How to Feel Your Back Muscles Working

 Since you can’t see your back when you train, many lifters have a hard time feeling it. They tend to feel their rows and pulldowns in the biceps instead. Not to mention, a great pump in your back muscles is nonexistent. It’s time we fixed that! Here are some tips on How To Feel Your Back Muscles Working. 

What’s The Problem, Anyway?

As noted, part of the reason lifters have a hard time with this is because they can’t see their back muscles when they train. That makes it harder to feel them. Another problem is that many lifters try to use more weight than they can handle. So instead of performing 8-12 quality reps, you’re getting 1 or 2 very sloppy reps that do nothing for muscle growth. Rich talked about this and we've all seen it. You know, the lifter that attempts 1 sloppy rep, shaking and struggling to get the bar up at all costs. The first problem with lifting too heavy is that your form suffers. You have to bring a lot of muscles into play to get the weight up. That means your target muscles are not a major part of the equation. 

Rather than going for the heaviest weight you can, you should be using a moderate weight, performing quality contractions, and using higher reps. You’re training for the pump, not to see how much you can lift. So what’s the answer? As noted, drop weight and, as Rich advocated, make every rep count. From there, focus on feeling the target muscles working. 

Try This Fix

Using the barbell row, lose the ego and begin with a very light weight, even an empty bar. Your form must be perfect:

  • That means your back is straight
  • You are bent over about 45 degrees.
  • Knees are bent slightly
  • Elbows back

Use an overhand grip and pull the bar into your back moving only your arms. You must think of your hands and arms as hooks. Squeeze and tense the back and start the pull with your back muscles. You’re allowing the back to lead the movement. Concentrate on your back muscles, not your arms. If you still feel it in your arms, use a thumbless grip. Hold in the fully contracted position and squeeze. Once you can feel your back, slowly add weight. Maintain perfect form at all times. If you feel your connection slip, drop weight. You can use this fix with any exercise and you can use this technique until you have no problems feeling your back muscles working. 

Are There Any 5% Nutrition Supplements That Can Help?

We’re glad you asked! As a matter of fact, there are! The mind-muscle connection can be encouraged with the right supplements. For example, you want any supplement with choline. The reason is, choline stimulates acetylcholine production (among other important benefits). That’s a neurotransmitter that plays a role in muscle contraction. Plus, the neurotransmitter dopamine supports attention and motivation. These are undoubtedly 2 qualities you can use in the gym! Also, choline enhances focus. Finally, magnesium plays an important role in muscle contraction. So, we have an improved quality of contraction, greater attention to the task, and more motivation to train, along with greater focus.(1,2,3)

Therefore, Core Nootropic, Mentality Nootropic, Kill It Reloaded, 5150, Hydrate Stk, and ZMA all provide these ingredients. That means you can create a stack featuring several of these products. 

For example: 

  1. Take these 2 before your workout
  2. 5150 or Kill It Reloaded
  3. Core Nootropic or Mentality
  4. Mix Hydrate Stk with All Day You May as an intra-workout. 
  5. Take ZMA at night as directed to help maintain sufficient levels of magnesium. 

Using this approach will give you the full benefits of these ingredients.


There’s nothing more impressive than a thick, wide, ripped back. Learning how to feel your  muscles working is the key to developing a legendary back like Rich Piana’s. Follow these tips and make it happen!


  1. Dopamine Supplements to Boost Your Mood (
  2. Calatayud, Joaquin, et al. “Importance of mind-muscle connection during progressive resistance training.” European journal of applied physiology 116.3 (2016): 527-533.
  3. Choline Health benefits, dosage, safety, side-effects, and more | Supplements - Examine
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