The following back-exercise recommendations are divided into three general sections of muscle groups: upper, middle and lower. No group is more important than the other, so be sure to include exercises for each group. Increasing muscle size through progressive muscular training means stronger back muscles with an increased work capacity.
Upper-back and Mid-back Muscles
||Elevates and brings shoulder blades together
||Elevates the shoulders
||Draws shoulder blades together and down
||Puuls SHoulder blades together
||Pulls arms down and toward the body
||Extends the spine
||Bends the spine from side to side
Upper and mid-back:
- Lat pull-down (wide hand position targets latissimus dorsi; narrow hand position increases biceps engagement)
- Birddog single-arm row
- Cable face-pull
Mid-back and low-back:
- Suspension trainer row
- Supine bar row
- Supine pull-over
- Stability ball back extension
- Plank row with extension
Recommended Repetition Scheme
Since the goal here is to build muscle, the repetition scheme should be at least six to 12 reps of three to six sets of each exercise. It’s a good idea to start with lighter weights and fewer sets and work up to more sets using heavier weights over time. Be sure to plan one week of movement recovery or “de-load” every five to six weeks to ensure you can continue to see improvement in your strength and muscle hypertrophy. Going all out for too long can cause overtraining, overuse, staleness, and plateaus.
How to Add These Exercises to Your Current Routine
The goal of a healthy muscular training routine should be to strengthen the whole body. Some people like to divide their days into specific body parts, while others like to work the entire body every workout. No matter what your preference may be, take an exercise from each part of the back sections shared above and incorporate them into your routine. If you focus on the back for one day, add as many of these exercises as possible to one session per week. If you prefer to work your full body each session, make sure you are sprinkling in one or two of these exercises each time you work out.
When adding new exercises to your fitness routine, consider consulting a personal trainer for a session to observe your form. Now get moving and enjoy incorporating these exercises into your workouts to build a strong back that you can count on to support your posture and prevent inju