Posted on May 25, 2018 by Kate Gordon

In this segment I am going to outline a great back workout for hypertrophy, with a posterior focus. Each exercise will fall into one of the following focus groups: size, definition or posture. To begin, we will start with a warm up – something that should be done for almost any workout.

Warm up

Face Pulls

This exercise is good for activating your rear delts and rhomboids. It helps to ensure that your shoulder joint is well lubricated before you start the heavier lifting portion of this workout.

Lower back hyperextension

This exercise is similar to the face pulls; it helps to strengthen and pump blood to your lower back so you are more stable and prepared for the heavier movements in this workout.

For both of these warm up exercises, do them until you feel yourself warmed up and ready. I would normally advise 3 sets of 10 reps for each exercise, alternating between the two.



The biggest compound movement in this whole workout, this activates every muscle in your body if done correctly. Do between 4-6 reps for 4 sets, aim to do 80% of your one rep max and if you can raise this to 90% if possible. Focus on correct form and aim to do the movement properly.

Bent over Barbell row

Another staple in a back workout, this hits the lats and the rhomboids with good focus, If done with eccentric control and a one-second hold at the top of the contraction, it can be very effective for upper back development. Aim for 4 sets of 10 reps.

Now that your two main compound movements are done, we can move onto more direct focus work.

Rear delt cable fly

This exercise is great for targeting your rear delts, it also helps fix any posture issues you may have. The movement of the exercise allows for your shoulders to roll back and focuses on bringing your chest forward, realigning your spine. I recommend going light and hitting 5 sets for 15-20 reps.

Lower back hyperextension (on machine)

This exercise is the final one to finish this workout; first aim to do the movement with just your bodyweight and when you feel stronger aim to progress with a plate. This exercise is great for stabilizing the lower back and allowing for more support and strength for other compound movements, such as the deadlift and squat. Aim for 4 sets of 10 reps.


In conclusion, I would normally add around 6 exercises to the workout. However due to the difficulty level of the first two exercises, you’d really struggle to complete the rest of the workout adequately because of fatigue (if carried out with good volume and frequency). So give this session a try, then see if you need to up it in the following weeks.

By Thomas Camber, Gym & Spa Operative