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Back workout – Effective back exercises for the gym & at home

A strong and well-defined back not only improves your posture and overall physique, but it also plays a critical role in your daily activities and athletic performance. Whether you're aiming to strengthen your back muscles at the gym or looking for effective home exercises for your back, here are some motivational tips and sweaty, effective back exercises to help you reach your goals.

We will go through lots of great back exercises that you can do at the gym and also a good session to exercise your back at home. We also give tips on good back exercises with dumbbells and also stretches and smart exercises you can do to reduce lower back pain. Of course, we also give you inspiration and tips on stylish training clothes for the session. Good luck with your back workout!

Back workout at the gym

The gym has lots of equipment and machines for your back training, everything from dumbbells and barbells to different machines.

The best back exercises for the gym include a variety of exercises that involve different parts of the back muscles. Here are some of the most effective back exercises that can help you build a strong and well-developed back:

Back workout

Deadlift

• Stand in front of a bar with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart.

• Grip the bar with an overhand grip or a mixed grip.

• Bend at the hips and knees to lift the bar off the floor by extending the hips and knees at the same time.

• Keep your back straight and engage your back muscles throughout the movement.

• Lower the bar back to the floor in a controlled manner.

Repeat for 3 sets x 10 repetitions.

Back workout

Lat Pulldown

• Sit at the lat pulldown machine and grab the bar with a wide overhand grip.

• Pull the bar down towards your chest by pulling with your elbows and engaging your back muscles.

• Lower the bar in a controlled manner back to the starting position.

Repeat for 3 sets x 10 repetitions.

Back workout

Cable Rows

This machine exercise is great for isolating the lat muscles and building a wide back.

• Sit at a cable row machine and grasp the handles with a neutral grip.

• Sit with your back straight and pull the handles towards your waist by pulling your shoulder blades back and bending your elbows.

• Extend the arms and allow the shoulder blades to expand again.

Repeat for 3 sets x 10-12 repetitions.

Back workout

Barbell Rows

This exercise works both lats and upper back as well as back shoulders.

• Stand with a barbell in front of you and bend forward at the waist with a slight bend in the knees.

• Grab the bar with an overhand grip and pull it toward your stomach by bending your elbows and pulling your shoulder blade back.

• Lower the bar back to the floor in a controlled manner.

Repeat for 3 sets x 8-10 repetitions.

Back workout

Pull-ups (Chins)

Here you train the upper part of the back, specifically the lats and upper back.

• Use a pull-up bar and hang with an overhand grip.

• Pull yourself up by bending your arms and pulling your shoulder blades back.

• Lower yourself back to the starting position in a controlled manner.

• If pull-ups are challenging, use a rubber band aid or assistance machine.

Repeat for 3 sets x as many repetitions as you can manage with good technique.

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Back exercises you can do at home

If you don't have the opportunity to go to the gym, there are of course plenty of back exercises that you can do at home.

Use your own body weight and rubber bands and you can do a really effective back workout at home.

Do 3 sets with 1 minute rest between each set.

Back workout

Lat pull with rubber bands

  • Attach a rubber band to a stable suspension point above you.

  • Kneel and hold the rubber band with both hands in front of your body.

  • Pull the band down towards your waist by bending your elbows and pulling your shoulder blades together.

  • Return to starting position and repeat for 10-15 repetitions.

Back workout

Wall angels

  • Stand with your back against a wall and your hands pressed against the wall at shoulder height.

  • Keeping your back, elbows and wrists in contact with the wall, pull your arms up as if you are making snow angels.

  • Return to starting position.

  • Repeat 12-15 times.

Back workout

Back lift (Superman)

  • Lie on your stomach with your arms outstretched in front of you and your legs straight.

  • Simultaneously lift your arms, chest and legs off the floor while tensing your back muscles.

  • Hold the position for a few seconds and then lower back down.

  • Repeat for 10-15 repetitions.

Back workout

Row with rubber band

  • Fasten the rubber band around a stable support at chest height.

  • Stand with your back to the support and grab the handles.

  • Lean forward slightly and pull the handles to the side of your waist with straight arms.

  • Extend the arms again and repeat the movement for 10-15 repetitions.

Back workout

Back plank

  • Get down on the floor in a plank position with your forearms on the floor.

  • Keep your body straight from head to toe and tense your stomach and back muscles.

  • Hold the position for 30 seconds or longer if you can.

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Back workout

Back exercises with dumbbells

Do you want to workout your back using dumbbells? Here are some good examples of back exercises with dumbbells that you can do both at the gym and at home.

Single arm rowing:

  • Lean against an exercise bench with one knee and hand, and hold a dumbbell in the other, straight-hanging arm.

  • Keep your back straight and let the dumbbell hang straight down.

  • Pull the dumbbell up toward your hip by bending your elbow and pulling your shoulder blade back.

  • Then, lower the dumbbell again under control.

  • Repeat for 10-15 repetitions on each side.

Bent Over Rows:

  • Standing with a dumbbell in each hand, bend forward at the waist with a slight bend in the knees.

  • Keep your back straight and the dumbbells hanging straight down.

  • Pull the dumbbells toward your hips by bending your elbows and pulling your shoulder blades back.

  • Lower the dumbbells under control again.

  • Repeat for 10-15 repetitions.

Renegade Rows:

  • Start in a plank position with a dumbbell in each hand and hands on the floor.

  • Pull a dumbbell up to your chest while keeping your body in a stable plank.

  • Lower the dumbbell under control and repeat with the other hand.

  • Repeat for 10-15 repetitions on each side.

Swimmers:

  • Lie on your stomach with a dumbbell in each hand.

  • Lift your upper body and legs off the floor while moving your arms back and forth as if swimming.

  • This is an excellent exercise for the upper back and shoulders.

  • Repeat for 10-15 repetitions.

Exercises when you have lower back pain

If you have lower back pain, it is important to be careful and avoid exercises that can worsen the pain. In case of lower back pain, it is always recommended to consult a doctor or physiotherapist.

Here are some stretching and strengthening exercises that can help manage lower back pain. It is good to start with lower repetitions and gradually increase the intensity as your strength and comfort increase. Listen to your body!

Back workout

Knee to chest:

  • Lie on your back and pull one knee to your chest.

  • Hold the position for 20-30 seconds and then switch legs.

Lying Back Stretch:

  • Lie on your back and pull both knees up to your chest.

  • Hold your knees and gently pull them to one side of your body while twisting your upper body in the opposite direction.

  • Hold the position for 20-30 seconds on each side.

Cat-Cow Stretch:

• Kneel with your hands in front of you on the floor

• Round your back upwards by stretching your lower back and looking towards your stomach.

• Lower your stomach and lift your head to stretch your lower back in the other direction.

Repeat the movement several times at a calm and controlled pace.

Back workout

Bird Dog:

  • Start on all fours with hands and knees on the floor.

  • Extend your right arm in front of you while extending your left leg behind you.

  • Hold the balance briefly and return to the starting position.

  • Repeat with opposite arm and leg.

  • Do 10-15 repetitions on each side.

Glute Bridge:

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet on the floor.

  • Tighten your butt and stomach, press your heels down and lift your hips until your body forms a straight line from your knees to your shoulders.

  • Hold the top position for a few seconds and then lower back down.

  • Repeat 10-15 times.

Back workout

Workout tips for your journey

  • Have a well-defined goal. Whether you want to increase back strength, build muscle, or improve posture, setting clear goals will help you stay motivated and focused throughout your back workout journey.

  • Consistency is the foundation of progress. Dedicate specific days to working your back muscles and stick to your plan. Progress may seem slow at times, but remember that small, consistent efforts yield significant results over time.

  • A varied back routine targets different muscle groups for optimal development. Focus on the upper, middle and lower back muscles, as well as rear deltoids, to create a harmonious and balanced physique.

  • To see consistent gains, gradually increase the resistance or intensity of your exercises. This may mean adding more weight, increasing repetitions, or challenging your body in creative ways.

  • Pay attention to how your body reacts to different exercises and adjust accordingly. Always prioritize good form to prevent injuries.

Want more training tips and fun workouts? Check out our other fitness articles and find tips on home workouts, kettlebell workouts, arm workouts, leg workouts, and more!

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