11 Best Back Exercises – 2020

11 Best Back Exercises – 2020 is a detailed guide on upper and lower back exercises which can be incorporated in your workouts at GYM as well as at your home provided you have some weights and/or equipment.

All the movements shown in this 11 Best Back Exercises – 2020 can be performed with the use of therabands or resistance tubes. Training schedule varies from person to person, therefore it is advisable to follow the schedule given by your trainer and even better if these exercises are performed under his/her supervision.

When lifting heavy, proper form and technique is very critical in order to avoid injuries. Happy reading…

The Exercise listed below can be performed using Resistance Tube or Theraband. Your Personal Trainer would be able to guide you properly. Women, People with back pain, Seniors, Children, and beginners can use this equipment safely at home or at the gym. It also easy to carry this equipment.

1. Wide Grip Pull-Ups (Chin Ups)

Muscles Involved – Teres Major, Rhomboid (Major & Minor) , Trapezes lower portion, Lastismus dorsi, Bicep Brachii, Brachioradialis, Brachialls.

Execution

  1. Hang to the Fixed Bar with a very wide overhand grip
  2. Pull the Chest towards the Bar while you inhale
  3. Lower Your body to the starting position slowly while you exhale.

Variations

  1. The backside of the Neck can be brought near to the bar.
  2. You may Grip the bar Shoulder width
  3. You may pull yourself to the level of the Chin or to make it more intense to the level of the chest.
  4. In Supported or assisted pull-ups you may take the support of your trainer or training partner or this exercise can be performed on an assisted pull up machine.

2. Reverse Pull-Ups

Muscles Involved: Teres Major, Lastismus dorsi, Bicep Brachii, Brachialls.

Execution:

  1. Hang your body to a bar with an underhand grip
  2. Width of the Grip should be in line with your shoulders
  3. Pull your body upwards till your chin is near the bar or touching the bar while you inhale.
  4. Lower your body to the starting position while you exhale

Variation:

  1. Instead of chins, you may pull your body till your chest is near the bar, however, it takes a good amount of strength, your biceps should also be strong enough to pull your body weight.
  2. You may take support or assistance from your trainer or training partner and put in some forced reps.
  3. Both Wide Grip and reverse pull-ups can be performed on the smith machine, where you may rest your feet on the ground for assistance, this is a good way to begin your strength training journey.

3. Lat Pull Downs

Muscles Involved: Teres Major, Lastismus dorsi, Bicep Brachii, Brachialls

Execution:

  1. Use Lat pull down Machine – Sit facing the machine with legs locked under the pads.
  2. Grip the bar with a wide overhand grip
  3. While inhaling pull the bar as close a possible to the pectoralis.
  4. Your pectoralis (Chest) must be flexed throughout the movement.
  5. Try to squeeze the back by bringing your elbows as backward as possible.
  6. While exhaling return to your starting position slowly, take benefit of negative rep.

Variations:

  1. This exercise can be performed with a wide bar with the fingers facing each other
  2. Perform lat pulldowns with an underhand grip, width in line of shoulders.
  3. Perform the Lat pull down while bringing the bar behind your neck.
  4. Perform this exercise with Close grip which involves your Barchioradialis also.
  5. You may perform this movement on weight loaded machine also.
  6. This exercise can be performed with therabands or resistance bands.

4. Seated Rows

Muscles Involved – Teres Major, Rhomboid (Major & Minor), Trapezes, Lastismus dorsi, Posterior Deltoids, Brachioradialis.

Execution:

  1. Sit on the Machine with the torso bent forward and foot resting on the pads provided on the Machine.
  2. While inhaling pull the handle as close as possible towards your sternum bringing your elbows behind the torso as far as possible squeezing and straightening your back.
  3. While exhaling return to the starting position slowly.

Variations:

  1. Perform this exercise with overhand, underhand, and fingers facing each other grips.
  2. Perform this exercise with wide overhand, underhand, and fingers facing each other grips. during this variation, your Biceps brachii and Brachialis also comes into play.
  3. Perform the exercise on a seated row machine
  4. Perform this movement on theraband or resistance band

5. Dumbbell Rows

Muscles Involved – Teres Minor and Major, Rhomboid (Major & Minor), Infraspinatus, Trapezes, Lastismus dorsi, Posterior Deltoids, erector spinae under the aponeurosis.

Execution:

  1. Stand on your legs shoulder-width apart, your torso slightly bent at 45 degrees
  2. Keep your back straight with your arms hanging on your side
  3. Hold the dumbbells with your palms facing inwards
  4. While inhaling pull the dumbbells as high as possible keeping your elbows close to your body, squeeze your shoulders, and back at the end of the movement.
  5. Contract the core/abdominal muscles while lifting the dumbbells.
  6. While exhaling return to your starting position slowly.
  7. The position of the chest is crucial, ideally, you can keep it parallel to the ground or a little bit up.

Variations:

  1. One Arm Dumbbell Row – This movement can be performed with a single hand with one leg placed on the bench, in this movement your biceps also come into play.
  2. This exercise can also be performed with kettlebells
  3. this exercise can also be performed with theraband or resistance tubes.

6. Barbell Rows

Muscles Involved: Teres Minor and Major, Rhomboid (Major & Minor), Infraspinatus, Trapezes, Lastismus dorsi, Posterior Deltoids, erector spinae under the thoracolumber fascia, Bicep Brachii, Brachioradialis, Brachialls.

Execution:

  1. Stand on your legs slightly bent hold the bar with an overhand grip slightly wide to the shoulder width.
  2. Keep your back straight while standing.
  3. Now bent forward 45 degrees from your waist, so that the bar is near to your knee.
  4. While inhaling and keeping your elbows close to your body pull the Barbell as near to your chest as possible, squeeze the back at the end of the movement.
  5. Contract the core/abdominal while lifting the Barbell.
  6. While exhaling return to your starting position.
  7. The position of the chest is crucial, ideally, you should keep it a little bit up.

Variation:

  1. Perform this exercise with an underhand grip
  2. Perform this movement on the smith machine

7.T Bar Rows

Muscles Involved: Teres Major, Rhomboid (Major & Minor), Infraspinatus, Trapezes, Lastismus dorsi, Posterior Deltoids, erector spinae under the thoracolumber fascia, Brachioradialis, Brachialls, forearm flexors.

Execution:

  1. Stand on the pads with your legs slightly bent, hold the bar with an overhand grip.
  2. While keeping your back straight bend forward 45 degrees from your waist.
  3. While inhaling and keeping your elbows close to your body pull the bar as near to your chest as possible, squeeze the back at the end of the movement.
  4. Contract the core/abdominal while lifting the Bar.
  5. While exhaling return to your starting position.
  6. The position of the chest is crucial, ideally, you should keep it a little bit up.

Variations:

  1. Perform this exercise with an underhand grip, using this grip your biceps get involved in the exercise.
  2. Some Machines provide parallel handles which is between underhand and overhand grip, in this movement biceps also comes into play.
  3. Perform this exercise on the machine having an abdominal support board.
  4. Perform this movement on a machine while sitting, but producing the same effect.
  5. Perform this exercise with a long barbell while holding the barbell with both the palms interlocked.

8.Deadlifts

Muscles Involved: Muscles Involved: External Oblique, Rectus Abdominals, Flexer Digitorum, Splenius Capitis, Levator Scapulae, Trapezius, Gluteus Maximus, Rectus Femoris, Vastus Lateralis, Vastus Medialis, Biceps Femoris short and long head, Teres Major, Rhomboid Major, Latissimus dorsi, Semi Tendinosus, Semi Membranosus, Serratus Posterior Inferior, Spinalis Thoracis.

Execution:

  • Stand Facing and near to the Barbell, feet shoulder-width apart with toes pointing slightly outwards
  • Contract the abdominal muscles and back slightly arched
  • Hold the bar with an overhand grip slightly out of shoulder-width apart. You can also use an underhand grip.
  • While Inhaling and contracting your abdominal muscle lift the bar from the ground with your back straight and keep it as near to your shins as possible, while lifting the bar straightening your legs. Hold your breath during this entire movement.
  • When the bar reaches the level of your knees, erect the torso while straightening your legs and stand erect holding the bar tightly without loosening your grip and exhale.
  • Holding the bar in an erect position for 2 seconds return to your starting position slowly without rounding the back.
  • Keep your back straight throughout the movement.

Variations:

  • While lifting heavy perform this exercise with over and underhand grips.
  • Stiff-Legged Deadlift – Instead of Squatting in the starting position, lift the bar keeping your legs as straight as possible. don’t rest the bar on the floor unless the set is complete. Hamstring and Gluts are the main target muscles in this exercise. Perform this exercise with lighter weights to target the hamstrings.
  • Sumo Deadlift – Mainly performed in power-lifting sports, The starting position is wide stance and toes pointing out. The rest of the movement is like a classic deadlift, but due to the wide standing position, the main target muscles are Quadriceps and adductors.
  • Trap Bar deadlift – Good for people having lower back pain, this works your quadriceps muscle little more compared to the classic deadlift were your lumbar region has a major role to play.
  • Perform this exercise using only body-weight, dumbbells, kettle-bell, theraband and resistance bands
  • Perform this exercise on the smith machine
  • Perform this exercise with one leg using dumbbells or kettle-bell.
  • Classic Deadlift
  • Trap Bar Deadlift
  • Sumo Deadlift
  • Dumbbell Deadlift
  • Sumo Deadlift using Dumbbell
  • One-Leg Deadlift

Variations in Deadlift

9.Back Extension

Muscles Involved: Semitendinosus, Gluteus Maximus, Semimembranosus, Quadratus, lliocostalis Lumborum, Bicep Femoris Long Head, Spinalis Thoracis, Longissimus thoracis, lliocostalis thoracis

Execution:

  1. Lie on the Hyperextension bench or roman chair facing the ground, with ankles fixed under the pads.
  2. The Pelvis part should not be rested on the bench.
  3. With the body bent forward raise the head and continue hyperextension as high as possible arching your lumbar spine.
  4. Perform this exercise carefully and slowly to avoid injuries.

Variations:

  1. Perform the exercise with the bar on the shoulders
  2. Perform this exercise on the back extension machine
  3. Perform this exercise on a simple flat bench, asking your training partner to hold the legs.
  4. Perform this exercise by holding weights near your chest or behind the neck.
  5. Good Morning exercise is a good variation for beginners.

10.Upright Rows

Muscle Involved: Trapezius (Upper, Middle & Lower), Deltoids (Middle, Posterior and Anterior), Brachialis, Brachioradialis

Execution:

  1. Stand with the legs shoulder-width apart
  2. Keep the back straight and hold the bar with an overhand grip.
  3. While inhaling pull the bar towards the chin.
  4. Raise the elbows as high as possible
  5. While exhaling brings the bar to the starting position slowly.

Variation:

  1. Perform this exercise with a wider grip to work deltoids
  2. Perform the Exercise with Dumbbells, kettle-bell or resistance band
  3. Perform this Exercise using cables

11.Dumbbell Shrugs

Muscles Involved: Trapezius, Levator Scapulae, Rhomboids

Execution:

  1. Stand with legs shoulder-width apart
  2. Keep your neck and head straight or slightly bent forward
  3. Arms relaxed at the side
  4. Hold the Dumbbells and Shrug the shoulder with forward to the backward movement (Not Possible while lifting heavy)
  5. Return to the starting position slowly.

Variations:

  • Perform this exercise using a barbell, in this case, the focus would be only trapezius muscle
  • You can also perform this exercise using a trap bar
  • Perform this exercise using Machine or smith machine
  • This exercise may also be performed using a kettlebell, theraband, and resistance bands.

Stretching:

  • Any workout is not complete without proper stretching.
  • It is very important to stretch before as well as after workout for maximum benefits.
  • Generally overlooked post-workout stretching helps improve the circulation which heals the muscle more quickly hence prevents muscle soreness and stiffness.
  • This aids muscle recovery and prevents injuries.
  • Stretching also helps eliminate lactic acid and improves flexibility.

Caution:

Exercises listed in “11 Best Back Exercises” needs to be executed with great caution to avoid injuries. The following needs to take care of.

  • While executing the chin-ups keep the elbows slightly bent to avoid biceps injury.
  • Behind the back lat pull down should be performed after proper warm-up to avoid triceps injury.
  • While performing seated rows, dumbbell, and barbell rows, T Bar Rows, deadlifts, etc don’t round the back to avoid back injury.
  • While performing any of these exercises or for that matter, the exercise of any body part
    • Expand the chest by holding the breath which will feel up the lungs and keep your upper body erect.
    • Contract the abdominal muscle which will keep your core tight and keep your body erect.
  • Bicep tendon injury is common during the heavy deadlifts, hence training biceps regularly and strengthening the biceps tendon is of utmost importance.
  • Pain in the lumbar region of the back is the common problem, however proper form the technique during executing back exercise with weights combined with a pre-workout dynamic and post-workout static stretching will help reduce this pain.
  • While executing all the above exercises always focus on doing full range of motion without locking any joints.
  • People suffering from spondylolysis, osteoporosis should be extra careful while lifting weights, better it is done under the supervision of qualified trainers or physiotherapists.

Conclusion:

Incorporating a variety of back exercises in your workout regime will add mass to your upper body, like legs and chest it is one of the bigger muscle groups of the body. Following the guidelines laid down in “11 Best Back Exercises” will help you get rid of back pain as well as help you burn more calories. Stay Fit & Health.

My Muscles are my best clothes”

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