How To Train Back WIDTH vs THICKNESS (Close vs Wide Grip? Rows or Pullups?)

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Filmed and edited by Rashaun R and me using Final Cut Pro X and Sony A7R3

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About me: I'm a Canadian natural pro bodybuilder and internationally-qualified powerlifter with a BSc in biochemistry/chemistry and a passion for science. I've been training for 12 years drug-free. I'm 5'5 and fluctuate between 160 lbs (lean) and 180 lbs (bulked).


Disclaimers: Jeff Nippard is not a doctor or a medical professional. Always consult a physician before starting any exercise program. Use of this information is strictly at your own risk. Jeff Nippard will not assume any liability for direct or indirect losses or damages that may result from the use of information contained in this video including but not limited to economic loss, injury, illness or death.


  1. Robert Anthony

    Robert AnthonyPrije 3 dana

    Awesome back!

  2. Mahdi

    MahdiPrije 8 dana

    1.For vertical pulls,a "middle" overhand grip at 1.5x shoulder width may be best for emphasizing "width" 2. For rows,a closer grip may emphasize "width" more by training shoulders extension (lats) 3.For rows, a wide grip may emphasizing "thickness" more by training transverse abduction/scapular retraction


    VANSH UPADHYAYPrije 13 dana

    Bro Jeff is better than this noob

  4. Kai Kai

    Kai KaiPrije 14 dana

    this is such a great video, very helpful

  5. Peter Lightning

    Peter LightningPrije 20 dana

    Excellent video. Dorian Yate's said he never did wide grip pull downs for lat width. He said he did narrow grip pull downs. And of course, his lats were HUGE. I personally think that the majority of width and thickness development comes from rowing.

  6. AtoZbodyfitness

    AtoZbodyfitnessPrije 21 dan

    barbell row or seated rows are the best IMO. they build a good thickness in the back and give it volume and a thicker look. also widens the back as well. i always preferred them over lat pulldowns, although don't substitute one for the other. you don't need to go wide to get wide, such a myth.

  7. Nathan Ellis

    Nathan EllisPrije 24 dana

    Pull ups!!! No more weights in prison. How do you think dudes are getting thick in prison???

  8. Sumer Kaushal

    Sumer KaushalPrije mjesec

    What is your height

  9. amit das

    amit dasPrije mjesec

    TY ☺️

  10. E C

    E CPrije mjesec

    Use both in tandem 👍 I alternate every 4 days. Mike Metzer/Columbo said use medium to wide over hand and under hand close grip to build back thickness and Biceps activation. The 1 year I’ve incorporated this I have grown!😁👍 A Solid 30lbs in increase in workout strength. I don’t do max lifts because I am over 48 and worry about my joints 🤣🤣🤣 I wish I knew this when I used wrestler in college.

  11. Sherwin Joshua

    Sherwin JoshuaPrije mjesec

    I've watched this video several times. For me this is probably one of his best vids.

  12. Melvin Alexander

    Melvin AlexanderPrije mjesec

    Maybe mid grip was better because of more ROM.

  13. Robert Konza

    Robert KonzaPrije mjesec

    Lats are fan shaped and have multiple segments (like the Pecs, but have a longer and more segmented origin(s)). Different angles of pull are going to emphasize different portions. So any EMG study is going to bias "activity" towards how the electrodes are placed. Additionally, because of different muscle belly lengths for given individuals relative to torso length, different people are going to feel different exercises in a different way. Sometimes, when looking for the "whys", our conclusions can obfuscate what is really going on. FEEL really is a useful tool for judging an exercises effect.

  14. Jack Hammer

    Jack HammerPrije mjesec

    There's no such thing as a back exercise for width or an exercise for back thickness....any back exercise that recruits the back muscles is going to grow your back overall period....there's no such thing as building a wide back but with no thickness and vise versa...the muscles being worked in the back are going to grow period and as far as thickness vs width is 100% genetics...just using the lats for example how can you build a lats width and not thickness ?'s physically imposable.

  15. AtoZbodyfitness

    AtoZbodyfitnessPrije 21 dan

    yes, there is a difference. You're right in a sense where they grow in any aspect of training them but different exercises when done correctly will help volumize them better.

  16. Lance Boggs

    Lance BoggsPrije mjesec

    What about one arm db rows? I am not a big fan of the bb row

  17. Mike Talbert

    Mike TalbertPrije mjesec

    I respect how hard you work to give us info in 10 mins or less. Thank you. You’re the greatest

  18. majkiniot

    majkiniotPrije mjesec

    I have (probably severe) scoliosis and it's ruining my back-exercise plans. I'm trying different approaches but it usually hurts very oddly and I'm just afraid to continue. Anyone in the same boat with me that has an answer or two, please hit me up 🙏 Also Jeff thanks again for the awesome content, you the best!

  19. Rick Deckard

    Rick DeckardPrije mjesec

    What are your thoughts on the Mag Grips, do they have an advantage over traditional straight bars and handles?

  20. kaaajeee

    kaaajeeePrije mjesec

    i guess that bent over rows might be better for thickness for the reason, that they might activate the deeper layer of back muscles (eg. serratus and erector) better. as the weight is pulling you to the ground these must work hard to maintain your spine position. as they get swole they push the upper layer of lats and traps out to create more thickness similarly to what brachialis does to biceps. makes sense?

  21. TwiggyHD

    TwiggyHDPrije 2 mjeseci

    back WITH

  22. Nrfbj Vdfh

    Nrfbj VdfhPrije 2 mjeseci

    I think that the video will be better without music

  23. King Carlos

    King CarlosPrije 2 mjeseci


  24. Music

    MusicPrije 2 mjeseci

    Thank you Jeff for your videos. I train barbell row and pull-ups in my full body routine (4 series each). Does anyone know which option is better between the followings (to develop both thickness and width)? 1. Barbell row supinated grip + pull-ups pronated grip, Or 2. Barbell row pronated grip + pull-ups supinated grip. Thanks!

  25. Dalyios

    DalyiosPrije 2 mjeseci


  26. Evasion

    EvasionPrije 2 mjeseci

    i need back thiccness 😂 i look so slim from side

  27. Lee

    LeePrije 2 mjeseci

    What's the difference between relative loading and absolute loading?

  28. Mohamed Moussamir

    Mohamed MoussamirPrije 2 mjeseci

    You forgot one thing. Your hight compared to taller guys. Don't you think it is easier for you given your small body? I mean for other body parts as well. What's your advice for taller guys?

  29. Counselor Gallius Rax

    Counselor Gallius RaxPrije 3 mjeseci

    Thank you so much Jeff! I’ve never considered the biomechanics of back movements and I’m excited to incorporate this science into my routine!

  30. Henok Debesay

    Henok DebesayPrije 3 mjeseci

    The amount of dedication you put to your videos...massive respect!!!

  31. Deeemi Gaming

    Deeemi GamingPrije 3 mjeseci

    I feel like shoulder also plays an important role in widthning the back other than lean waist ..... That's my opinion though

  32. J. D.

    J. D.Prije 3 mjeseci

    Ok, an an Emergency Medicine Doc I truly appreciate your approach to evidence based science!

  33. Syahrul Ridzuan

    Syahrul RidzuanPrije 4 mjeseci


  34. Jacqui T.

    Jacqui T.Prije 4 mjeseci

    Why didn't I find you earlier

  35. Jayde Ochinero

    Jayde OchineroPrije 4 mjeseci

    I feel like the bigger you get your gonna need to grab the bar wider not alot wider but cm wider as you get bigger just my personal experience

  36. DMITRY Dmitry

    DMITRY DmitryPrije 4 mjeseci

    What about pull-over? Whats that do?

  37. Sankt Urban

    Sankt UrbanPrije 4 mjeseci

    Great, informative video, Jeff.

  38. Brian Matthews

    Brian MatthewsPrije 4 mjeseci

    I’m assuming the same rules apply for DB Rows? I don’t do single arm rows I do both at the same time

  39. Kartik Kshirsagar

    Kartik KshirsagarPrije 4 mjeseci

    thank you ! watching your content really makes me feel positive and motivated 💪

  40. frankenfaq

    frankenfaqPrije 4 mjeseci

    Dorian yates would tell you other otherwise on the supinated vs pronated grip. My lats engage way better supinated close grip pull downs

  41. Julian Torres

    Julian TorresPrije 4 mjeseci

    Always spot on Jeff

  42. Said adam

    Said adamPrije 5 mjeseci

    Iam Moroccan. I tell you you are brilliant and you have a very interesting explanation

  43. 5 POINT 0H

    5 POINT 0HPrije 5 mjeseci

    I didn’t start seeing growth in my upper upper lats by my armpits until I started doing super wide lat pull downs

  44. Nathan santoyo

    Nathan santoyoPrije 5 mjeseci

    700th comment

  45. Prabhakar Sharma

    Prabhakar SharmaPrije 5 mjeseci

    Only u r giving fucking confusion

  46. Jinks Rathod

    Jinks RathodPrije 5 mjeseci

    Which excessive you recommend for thicker back only . I don’t like the wider back look . I want to look thicker sideways without looking wider from the front . What should I do? I see you focused more on both wider and thicker back but what to do when we need thicker back not wider ? Please comment reply would be highly appreciated? Thanks

  47. Hampus

    HampusPrije 5 mjeseci

    6:30 anwser

  48. carpenter155

    carpenter155Prije 5 mjeseci

    Jeff Nippard sale pitch: “15 bucks little man. Put that shit in my hand.” 😂 Thanks for the advice bro

  49. David Samuel

    David SamuelPrije 5 mjeseci

    Wouldn't a chest Supported row be better for targeting the back rather than a less stable movement like barbell rows where the lower back needs to act as a stabilizer?

  50. Dexter Tittil

    Dexter TittilPrije 6 mjeseci

    He’s leaning too far back with his pull downs tho...

  51. abullah shabbir

    abullah shabbirPrije 6 mjeseci

    Yeah he's addressed that before. Leaning far back can actually increase Lat activation in his opinion. And then you can slow down the eccentric to address the slight cheating that occurs because of the leaning.

  52. gamerboykartik

    gamerboykartikPrije 6 mjeseci

    I like how he proves what he says and doesn't just goes on saying bullshit👍👍

  53. Shabba_89

    Shabba_89Prije 6 mjeseci

    Do you have a video on what grip/exercises to use to target certain parts of the back? I know this video is ( back width vs back thickness ) but what back exercises actually target areas for those wanting wanting to shape there body and not just go through the movements praying they look some type of way even with contraction. Every video out there will highlight back as a whole and not separate it in certain area with certain exercises. Do you have a video or can you point me to some learning material? Google can’t answer these things unfortunately. Help please?

  54. Robert Simon

    Robert SimonPrije 6 mjeseci

    Thiccc has 3c’s everyone knows that

  55. Arthur Alexandre

    Arthur AlexandrePrije 6 mjeseci

    0:11 that wasn't for real right? that's cheating in a whole new level lol.

  56. Thomas Pappas

    Thomas PappasPrije 7 mjeseci

    Here's something that I've been struggling with my entire 35 years as a lifter. Some people seem to be talking exclusively about the center of the back meaning the traps rhomboids and smile Erectors when they are referring to thickness and seem to refer to the lats when they are referring to width. Here's the conclusion that I've come to. Based on your structure, length of your muscle, concentration of muscle cells in the muscle belly, your back muscles simply hypertrophy whether it's your middle lower or upper traps, your lower or upper lats, your rhomboids, rear delts and here's major and status anterior on the front of your lats. guys with amazing let with often have very wide clavicles, I narrow waist, a relatively short torso with laughs that inserts low close to the waist, they often have a large rib cage and have done a fair amount of last stretches weakening the dense connective tissue sheath surrounding your laughs so that you have more room to fill out with muscle. Aggressive lat stretches on vertical poles, aggressive weighted stretches in the dead hang position with weight for chin UPS, aggressive stretches on barbell dumbbell and cable rows all serve to give you that set of laughs that seem to wrap around your back. Bodybuilders that spend time to really pull those lats out through posing and stretching seem to possess the widest lats given a naturally wide structure. however bodybuilders on the limpiar stage with the widest lats also tend to have the densest thickest heaviest the last C Dorian however bodybuilders on the limpiar stage with the widest lats also tend to have the densest thickest heaviest the last C Dorian Yates, Ronnie however bodybuilders on the limpiar stage with the widest lats also tend to have the densest thickest heaviest last see Dorian Yates, Ronnie and Jay Cutler if you disagree. they all to plenty of rows and plenty of vertical pulls as well. the biggest bodybuilders with the most massive backs are typically going to weigh over 260 lbs in shape. This means that most of these guys at this stage cannot perform weighted Pull-Ups to really widen and thicken their lats. This is a little bit of a shame because anyone under a certain offseason weight like Franco Colombo and Seth fer 6oce have made tremendous progress from doing lots and lots of Pull-Ups. Growing up in the 90s I looked to Lee Haney, Dorian Yates and Ronnie Coleman who were masters of the bent over barbell row to pack meat on my lats which had the effect of packing meat over my entire back. when I added in deadlifts I ended up with a massive back. But I felt at my back lacked the Aesthetics of a thick dense V taper from the armpits to the waist. I tried to screw around with Hammer Strength pulldown Jones and cable pull-downs to no avail. It wasn't until I took a page out of Franco's book and really hammered weighted pull ups. This exercise sickened my last near my armpits, and pulled the lower lats that I developed from rowing out to the sides so that I could display them. this completed the look of my back or at least a general look and now the rest are just details. The point is that getting good at a heavy barbell row and weighted pull up will take care of the shape and size of your back. The deadlifts will add slabs of beef across the entire back and really make your back look powerful with big traps and Erectors. Now the goal is to use cable rowing movements Tama one arm pull Downs, and pullovers weather on the machines that are great or using a lat pulldown station to perform straight arm lat pullovers. Armed with these exercises, assuming you have paid your dues on weighted pull ups bent over barbell rows or t-bar rows and deadlifts, you will have built a phenomenal base of Mass but without all of the specialty cable rows pullovers and pull Downs you will not develop enough strategic replaced thickness to have the kind of back that wows people and as they have proven time and time again a massive well-developed back makes everybody else on stage looks small in the upperbody. Lee Haney Dorian Yates and Ronnie Coleman did with their backs

  57. Daniele

    DanielePrije 7 mjeseci

    Try arched back medium width pull ups, you develop both thickness and width and real pulling strength.

  58. Jack Jhon

    Jack JhonPrije 7 mjeseci

    Timo werner

  59. Shantanu khade

    Shantanu khadePrije 7 mjeseci

    Forearms and biceps giving out before back on lat pulldowns. What is the reason?. How to improve

  60. dif49

    dif49Prije 7 mjeseci

    Great video

  61. Paul Livock

    Paul LivockPrije 7 mjeseci


  62. Jānis Strods

    Jānis StrodsPrije 7 mjeseci

    That's why I don't look at it as back width or back thiccness but rather specific muscles.

  63. Aaditya Patil

    Aaditya PatilPrije 7 mjeseci

    So does close grip lat pulldown target back thickness?

  64. Ari Lehtiniemi

    Ari LehtiniemiPrije 7 mjeseci

    Shoulder width grip pulldown or (preferably) chin-up leaning way back is easily the longest range of motion and resembles pull-over, pulldown and row all in one.

  65. Abbas Basem

    Abbas BasemPrije 7 mjeseci

    Nice info

  66. Zach Rider

    Zach RiderPrije 7 mjeseci

    ur right back is bigger than left .. same like mine

  67. Markos Atartis

    Markos AtartisPrije 8 mjeseci

    i think from experience, rows work my back best generally (bent over primarily)

  68. stomna sacmata

    stomna sacmataPrije 8 mjeseci

    dude you dont have to make every video based on science papers tell us something from your own experience

  69. George Korniloff

    George KorniloffPrije 8 mjeseci

    Very informative 👍

  70. Justin Ancelet

    Justin AnceletPrije 8 mjeseci

    Idk if it's all his unproportional mass or if his dad was a little person, but Jeff nippard looks like he's probably about 5' 2" with boots on. Can anyone confirm?

  71. Syed Anzar

    Syed AnzarPrije 8 mjeseci

    i cant do a single pullup... are there any alternatives for guys like me?

  72. Swordofwords

    SwordofwordsPrije 9 mjeseci

    Man, these videos are liquid gold.

  73. Gio Valadez

    Gio ValadezPrije 9 mjeseci

    Any video about gainz is about hard work and dedication

  74. foogang Garlitos

    foogang GarlitosPrije 9 mjeseci

    jeff bro, ive been watching you and eugine teo videos for the past 2 months, does the lat pull down machine line of pull target the mid back more then the lower lats by the way the lat pull down machine is set up?

  75. Johnathan DeLeonlopez

    Johnathan DeLeonlopezPrije 9 mjeseci

    Way to take something and over complicate it completely

  76. Yianni Mitropoulos

    Yianni MitropoulosPrije 9 mjeseci

    I feel like Jeff has basically the physique I'm going for. Broad, thick back, big arms, and not too underweight (because reducing your weight to show off your six-pack just gets really gross at some point). My only criticism is that a bit more chest development would arguably balance out the whole look. Aside from that, very impressed.

  77. denomenopl

    denomenoplPrije 9 mjeseci


  78. Swittshots

    SwittshotsPrije 9 mjeseci

    Where did you get those shoes?

  79. Ben Cawley

    Ben CawleyPrije 9 mjeseci

    Cheers Jeff! Absolutely fantastic video as per usual!


    THIS AND THATPrije 9 mjeseci

    You athleanx and nicks strength and power... Three channels to watch

  81. Roy Batty

    Roy BattyPrije 10 mjeseci

    You have to use heat seeking, satellite laser guided steroid injections.

  82. Ric Powers

    Ric PowersPrije 10 mjeseci

    Shouldnt a video about building a big, wide back be presented by a guy with a big, wide, back? This guy looks like a swimmer.

  83. Haassan1

    Haassan1Prije 10 mjeseci

    I just want width.

  84. Deepak Singh

    Deepak SinghPrije 10 mjeseci

    Need the one for chest

  85. Adeel Mahmood

    Adeel MahmoodPrije 10 mjeseci

    Some kid on steds tryna school man

  86. Jacob K

    Jacob KPrije 11 mjeseci

    Can we get a Bro Jeff video series on how to do everything wrong? Bro Jeff is my favorite part of the videos lol

  87. CptHandsome

    CptHandsomePrije 11 mjeseci

    Im more interested on what you use to cycle and why. For education and research purposes

  88. Ajaz Ahmed

    Ajaz AhmedPrije 11 mjeseci

    Great training here will take few tips

  89. johhny

    johhnyPrije 11 mjeseci

    it was good until 15 $$$$

  90. Dom Bomb

    Dom BombPrije 11 mjeseci

    Stfu you fuckin nerd

  91. Zed Workout

    Zed WorkoutPrije 11 mjeseci

    lol, you guys made me killed my back, watch

  92. Alex Hungerford

    Alex HungerfordPrije godine

    Ben Shapiro of fitness

  93. legineo tiptoni

    legineo tiptoniPrije godine

    Doogie Howser weight training

  94. Greekster

    GreeksterPrije godine

    Should we train back once or twice a week ? Can you get results with once a week ?

  95. Konstantinos Ntanakas

    Konstantinos NtanakasPrije godine

    Thanks for summarizing everything in a short video!

  96. GHULAM

    GHULAMPrije godine

    man this is too much science

  97. Netak Rap Music

    Netak Rap MusicPrije godine

    Nice big up from France

  98. John Dignan

    John DignanPrije godine

    thanks for all your videos, i like how you explain the difference with exercises grips

  99. hannah • 6 years ago

    hannah • 6 years agoPrije godine

    jeff is the teacher you actually like. like rlly

  100. Coops

    CoopsPrije godine

    What about close, neutral grip chin ups + medium grip barbell rows for a back workout? I just can't perform standart pull ups correctly.

  101. segheir hicham

    segheir hichamPrije godine

    great explanation

  102. White Rose Project

    White Rose ProjectPrije godine

    "You can't alter your waist with training" Vaccuum excercise: Am I a joke to you?