Exercises to Work Out your Back Muscles

If you're one of those athletes who doesn't usually spend much time exercising your back muscles, in this article, we'll introduce you to the most effective exercises to get you started. You can thank us later!
Exercises to Work Out your Back Muscles

Last update: 30 October, 2019

Your back is one of the most over-worked muscle groups when you’re training at the gym; and yet, one of the most underrated. In fact, it includes some of the largest muscles in the human body, which are used every day to perform different actions. Therefore, you must know which exercises are the best to work out your back muscles.

Indeed, your back plays an essential role in weightlifting. For example, the upper and middle back muscles help to stabilize the shoulder joints. Therefore, the stronger and more stable your shoulders are, the more weight you can lift during each exercise.

Now, are you ready for some back workouts? We recommend that you start with the following list of exercises to work out your back muscles. The following activities indicate how you can exercise your back area using dumbbells, bars, or, even your own body weight.

The best exercises to work out your back muscles

1. The superman

The first exercise that we’ll recommend is known as superman. It’s an exercise that uses your body’s own weight. To do it, you must place yourself face down on the floor.

Once you’re lying on the floor, place your arms straight out in front of you, with your palms resting on the floor. Then, contract your back and buttocks by lifting your hands and feet off of the floor.

To complete this exercise, do ten repetitions of this movement, and maintain the position for three seconds each time. A good recommendation is to lower your shoulders and back when you’re raising your arms and legs off the floor; also make sure you inhale while raising your body and exhale while lowering it.

2. Romanian deadlift with dumbbells: exercises to work out your back

Weightlifters and other athletes typically do the Romanian dumbbell deadlift as an exercise to tone their back muscles. To do this workout, you must be standing, with both feet separated at about hip-height, with a dumbbell in each hand. Then, lower the weights to the front of your shins, while keeping them close to your body.

While you’re descending, keep your spine straight and drive through your heels to extend your hips and knees fully.  Squeeze the buttocks when you lift yourself back up.

Deadlift as an exercise to work out your back

If you’re a beginner in this exercise, start with light weights until you feel comfortable with the movement. Then, as you gain confidence, you can gradually increase the amount of weight.

3. Single-arm row with a dumbbell

This is an exercise that works out each side of your body independently, allowing you to obtain a greater range of motion and lift more weight. A slight torso rotation can also imply working out a greater degree of musculature.

Moreover, you also have the advantage that you’re working out both sides of your body. This allows you to exercise your weak points by focusing on strength and balance.

To do this exercise, you just need to place a dumbbell next to the bench where you plan to workout. Place your right knee and right hand on the bench to support yourself. Then, plant your left leg down on the floor.

Single arm row as an exercise to work out your back

Now, while bending your hips and keeping your back straight, reach down and lift the dumbbell with your hand; let it hang directly from your shoulder and lift it towards your torso. Basically, this exercise is about pulling the dumbbell up.

4. Pull-ups: exercises to work out your back

Finally, pull -ups are an excellent bodyweight exercise to work out all your back muscles. Besides, it’s always a good idea to add a little traction in your back routine, and pull-ups are one of the best for that. The biggest challenge in this exercise is doing enough repetitions for growth, which is between eight and 12.

Chin-ups as an exercise to work out your back

You can also choose to use an assisted pull-up machine or ask a partner for help, or you can even switch to closed-grip pull-ups, which is a solid substitute. Don’t forget that fitness is extremely important to perform this exercise.

Well, as you’ve seen, these exercises are ideal to work out your back muscles. Now you can choose your favorite and include it in your training routine!

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

    • Choi, B. K. L., Verbeek, J. H., Tam, W. W. S., & Jiang, J. Y. (2010, November). Exercises for prevention of recurrences of low-back pain. Occupational and Environmental Medicine. https://doi.org/10.1136/oem.2010.059873

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.