When you go to the gym, everybody is focused on a couple of basic areas–their chest, their arms, their shoulders, their abs. Some guys may even do some lat pull-downs or chin-ups, but that's all the attention they give their backs, thinking that's enough to give them that V-shaped body. Your back is more than a single slab of meat, being composed of many different muscle groups that do a variety of things. Here are exercises for a bigger and stronger back that you should know.

1. The pull-up hold. This basic variation of the classic pull-up is for those who lack the strength to do a large number of proper pull-ups. Simply hang from a pull-up bar, hands shoulder-width apart, and then pull yourself up until your chest presses against the bar. For you to do it perfectly, you should hold there for at least five seconds, and then lower back down. Often do your daily reps of at least five, you should be able to add weight or do regular pull-ups.

2. Cable diagonal raise.Fix a handle to the low lift of a cable station, and set it close to the ground. Standing with your right side to the pulley station, grab the handle with your right hand, and raise it up diagonally across your body until your arm is extended, hand higher than your head, and thumb pointing up. Remember to keep your torso locked so that you're not doing the work with your hips.

3. Two-part dumbbell row.Be sure to do this exercise with your back, not your arms. Grab a pair of dumbbells and bend at the hips and knees, so that your back is roughly parallel to the ground. Let the weights hang directly beneath you, and then pinch your shoulder blades together and pull the weights up to your ribs. Hold them there for breath, and then lower to the starting position and repeat.

4. Rack pull.This is performed if you don't have the form yet or lower back strength to do a deadlift. The deadlift is one of the most awesome and basic exercises there is, right up there with the squat, and this exercise should help you work your way up toward it. Set a barbell at about knee height in a squat rack. Assume a squat stance, knees slightly bent, legs right up against the bar. Arch your lower back to ensure that it's not rounded, and then lift the barbell by standing. The key is that you are not using your arms to lift–think of them as ropes, and nothing more attaching the weights to your shoulders. Lift with your hips and legs, and then lower back. Once this becomes easy, try moving to actual deadlifts.

5. Mixed Hammer Strength machines. This is where the workout gets fun, and you can pump the back with as much possible blood before you call it a day. Load up a few Hammer Strength machines and bounce between them. Make one heavy, one medium, and one light, and experiment with the repetition ranges. The goal is to finish off the back muscles lifting weight in good form for a lot of sets, and the fixed arc nature of the Hammer Strength machines provides that.

As always, you must be eating and sleeping properly to inspire some growth. You cannot grow if you're eating junk and staying up late. The body needs sleep to grow, and nutrients to feed this growth. Don't underestimate the importance of these factors. Every champion bodybuilder you see in magazines probably gets more sleep and eats more food than you. Give your body the tools it needs for growth, and train with heavy weights for many sets, and you'll soon see serious back growth.

A series of basic workouts that when combined should help broaden and strengthen your back, further helping your other workouts by providing a strong base against which they can act as a foundation.

Maintain a log of your workouts and increase either the weight that you lift or the number of reps that you perform on a weekly basis.

Once you start doing this workout once per week with full effort, you will experience serious improvements in your back and it will appear wider, thicker, and more muscular.

What other back exercises has helped you reach your health goals? Post your favorite back exercises in the comments!
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Author Bio:

Kelly is the founder of RegularityFitness, where she and associates blog about the best fitness exercises, weight loss methods, diet, muscle building. That will help you get a good shape and stay healthy. You can also connect with Kelly on Twitter.