The back includes some of the most massive and functionally important muscles in your entire body.
Together they enable you to stand up straight, support your spine and pull, reach and or extend your arms.
Because the back is so big, It’s made up of multiple muscle groups that you should be familiar with.
First we have the latissimus dorsi or lats.
They’re the largest and most well-known of the back muscles.
When large enough they are responsible for the athletic V shape that so many men strive for.
The lats are primarily responsible for pulling and reaching with your arms and to target them, you should use a variety of exercises like pull ups, pull downs, rows or deadlifts.
Next we have the trapezius muscles or traps.
They are located between your shoulder and your neck.
They extend higher than the collarbone and reach all the way down to the lower back region.
The traps consist of three sections of muscle fibers.
The lower trapezius, middle trapezius and upper trapezius fibers.
This makes them a pretty complex muscle group and most beginners either don’t pay enough attention to the traps, or they pay too much attention to them, especially the upper traps.
To ensure a good trap development the upper traps should be trained with shrugs or deadlifts and the middle and lower traps with rows or cable face pulls.
The spinal erector muscles align your spinal column from the lower to the upper back.
That’s why good spinal erector development is directly linked to good posture.
To make this short deadlifting is the best movement for developing these muscles.
So make sure you don’t skip your heavy deadlifts.
Rhomboid and teres major are the two last muscles in the back.
The Rhomboid muscle is activated when you bring your shoulder blades back and together.
That means good exercises include rows and pull ups!
The teres major which is located underneath the legs could theoretically be isolated with straight arm lat pull downs,
but to be honest this isn’t necessary as a beginner and you will see good development with normal compound back exercises.