💪 13 Tips for a Beefier Upper Back


Today’s newsletter is presented by NativePath Collagen Powder. Head here to find out how this powder can help promote joint strength and accelerate tissue recovery and healing.

Here’s what we have for you: 

  • 13 upper back exercises to spur muscle growth

  • 15 unilateral exercises to correct imbalances for a well-rounded physique

  • How to use the Smith machine properly to make full-body gains


Perfect Posture 

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For veteran gym rats, traps are the new abs (having abs is still nice, though.) That’s because having big traps signals that you have your priorities straight. Your upper back muscles not only help support healthy posture by keeping your head and neck in place, but they also provide a place to rest a loaded barbell and translate to more overall pulling strength.

Explore the top 13 upper back exercises to improve your posture, strength, and physical appearance. Our comprehensive guide includes everything from the barbell bent-over rows to the TRX rows. We provide detailed instructions on how to execute each exercise, recommended sets and reps, and essential tips to maximize muscle engagement in your back.


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Keep the Balance

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Bilateral movements, such as squats, are foundational for developing raw strength. However, if you find your progress plateauing or notice an imbalance between the sides of your body, incorporating unilateral exercises can significantly alter your training landscape. These single-limb exercises are pivotal in achieving muscular balance and strengthening stabilizer muscles, leading to superior athletic performance.

Unilateral exercises also address side-to-side dominance, paving the way for new personal bests. Take, for example, the single-leg Romanian deadlift: By lifting one leg off the ground, you not only challenge your balance but also promote stability across your ankles, knees, and hips. This, in turn, helps correct imbalances in your glutes and hamstrings. Elevate your strength and gym performance by integrating these 15 unilateral exercises into your routine.


Well-Oiled Machine

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Machine exercises are not only accessible to beginners but also integral to the routines of elite bodybuilders. While free weight training has its place, incorporating machines, such as the Smith machine, is essential for nailing all the little details on your physique.

Movements like the floor press and hack squat on the Smith machine offer enhanced safety and better muscle isolation due to their stability. Learn more about why athletes across all skill levels should incorporate them into their training regimen, along with specific exercises to perform.


Get a Grip 

Credit: BarBend / YouTube

  • The latest episode of our Strength Weekly podcast is all about big lifts and Nick Walker's much-anticipated return to the stage. Watch along as we break down the best of the best.

  • Pause squats will explode power output and quad growth by increasing concentric contraction. Learn how to add a pause to your squats properly by trying the box squat. 

  • Do you have the strength to pull more weight if it wasn’t for your grip slipping? Here’s our review of the best lifting gloves for wrist support and enhanced grip strength.