How to Isolate Your Back Muscles When Doing Pull Downs & Rows

M&S Team
Written By: M&S Team
May 5th, 2017
Updated: March 30th, 2021
Categories: Articles Training
Tags: Video
Having trouble isolating your back muscles? Nutrex Athlete Anton Antipov shares two back activation techniques he uses to create the ultimate V-Taper!

Nutrex athlete and IFBB Pro Anton Antipov is known for his unique spins on basic exercises.

So, when he visited the M&S Headquarters this month, we made sure to snag a couple of his training tips for you guys.

In this video he discusses back training.

A lot of people don’t actually get the greatest amount of back isolation when training back.

With these unique twists on 2 of the most common back exercises, Anton assures you you’ll feel a lot more of the movements in your lats.

Technique 1: Face Away Close Grip Lat Pull Downs

The first movement Anton goes into is the close grip lat pulldown. Instead of facing the weight stack with this movement (as most do), Anton faces away from the stack.

The reason Anton does this is it eliminates unnecessary swinging to move weight that might actually be too heavy for you.

When performing this movement, you’ll obviously want to select weight that is a little bit lighter. Hold the contraction for 1-2 seconds to completely feel the movement.

Make sure to keep your feet flat on the floor. If you have trouble doing this, you may need to move down in weight.

Technique 2: Twisting Dumbbell Row

Next, Anton heads over to the dumbbell rack to give us his take on the traditional dumbbell row.

Anton makes this movement more challenging by adding a twisting motion to the top of the movement.

To perform this movement, as you row you’ll slightly rotate your wrist while bringing the weight to your hip. At the top of the movement, squeeze your lower lats before returning the weight to the starting position.