“Your core has to be strong to make a lot of improvement in the back and legs,” Correa says. Powerlifting provided that core, a foundation and base for Correa to build upon. “Powerlifting is a very different sport from bodybuilding—the routines, the diets, the cardio—but because I have that foundation I know how to show some sensibility and not hurt my body.
“Basic exercises like deadlifts are really important, although it is essential to remember the aesthetic goal.” To that end, Correa focuses on contracting his scapulas back to target his inner, upper back. “It’s not enough to just pull—you have to establish a mind-muscle connection.”
Correa believes rowing exercises are the best for building back thickness, and for working the upper and lower back. T-bar rows, Hammer Strength high and low rows, one-arm dumbbell rows, and seated machine and cable rows have all played a role in adding 3-D topography to his back.
HAMMER STRENGTH MACHINE ROW
Correa frequently changes his grip on all his rowing exercises. He might use an underhand grip for one workout and then switch to a parallel or overhand grip the next. He does this because it changes the angle at which the exercise hits the muscle. “I’m always alternating between grips to work specific areas of my back and increase the thickness,” he says.
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