you master the segmented movements, start performing reps in a fluid motion.

Photo: stronglifts.com

Topics: BACK
Andy Haley
- Andy Haley is an Associate Content Director at STACK Media. A certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), he received his bachelor’s degree in exercise science...
Andy Haley
- Andy Haley is an Associate Content Director at STACK Media. A certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), he received his bachelor’s degree in exercise science...
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

Build Full-Body Strength With 5 Suspension Trainer Exercises

Suspension trainer exercises are a great addition to any athlete's strength and conditioning program. Suspension training is a tool that has become...

Blast Through Plateaus with Tempo Sets

Get a Ripped Core With 6 Advanced Dead Bug Variations

7 Exercises That Safely Build Shoulder Strength

Improve Your Strength for Track & Field Success

4 Exercises to Build True Lacrosse Power

3 Sandbag Training Mistakes Athletes Make

7 Strategies for Faster Workout Recovery

3 Post-Activation Potentiation Combos for Explosive Strength

A Better Way to Train Your Core

Notice On-Court Results With This Basketball Core Workout

Improve Your Back Strength with the Inverted Row

4 Lifts to Build Wrestling Strength

Get Faster by Improving Your Core Mobility

Top 5 Baseball Strength Training Myths

4 Deadlift Variations to Increase Your Pull

Never Bench Press With Your Feet in This Position

Master the Lateral Lunge to Improve Your Hockey Stride

Make Lifts More Challenging With Resistance Bands

7 Strategies for Dealing With a Meathead in Your Gym

Bench Press Grip Guide: How Hand Placement Changes the Exercise

Kyle Lowry's 12-Week All-Star Training Program

Basketball In-Season Battle Rope Complexes, Part 1

5 Softball Catcher Drills for Throwing Power

10 Ways to Get Stronger With a Sandbag

These 3 Single-Leg Movements Will Improve Your Squat Technique

7-Exercise Core-Blasting Workout

7 Ways to Work Out Competitively Without CrossFit

4 Weaknesses That Can Ruin Your Exercise Technique (With Fixes)

Break Through Plateaus With the 1-10 Drop Set Method

Female Athletes: Get Strong, Not Bulky, With These Workouts

3 Nordic Hamstring Curl Exercises to Boost Your Performance

Don't Train Your Arms Until You Can Do These 4 Things

Game Changer: Should You Be Using Machines or Free Weights?

4 Sure-Fire Ways to Build a Strong Core

Build Powerful Pecs With This Multi-Angle Chest Workout

4 Ways to Get a Jacked Back

7 Best Lower-Body Strengthening Exercises

Dominate Your Bench Test With This Strategy

5 Isolation Exercises Your Workout Is Missing

The Science of Building Muscle: 2 Ways to Maximize Hypertrophy

The Simplest Bodyweight Workout Ever

3 Explosive Exercises Designed to Increase Pitching Power

The Best Single-Leg Exercises for Youth Athletes