Build A Strong Back Like Tendai “Beast” Mtawarira

Men's Health |

To understand exactly how much of a, well, beast he is, you have to understand what he does in the scrum.

As a loose head prop, Mtawarira has his head positioned on the outside of the scrum when the packs lock shoulders and engage – so he has to be perfectly balanced (and immensely strong) to push back against the opposing tight head.


Stand with a bar on the floor in front of you so it touches your shins. Push your hips back and grasp the bar with your hands just outside your calves, using an overhand grip. Keeping your back straight and your chest up, drive your heels into the floor and stand up. Pause, then lower the bar to the starting position.


Grab a pull-up bar with a shoulder-width overhand grip, and hang at arm’s length. Pull your chest up to the bar. Lower back to the starting position and repeat. Remember to pull your elbows into your ribcage to help your chin clear the bar. Perform three sets, and complete as many reps as you can in each set.


Attach a straight bar to the low pulley cable of a rowing station and grab it with an overhand grip. Pull the bar to your abdomen, then let your arms straighten again. Do eight to 10 reps.

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