This is a great exercise for developing strength and mass in the upper back. As with most lifts, the key is maintaining proper form.
Have a good base with the legs slightly wider than shoulder width. Grab the bar (both hands overhand grip) also slightly wider than shoulder width. Dead-lift the weight up and then sit into a squatting position with your legs. When you bend over, be sure to keep your back arched and head up. Do not bend over at the waist. Sit into a strong squat position. Then pull the weight up and into the stomach, working to isolate the upper back.
If you want to work on grip strength, do the lift without straps. If you really want to isolate the back and go heavier than your grip will allow, use straps. Either way, imagine that your hands are hooks and you are pulling the weight up with your lat muscles and nothing else. Imagine the lat muscles are spread down and around the spine and are pulling the weight up and squeezing and contracting around the spine in the opposite direction at the top.
Most guys use too much arms when they work back. It takes practice, and using straps can help, but over time you will learn to keep your arms out of it and just use the upper back.
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