If you’ve ever had a backache, you know just how miserable it can be. Every movement your body makes will engage your back in some way, so a hurt one means you’re down and out — which is no fun at all.
Strengthening your back muscles can help prevent these types of injuries and ensure that your entire body works smoothly, both during daily movements and during exercise. So, we can say that without a big, strong back, you won’t get too far in your lifting and/or athletic endeavours. The back muscles help you to twist your torso, pull your arms in and down from overhead, and, most importantly, stabilize your spine.
When you train these essential muscles, you’ll be more efficient at pulling and twisting motions in general. Also, a bigger and stronger back will help you deadlift and bench press more weight more efficiently. For that, I have discussed below the best exercises for back muscles to build a stronger back.
Here, you’ll learn more about why back training is important and how to implement it into your routine. Also, we’ve curated the eight best back exercises for you to work into your routine.
here are the 8 best exercises for back
- T-bar Row (close grip and wide grip)
- Seated Rows
- Lat pulldown
- Reverse grip Lat pull Down
- One arm Rows
- Inverted Rows
Rather than doing all of these Best exercises for back in the same workout, focus on choosing a combination of exercises that emphasize all the different areas of the Back.
T-bar Row (close grip and wide grip)
T-bar row is usually called Leverage row. It is a classical bodybuilding exercise often performed with the help of plate loaded machine.
Frank Zane, Franco Columbu, and other legends of the Golden Era performed this compound movement regularly as part of their back workouts. that’s why i have included this exercise in the list of best exercises for back.
If you are trying to target your upper back then this exercise is excellent for this purpose.
As we know, lats pulldown and chin-ups will make your lats wider but if you want a thick, densely muscled back then you need to do rows. This allows the people to use neutral grip in which palm faces each other, and this is the biomechanically strongest position to pull from.
How to Perform T-Bar Rows Exercise
If you are a beginner and your gym have a T-bar rows machine then go for it. Doing T-bar rows on a machine is better than using a barbell as it is safe to use in case you are a beginner.
This exercise may be performed either by Close-grip or with a wider grip. Close-grip or narrower grip forces you to keep your elbows close to your body and squeeze your lats while lifting the machine.
A wider grip may provide more comfort but you are unable to achieve the same range of motion. Here, I will tell the beginners how they can perform t- bar rows exercise.
- First of all, load the T-bar machine with weight plates.
- Lie prone on the pad of a T-Bar machine and grasp the handle with a neutral or pronated grip depending upon preference.
- Now brace your core and pull the T-bar towards your chest. Always remember your upper body must be stable during the movement.
- Squeeze your shoulder blades and your elbows must be closer to your sides. At the top of the movement, your shoulder blades and upper back muscles should be fully contracted.
- Hold for a second and then slowly lower the weight back.
- Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
If you are interested to build your upper body strength, you can perform seated rows.
According to Doctor Laskowski, it is a compound exercise that you can do with the help of a horizontal cable row machine that works for the back and upper arms. Specifically, it targets the muscles in your upper back and the latissimus dorsi a muscle on the outer side of the chest wall. This property makes this exercise one of the best exercises for back muscles.
You can also perform seated rows with a resistance band. This exercise provides strengthen and tone your upper body that is important for everyday movements including pulling. This shows that having a strong upper body also improves posture, protects your shoulders, and reduces your risk of injury.
Seated rows cable machine includes a bench for comfortable seating and footplates to brace yourself against as you pull the weighted cable.
How to do standard Seated rows
Seated rows are usually performed with a close grip but if you want to focus on arm muscles and smaller back muscles instead of lats then you can use a wide grip. This exercise can be performed on a seated row machine or a seated cable row machine. If you want to know about the performance of this exercise.
Here, I will tell u about how to do this.
- Sit straight on the bench and plant your feet on the floor and grasp the cable attachment.
- Position yourself with your knees slightly bent and extend your arms to grab the handle or cable. Move your shoulders back and down. Brace your core.
- Now pull the handle by bending your elbows. Target the middle to upper back by keeping your back straight or neutral and squeeze your shoulder blades together as you row, chest out. Here pause pauses of one second.
- Inhale and Return the handle forward or slowly extend your arms under tension to full stretch.
- Repeat the exercise for the desired number of repetitions.
Lat pulldown is considered one of the best and basic exercises for back muscles. It is a strength training exercise usually designed to develop the latissimus dorsi muscle.
This exercise is performed in the gym with the help of a lat pulldown machine. It mostly performs the functions of downward rotation and depression of the scapulae combined with extension and adduction of the shoulder joint.
This exercise can be done as part of an upper-body strength workout.
How to Do the Lat pulldown Exercise
Before starting this exercise, you should remember some points like
- Sit properly on the pulldown seat with feet flat on the floor.
- Properly check the height of the bar, adjust the height of the bar by reducing or increasing the chain or cable that supports the bar, or your seat height.
- Adjust the knee pad so that the upper thighs are tucked firmly under the pad. This will assist you when you apply effort to the bar.
After a complete look up on the important things, if you are a beginner then start this exercise on a lat pulldown machine with the help of a trainer.
- Grasp the bar slightly wider than shoulder-width with a closed, overhand grip. Other positions and grips are possible but start with this standard position.
- While doing this keep your torso and spine in a neutral position with a slight backward lean.
- Exhale while pulling the bar down towards the upper chest. Avoid the internal rotation of the shoulder during the pull while keeping the elbows pointed down toward the floor.
- Continue this process of pulling down until the bar comes at the level of the chin. The pulling phase must be done with a smooth and controlled motion.
- When the bar reaches the chin, then allow the bar to slowly return to the starting position while controlling the weight.
- Continue until you complete eight to 12 repetitions in a set. Rest, then continue to complete your program of sets.
Reverse grip Lat pull Down
The reverse grip lat pulldown is also known as reverse grip pulldown. This is an effective exercise that targets your Lats or latissimus dorsi muscles. It is also used to build back muscles and improves stability in the lower back.
As this exercise primarily targets the lats, so you will also observe a reasonable activation in the bicep and middle back. The back is a muscle group that needs a fair amount of variation.
So, to maximize your back-muscle growth experiment with several different angles and hand positions are used. Hand position of reverse grip lat pulldown naturally makes the biceps involve more in this exercise.
This exercise can be performed during your back workouts, pull workouts, upper body workouts and full-body workouts.
Step by Step Instructions
As we know this is one of the basic exercises of back muscles. Do beginners mostly ask that how they can perform reverse grip lat pulldown exercise on a machine? Is this exercise good for back muscles? The answer to this question is yes. Here, I will tell you how this exercise can be performed.
- First of all, sit on the lat pulldown machine and Attach a wide grip handle to the machine and assume a seated position
- Now, Grasp the bar using a shoulder-width supinated (reverse or underhand) grip (palms facing you).
- Exhale when you pull the bar down until it touches your upper chest and squeeze your back muscles and hold for a count of two.
- Inhale whenever you return the bar to its initial or starting position.
- Repeat this exercise for the desired number of repetitions.
One-arm dumbbell rows
A row is a fundamental movement that is an important addition to everyone’s training routine. But today, our major focus will be on one-arm dumbbell row. The one-arm dumbbell row is the variation of the dumbbell row and an exercise that is used to build back muscle and strength.
It is not easy to build your upper back without machinery, but the one-arm dumbbell row does a good job. This exercise also strengthens your biceps and shoulders. Be careful if you have lower-back problems. One arm row can be performed during your back workouts, upper body workouts and full-body workouts.
How to Do the One-Arm Dumbbell Row
The question which beginners ask while starting this exercise is how to do Dumbbell Rows to build back muscles. Here, I will try to teach you how easily you can perform this exercise.
- Assume the standing position and hold a dumbbell in your right hand with your palm facing in.
- Hinge forward until your torso becomes parallel with the floor or slightly above the floor and after this start the movement by driving the elbow behind the body while retracting the shoulder blade.
- Now pull the dumbbell towards the body until the elbow is at the midline or just pass the midline and then slowly lower the dumbbell back to its initial position.
- Repeat for the appropriate number of repetitions.
- Switch sides and repeat the same number of repetitions with the opposite arm.
- Perform two to three sets of the exercise, with a one-minute rest between sets.
A deadlift is one of the best compound exercises that you can perform to gain strength and muscle mass to the back. It has the ability to keep stress on the back by using normal and moderate to heavy loads and can often be trained in higher volumes and loads, ultimately offers a training stimulus.
How to Do the Deadlift
- First of all, stand in front of the loaded barbell with the help of your feet shoulder-width apart, hips back and back flat.
- You must keep the knees slightly bent to permit you to grip the bar slightly wider than the shoulder width.
- Keep your back flat and chest up tightens the back muscles and provide strength to the arms as you load the pull.
- Whenever, everything is locked, aggressively push your legs into the floor when you simultaneously pull your shoulder and chest upwards, lifting the bar to the hip.
Some people think that pull up is an effective exercise, but always remember to pull up is not less effective than other moves as it is a bodyweight exercise. When you pull your body weight it creates the level of instability that recruits your core muscles to stabilize your body. If you are on the heavier side then you are still able to lift a lot of weight. Lastly, it is always ok when you require limited equipment to perform the exercise. In such a case, you only need to own a pull-up bar to get this done.
How to Do the Pull-Up
- To perform this exercise, assume the overhead grip on the bar, slightly wider than your shoulder width.
- When the shoulder blade squeezes together, contract your core and upper back as you initiate the pull-up.
- Aim to pull your chin to or above the bar level.
The inverted row is the bodyweight movement that builds your back, arm and grip strength as the pull-up. However, this exercise is generally easy to perform as you are not rowing your complete bodyweight. This is one of the best exercises for beginners to build up both their body control and back strength.
How to Do the Inverted Row
- First of all, you have to place the bar in the rack so that it is supported and stable.
- When you lay down under it, you are must reach the bar easily.
- Adjust the height you need
- With your feet on the ground and body set in prone plank position, grasp the bar strongly and firmly, pull the shoulder blades together and set the body in the hollow position.
- Pull your sternum to the bar, make sure to keep your elbows from flaring out and your shoulder from collapsing forwards.