“Bony” to “Bane” Back (DENSE BACK WORKOUT!)

If you ever thought of having a back like bane, this is the dense back workout you will want to follow. It can take even the most bony of backs right now and help build them into much thicker, denser bands of muscle like the popular Batman villain played by Tom Hardy. Now, the key to building a thick back is to perform exercises that focus less on width and v-taper and more on the front to back depth that you get from working on the mid back muscles.

In this back workout, you’re going to get a chance to use back exercises that are highly capable of developing the look you are after.

I’m going to present the exercises in this workout in the form of a choice. I want you to be able to think your way through your options to select the best back exercises for building up a bane back. The reason is, most of us are programmed to want to perform the same exercises over and over. The issue is, while they are all incredibly effective back exercises and can all help you to build a bigger back, some are better than others when it comes to building thicker, dense lats and back muscles.

So with that, we start with an important note. If you truly want to build the thickest back possible you are going to need to start deadlifting. There is no better exercise for creating back muscle density than the deadlift.

This doesn’t have to be a lift that is performed in your back workout however. In fact, Jesse used the deadlift as an exercise to build a bigger back by devoting a single day of lifting to it. He would also work it into his leg training as well. The point is, wherever you are programming it right now (even if on back day – which is totally acceptable) you’ll want to make sure you’re doing it.

Now, to kick off the back workout we start with the straight arm pushdown. Most of the time, this isolation back exercise is placed at the end of your workout for a dense back. This is going to change here. In order to pre-fatigue the lats and make the mid and upper back muscles do more of the work during this workout, we are going to put them first. Check the details at the end of this video for specific sets and reps on the exercise.

Next, we move onto the pulldown. The choice is between the straight bar pulldown or the v-handle pulldown. Well, when your goal is to build middle back thickness and muscular density you are going to want to opt for the close grip v-handle. Think about squeezing the shoulder blades down and together on every rep rather than just getting the handle to your chest.

Next is the pullup. Here again you have a choice. If you can do more than 10 pullups in a single set then I think your focus should be to start adding weight rather than more reps. Far too often the goal on this exercise becomes just higher rep counts. This isn’t ideal. Instead, add even a little bit of extra weight and start building up the thickness of your back a lot faster. Drop down to bodyweight sets after reaching failure for more volume if needed.

The next exercise is the row. Here you are going to want to opt for the chest supported variation. The idea again is to use a little less weight and let the lats do less of the work for you. You can make this even more possible by flaring the elbows out to the sides and letting them drift a big higher. This will shift the focus off of the lats and more to the upper scapular muscles and rhomboids.

The cable row is next, and ideally should be done standing if you want to build a bane back. The dual handles allow you to get your elbows further behind your body for a better contraction. The standing position demands that you maintain strong posture from your hips to your shoulders – working more back muscles in the process.

Finally, the traps are worked with a version of the shrug. Instead of the standard barbell shrug however think about starting every rep off the floor. This will work the erector muscles again (much like the deadlift, but with much lighter loads) and help to reinforce the thickness of the paraspinal muscles that are contributing to the overall back density. The shrug is still the same at the top of every rep which is going to build that big upper back that Bane was known for.

If you’re looking for a complete program that trains more than just your back to develop thick, dense athletic muscle, be sure to head to athleanx.com and use the program selector to find the program that is best suited to your current goals.

For more videos on how to build thick upper traps like Tom Hardy or the best back exercises ranked, be sure to remember to subscribe to our youtube channel via the link below and remember to turn on your notifications so you never miss a new video when it’s published.

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