This is a complete guide to the best traction exercises that you perform in the gym to train your back muscles. Build a strong back and improve your posture by choosing the right traction for each workout.
There are many ways to perform traction: with a barbell, with dumbbells, in a block, in a simulator or with the help of hanging belts, with one or two hands. All of them will not allow you to sit still, and will also help to create stronger and more developed latissimus and mid-back muscles.
How to do traction for back training
Regardless of which type of traction you are using, you must apply the following general technical guidelines to get the most out of each repetition:
- Maintain a stable back position with a normal bend at each rep
- Bring the shoulder blades together at the end of each repetition and allow the shoulder blades to converge and diverge at the end of the eccentric part of each repetition.
- Demonstrate conscious control over the entire range of motion. Focus on the work of the muscles in each exercise and maintain a strict form without cheating through additional movements or impulse.
The above recommendations on the technique, although applicable to all types of traction, the various applications and options for exercises in nature (body position or performance) best fit certain ranges of repetitions.
Here is a complete guide to traction with the right technique.
Best traction options for developing strength: 1-5 reps
I perform approaches in the range of 1-5 reps to increase strength. It consists in performing the concentrated part of each exercise using the most possible effort. This means that you will move slower due to the heavy weight, but the goal is to carry out traction faster without cheating. However, be sure to keep a controlled eccentric (lowering) portion at each repetition.
The pull of the barbell to the belt with the lower grip: I believe that this exercise requires the strongest hand grip, which makes it very convenient to perform in a given range of repetitions. It was also found that the position of the instep support during grappling fights the general tendency of the wrists to bend when performing the same traction, but with an upper grip and heavy weight. When the wrists are bent, the elbows cannot move along the necessary path, and the traction is performed longer than it should be.
Dumbbell pull with one arm on the bench: I prefer the position when both legs are on the ground, instead of when the knee needs to rest on the bench. The reason is that the bench is always the same height, but people come in different heights. Thus, depending on your height, with a knee on the bench, it will be uncomfortable for you to keep the torso parallel to the floor, because you will try to adapt on the bench.
On the other hand, with two legs on the floor, you can adjust the exercise for you, because there is complete freedom to position the legs so that they support your body in the best way.
Standing dumbbell pull with one hand on a tilt : although many people consider dumbbell pull on a bench to be a one-handed version of pulling the bar to the belt, standing dumbbell pulls are actually closer to the bar pull than the bench version. This is because without additional support on the bench, the buttocks and lower back are more loaded.
Nevertheless, a type of traction with one hand is performed, for example, through the right shoulder to the right thigh, which makes it a good help for the rod traction.
Upper linkage : not every gym has this simulator, but I think that it should be accurate in a large hall. Traction during traction follows a natural arc that other types of traction cannot repeat with accuracy.
I concluded that it is very difficult to perform this craving with the wrong hand position, which puts this exercise in first place among my favorites for performing in the range with a small number of repetitions.
Horizontal traction in the block : there is no room for errors with horizontal traction in the block, so I like to carry it out under heavy loads. In other words, bearing in mind the main replicas of traction, there is no need to pay attention to how to concentrate on the weight being lifted, how to grab and pull.
The best varieties for the average number of repetitions: 6-12 repetitions
All my draft options with few reps also work well in the 6-12 rep range. But the opposite is not entirely true. If you are doing one of the hard approaches right now, you might be embarrassed. Make the task a little easier.
Barbell pull: I find this exercise good in this range of repetitions, because, unlike the low range, when it is performed, the wrists do not bend so much and the arms move smoothly.
Wide grip barbell pull : when it comes to varieties of traction that work out the middle back muscles in a concentrated manner, it is difficult to overcome the wide grip traction variant. When performing a traction with a wide grip, few can pull the bar to or through the chest without turning the shoulders and wrists inward and not holding the right position for the last couple of centimeters. This common problem changes the training effect of movement and focuses on where it should be. Fortunately, I found that this can be easily prevented by installing a pad on the bar, then it will be necessary to pull it to the chest, and not the bar.
Sitting in the block to the belt : I think that this draft is not suitable for performing in the low repetition range due to the large forward bending, with which each approach begins and ends. To take such a position with a heavy load is a big risk.
Thrust in the block to the belt sitting with a wide grip: this is another excellent exercise from those that are aimed at working out the muscles of the middle of the back. As with the barbell, I like to attach the pad (you won’t be able to completely fasten the Velcro over the cord, but it should still help).
Thrust the lower block to the belt with one hand : this is an excellent exercise that includes the center of the back and the opposite thigh of the pulling arm. As you stand, you are limited by how much weight you can hold without leaning forward, which depends more on your weight than on strength. Therefore, the exercise is not suitable for performing in a low range of repetitions.
Compound traction in the block: this is one of my favorite traction variations, because it involves moving the torso in combination with arm movements. Athletes say this is natural.
Performing with one hand also involves a coordinated movement with the center of gravity and the opposite thigh. Since this is mainly a variation of cable exercises, the same load restrictions apply.
Thrust on the top block with one hand down (on the knees): this is basically the opposite of an inclined bench press. In addition, for those who have problems with traction mechanics, the angle during this exercise makes it an excellent choice for traction.
One-handed traction TRX : I like the dual functionality of this exercise, which strengthens the center of gravity along with one-handed traction. The challenge is to prevent the torso and hips from rotating during the approach.
To resist rotation, you can extend your free arm to the side while doing the exercise. This is difficult for most people, so doing 6-12 reps will cause problems that you can handle.
Linkage : This linkage is a classic exercise that really needs no explanation. However, when working with the barbell, unlike the T-shaped device, which is available in some rooms, I prefer to use the grip device, which spreads its arms shoulder-width apart. This puts you in a better position when lifting and lowering the load.
The best types of traction with a large number of repetitions: 13-20 +
Each exercise that I listed before could be appropriate for a given range of repetitions. But these exercises are best performed in these higher ranges for many reasons.
Cross-link: This is a wide-grip traction that creates a diagonal force vector due to crossed cables, loading the back muscles a little differently than other wide-grip traction options. This makes this exercise a good addition to these cravings.
On the other hand, this exercise is easy enough to start doing wrong. Especially if the weight is heavy - the wrists begin to wrap around, and the elbows lower. That is why I believe that it is better suited for a higher range of repetitions.
Two-handed TRX traction : Although I do not mind using this traction in the average range of repetitions, I believe that it is better suited for a large number of repetitions. I would rather advance by doing more repetitions with the same body angle of 45 degrees to the floor, instead of using a sharper angle. This is due to the fact that the movement becomes more uncomfortable.
TRX elbows: a reliable choice: elbows snugly or slightly expand. But in both cases, I prefer a lot of repetition.
Fast traction with tapes : moving hard and moving fast are two ways to increase the set of motor units. Tapes allow you to move fast. And, although we appreciate the quick movement when performing exercises on the lower body and strength exercises, it surprises me that often there is no such thing as when doing traction.
Since the focus is on speed, I recommend completing the approach in a second.
Alternative fast traction: this option includes torso rotation and combined with speed makes it one of the most sporty traction options.
Again, since the focus is on speed, I recommend trying one pull cycle (both with your left hand and right hand) per second.
How to program traction
I like to use a three-cycle wave-like approach and repetition strategy, for example:
- Workout 1 : Average Reps
- Workout 2: Low Reps
- Workout 3 : High Reps
This works well 4-6 times. Using the same exercises, gradually increase the load every week. After 4-6 cycles, switch to different exercises, but use the same scheme.
Below are four different permutations of the same wave-like three-stroke cycle. This may be enough for many months of hard training.
Traction training 1 : sitting traction, 3 sets of 8-12 reps.
Traction 2: One-handed traction, 4 sets of 4-5 reps
Traction 3 training: TRX traction with elbow breeding, 2 sets of 15-20 reps
Traction training 1 : composite traction in the block, 3 sets of 8-10 reps.
Traction training 2: traction to the belt with a lower grip, 4 sets of 4-5 reps
Traction 3: Fast Traction, 2 sets of 25-30 reps
Traction training 1: horizontal traction in the simulator, 3 sets of 7-10 reps.
Traction training 2: dumbbell traction with one hand on the bench, 4 sets of 4-5 reps
Thrust training 3: sitting with a wide grip, 2 sets of 15-20 reps
Traction training 1: linkage, 3 sets of 7-12 reps.
Traction training 2: traction in the lower or upper blocks, 4 sets of 4-5 reps
Traction 3: Cross-traction, 2 sets of 13-20 reps