💪 5 Worst Back Exercises You Need to Ditch

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Here's what we've got for you today:

  • Jeff Nippard picks his best (and worst) back exercises

  • The best calf exercise to choose, according to science

  • Nick Walker returns to the gym as he preps for the New York Pro


Ditch These 5 Moves

Credit: @sonicmovie / Giphy

On February 5, fitness influencer Jeff Nippard ranked 20 different back exercises for growing muscle from worst to best in a video on his YouTube channel. His ranking system starts at the best, with S for "super" working its way down — A, B, C, D — to F for "failure." 

You've got the usual suspects at the top of Nippard's list, like chest-supported rows and pulldowns. That's all well and good, but let's get to what you really want to know about: the worst back exercises, according to Nippard

Nippard got a little controversial for this group, beginning with the much-vaunted deadlift landing in the ho-hum C tier. Worse than that, he chose the renegade row for the lowly F tier. Want more context behind these picks? Watch the full video below. 


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Stand and Deliver

Credit: Jasminko Ibrakovic / Shutterstock

Calf workouts can suck. Some regard calf aesthetics and capacity for growth as entirely up to genetics; someone either has them or they don't. But that argument won't fly on the bodybuilding stage — if calves are a physique's weak point, they must be trained. 

A December 2023 study out of the journal Frontiers in Physiology, entitled "Triceps surae muscle hypertrophy is greater after standing versus seated calf-raise training," had notable findings regarding which calf exercises build the most muscle. Here's the kicker: The standing calf raise might be the only exercise needed to beef up the calves. There's some nuance at play, though. Here's what you need to know.


“The Mutant” Returns

Credit: Nick Walker / YouTube

The 2021 Arnold Classic champion Nick Walker withdrew from the 2023 Mr. Olympia just days before stepping on stage due to a hamstring and calf injury. While still on the mend, Walker announced that he'll compete at the 2024 New York Pro, scheduled for May 18 in Teaneck, NJ, aiming to punch his ticket to this year’s Mr. Olympia. 

On February 5, Walker published a video on his YouTube channel, sharing his first back training session as he preps for his comeback show. The workout focused on higher volume and included moves like lat pulldowns, T-bar rows, and more. Check it out below.


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CBum’s Prep

Credit: BarBend

  • This week's Strength Weekly podcast details the top stories from across the strength sports world, including Chris Bumstead's return to his Olympia prep. Watch it here.

  • Working on your neck mobility can help your overhead lifts and pulls see unprecedented progress. Here are 10 stretches to try.

  • Open up your workout possibilities with the REP Fitness Open Trap Bar. Check out our review.