15 Moves For A Strong Back

We all must have had back pain at some point of time and we all know how bad it gets. Your back is engaged in whatever moves your body makes. This clearly suggests a hurt back is so tough to bear. 

Strong back muscles help prevent injuries and make sure your whole body works efficiently, during everyday movements as well as during exercises.

However, there are so many exercises out there that people get confused – especially when someone is a beginner. This blog provides 15 best back moves for overall performance and strength. 

The question worth asking is which muscles do we target when we talk about your back? The main muscles in the back are:

  • Lats, these are found in areas below the armpits down the sides of the back
  • Rhomboids, these are found in mid-upper back
  • Traps, these run from the neck to the mid back
  • Erector spinae, these are a group of muscles which run along the spine

The below given exercises work a combination of these muscles.

The moves

Choose 3 to 5 of the below given exercises to create a back workout that you can do twice a week or more to attain your goals. 

1. Resistance Band Pull Apart

It is a simple yet effective exercise to start your back workout. Go for a resistance band which lets you perform 2 sets of 15-20 repetitions.

  • Stand straight and extend your arms. Hold a resistance band in front of you. It should be parallel to the floor.
  • Keep your arms straight. Now pull the band towards your chest. While doing this move your arms out towards your sides. You need to initiate this movement from the mid back. Squeeze the shoulder blades together and keep your spine straight.
  • Slowly return to the initial position.

2. Quadruped Dumbbell Row

The exercises clear the basics of the row, fix many issues like over-stretching at top of the movement, overstretching your arm at bottom of the movement and lower back compensation. You should do this exercise before any other rowing movements.

  • Come on your fours. Hold a dumbbell on both hands. Make sure the back is straight and keep your hands exactly below the shoulders and keep your knees directly below your hips.
  • Row up with your left hand, pull your elbow up and bring the dumbbell towards your armpit. You need to tuck in your elbows throughout the movement. You can’t maintain your balance if you row too far.
  • Extend your left arm, bring the dumbbell to the ground and repeat on the right side.
  • Do 3 sets of 12 repetitions on both the hands.

3. Lat Pulldown

You can do this with a machine in a gym or with a resistance band. You use your lats, biceps and even forearms when you pull the weight from above your head down to the chest. 

  • When you’re doing it on a machine, position the pad in such a way that it touches your thighs. Stand up and hold the bar wider than the shoulder width, again sit.
  • Pull the bar down to the chest, while bending your elbows, direct the elbows towards the ground. Use your upper and mid back throughout the whole movement. Keep your upper back straight and don’t fall backwards.
  • Do 3 sets of 12 repetitions.

4. Wide Dumbbell Row

It increases your range of motion and helps you address muscular imbalance. Initially, use light to moderate weight dumbbells. Increase the weight gradually. 

  • Hold dumbbells in both the hands and hinge at the waist, stop when your torso forms a 20degree angle with the ground. Make your palms face the thighs and keep your neck neutral. Let the dumbbells hang down.
  • Start to row with the elbows at an angle of 90degree, pull them towards the sky. Meanwhile, squeeze your shoulder blades.
  • Come back to the initial position and do 3 sets of 12 repetitions.

5. Barbell Deadlift

It works your lower back, erector spinae muscles and hamstrings. You need a strong back to effectively perform it.

  • Stand behind the barbell keeping your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Lift your chest, hinge at the hips and bend your knees, reaching downwards to pick the barbell. Keep the back straight and grasp the bar with both hands.
  • Stand straight keeping your feet firmly on the ground. 
  • Come back to the starting position, push your hips back and bend your knees till the time you bring the bar back.
  • Do 3 sets of 12 repetitions.

6. Hyperextension

It targets your core and your entire posterior chain. It is a great exercise to strengthen your erector spinae muscles and the whole lower back.

  • Lie down on an exercise ball. Keep your abdomen on the centre of the ball. Firmly keep your feet on the ground to maintain the balance. 
  • Stretch your arms forward. Bend at your waist and slowly lift your torso. Make sure to use your core and glutes. 
  • Pause when your body is upwards. Then slowly come down.
  • Do 3 sets of 12 repetitions.

7. Good Morning

This exercise gets its name from a bowing movement to say hello. It is an advanced version. So, start with weights to make sure you do the movement correctly before you go for weights.

  • If you use weight, place the barbell on your shoulders behind your head. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Hinge at your hips, bend your knees and throw your upper body towards the ground, stopping when it becomes parallel. Keep your back straight through the movement.
  • Then come back to start.
  • Do 3 sets of 12 repetitions.

8. Renegade Dumbbell Row

Here, you have to be in a plank position while you row. This engages your core also.

  • Come in a high plank position and hold dumbbells in both hands. Make sure your body forms a straight line from head to toe. Engage your core throughout the move.
  • Row with your left arm, pull your elbows upwards but keep it close to your body. Bring the dumbbell back to the ground. Ensure your hips are squared to the ground.
  • Do the same with the left arm.
  • Do 3 sets of 20 repetitions on both the hands.

9. TRX Row

You use your bodyweight and need lots of stability and balance. The best thing about this is it is suitable for people of varying ability.

  • Grab the TRX handles tightly and walk under them. Form a top of the table position with your arms stretched. Make your body more parallel to the ground to make this exercise more difficult.
  • Keep your back straight ,row upwards, keeping your elbows close to the sides.
  • Stretch your arms and come back to the start. Make sure your hips don’t  sink.
  • Do 3 sets of 12 repetitions.

10. Superman 

It hits your core, especially the lower back.

  • Lie down on your stomach. stretch your arms over your head.
  • Engage your glutes and core. Lift your upper and lower body upwords as much as you can. Hold on for one second in this position.
  • Come back to the starting position slowly .
  • Do 3 sets of 12 repetitions

11. Wood Chop

It is a full-body movement as it works your core, arms and back. You can use a medicine ball or a dumbbell. 10 pounds is a good to go weight.

  • Hold the medicine ball or the dumbbell with both the hands. Raise your hands and hold it above your head. Pivot on your left foot a bit to rotate your hips.
  •  Start squatting down, rotate your hips towards the right side and bring the medicine ball or the dumbbell to the outside of the right knee in the sweeping manner.
  •  While taking upwards, twist your back to the left. Keep your arms straight and get the medicine ball or  the dumbbell above your head in a controlled manner.
  •   Do 3 sets of 12 repetitions.
  • Do 3 sets of 12 repetitions.

12. Reverse Fly

It targets the rhomboids, traps and the shoulders. The movement strengthens the posture muscles which are important in daily health.

  • Hold a dumbbell in both the hands. Bend forward at the waist till the time your upper body and ground make 45degree angle with each other. Let the dumbbell hang in front of you. Your palms should face each other. Slightly bend your elbows.
  • Lift your arms up and out by making use of your core. At the same time, squeeze ykour shoulder blades.
  • Slowly come in the initial position.
  • Do 3 sets of 12 repetitions.

13. Pullup

This is a classic back exercise. An unassisted pullup needs a lot of strength.

  •  Stand under a pullup bar. Hold it with both the hands. Ensure your hands are shoulder-width apart.
  • Lift your feet away from the ground. Next, pull your body towards the bar. While doing this, bend your arms and take your elbows towards the ground.
  • When your chin is over the bar, extend your arms to bring back your body.
  • Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions.

14. Plank

This one is generally considered a core movement; however plank is a full body moment. They use the erector spinae. This lets you be in the position effectively.

  • Come in a plank position with your forearms and elbows on the ground. Extend your legs. Your whole weight of the body should be on your forearms and the toes.
  • From head to toe, your body needs to be in a straight line.
  • Make use of your core so that your hips don’t sag.
  • Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions.

15. Single-Arm Dumbbell Row

You need a bench to stabilize yourself. It targets and engages your back muscles. Add some weight to challenge you.

  •  Place yourself in such a way that your left knee, shin and left hand rest on it. Your hand will act as a support for you. Extend your right leg and keep the foot on the ground.
  • Hold the dumbbell in the right hand. Keep your upper body straight.
  • Row the dumbbell upwards by bringing your elbows up. While doing this, keep it close to your body.
  • Slowly come in the starting position.
  • Do 3 sets of 12 repetitions.

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