The Best Back Exercises
For Men and Women
Back Strengthening Exercises

There are many great back exercises for men and women, and you can perform them in many different ways.

You can use dumbbells, barbells, machines, cables or tubing, or even just your body weight.

Each tool offers pros and cons, advantages and disadvantages. So don't think of one tool as good or bad.

All of the back strengthening exercises can be done at a gym, but many of them can also be done at home. You don't necessarily need thousand dollar machines to strengthen your back muscles and get more fit.

Tools like dumbbells and resistance bands are relatively cheap and portable and are great for home use.

Below the back exercises are grouped by the tool you'll need to perform them.

Mix up your workout and try new exercises every 4-8 weeks, and don't forget to have fun working out.

Barbell Back Strengthening Exercises

In regards to free weights, the barbell bent over row is regarded by many as the best back building exercises. In addition to working the lats (latissimus dorsi), it is a good postural exercise because the lower back and hips are strengthened during the bent over row.

You can perform the bent over barbell row with 2 different grips.

Overhand Barbell Bent Over Row
Underhand Barbell Bent Over Row

Dumbbell Back Exercises

You can also perform the bent over row with dumbbells. You can go for 2 arm rows or use a bench and do 1 arm at a time.

Dumbbell Exercises for the Back
2 Arm Dumbbell Rows
1 Arm Standing Dumbbell Rows
1 Arm Bench Dumbbell Rows

In addition to the dumbbell row, you can also do dumbbell pullovers.

Dumbbell Pullovers

Cable Back Strengthening Exercises

The cables give you a slightly different feel than the dumbbells.Here are some ways you can use cables to strengthen your back muscles.

Standing 2 Arm Cable Rows
Standing 1 Arm Cable Rows.

You can also do total body cable exercises that work the back.

Squats and 2 Arm Rows
Squats and 1 Arm Rows
Lunges and 2 Arm Rows
Lunges and 1 Arm Rows

In addition to the Cable Rows you can also do the following exercises.

Cable Lat Pull Downs
Cable Straight Arm Pull Downs (Shoulder Extensions)

Back Strengthening Exercises with Resistance Bands

Easy Back Strengthening Exercises
Low Rows/ Neutral Rows
High Rows/ Abducted Rows

Body Weight Back Strengthening Exercises

In many people's opinion pull ups are the best back exercise, and I too think it is a great exercise. It's the ultimate test of strength for the back muscles.

In addition to pull ups, you can do inverted rows from a Smith Machine or squat rack bar.

Body Weight Exercises for the Back

Wide Grip Pull Ups
Neutral Grip Pull Ups
Underhand Grip Pull Ups
Inverted Rows

Back Machines

The lat pull down and seated row are the 2 most popular back machines and they are both good exercises.

Lat Pull Down Machine
Seated Row Machine

Back Strengthening Exercises Conclusion

It's important to work all upper body muscles so that your strength and posture are balanced. Make sure you include back strengthening exercises in your fitness routine.

Yours in Health,
Dr. Charles PT/PT

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