With all the focus on arms, abs, and glutes, many women often overlook the importance of building a sculpted back. Mirror muscles are quick to get all the glory, but a developed back is essential for a well-rounded physique. You wouldn’t want one leg to be stronger than the other or one biceps to have a bigger peak; it’s just as important that the back of your body is as developed as the front.
Because it’s composed of so many major muscle groups—including everything from the lats and traps to the delts—the back is a highly intense area to train, which is even more reason to include it in your weekly rotation. Lucky for you, Neon athlete and WBFF fitness diva Ashley Hoffmann has the art of building a sculpted back down to a science.
Building the back is as much about balance as it is about actually lifting. The right amount of horizontal movements combined with vertical movements will fine-tune your physique and bring out the definition you crave.
Here’s Ashley’s workout advice for a body that will make others do a double take when you walk into, around, and out of a room.
The first mistake most people make when training back is not fully targeting the muscle they’re working by neglecting the mind-muscle connection. “If you can’t feel the contraction in your back, lighten the weight, focus on form, and drive with your elbows,” Ashley explains. “The last thing you want to do is just go through the motion or focus solely on heavy weight.”
If you are lifting too heavy, it’ll be hard to really feel the specific muscles you’re targeting because you’ll be recruiting other muscles to assist. Don’t let your ego get in the way of progress. Very often, getting the best and most challenging back workout actually means dropping 5-10 pounds on the bar.