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Bodyweight Back Exercises

You are probably envisioning the various sophisticated machines and weights you will need to get a back workout session. From dumbbell rows to lat pull-downs, and the likes, you may think you’ll need a well-equipped gym to have a successful bodyweight back workout. 

However, this doesn’t have to be the case always. You can also have an appropriate back workout session without the use of barbells, dumbbells, and kettlebells- you only require your bodyweight and some technical training instruments such as pull-up bars, suspension training straps, and what have you. 

As much as the training instruments mentioned above will be needed, it is imperative to note that the only resistance you will work against will come from you. Well, you need not fret as it can be easily done. 

Here are some bodyweight back exercises that you can do to firm up your posterior.

THE INVERTED ROW

The inverted row is a fantastic back chain movement, and it is a highly under-recognized exercise. However, numerous studies indicate that it is quite helpful to the middle trapezius muscle especially. Also, your entire bodyweight doesn’t need to be hanged from the bar and this makes it a piece of cake as opposed to a regular chin-up or pull-up.

To do the inverted row, you need to set up the Smith machine bar to a considerable height that allows you to get underneath it to hang. This ensures your arms are extended fully with your heels to the ground. 

The next thing to do is to sit below and grip the bar in a little wider than shoulder-width fashion. Then, you stretch your leg directly in front of you and pull yourself up to the bar ensuring it makes contact with your lower chest region. 

Afterward, you reverse the motion and do it repeatedly. 

Once you’ve repeated it numerous times, you can place your feet on a bench to increase the difficulty level. This will enhance the effect of the inverted row. Also, to take it to another rigorous level, you can try doing it with one arm at a time. It helps in unilateral function training and discovering strength imbalances.

THE LOW PLANK

You start this exercise by lying flat on your stomach and bending your elbows underneath your shoulders while your forearms are stretched on the floor. Afterward, you extend your feet to make your ankles touch the floor.

After taking the above position, you lift your thighs and hips off the floor until your body becomes parallel to the floor. Then, you engage your core making sure your entire body forms a straight line from head to toe. Immediately after that, you tuck your pelvic to ensure your back is totally flat and stay in that position.

However, you should make sure your lower back doesn’t lift or sag. At the thoracic region, also try to pull your shoulders up and down. You can do this exercise for 30 seconds or less depending on how long you can hold.

THE BRIDGE

To start this exercise, you’ll lay flat on your back making sure your head touches the floor. Then, you bend your knees in a manner that allows your heels to be directly under them keeping your hands at your sides while your palms face down.

As soon as you’ve assumed the above position, you tuck your pelvis under allowing your lower back to be flat on the floor. 

Afterward, at the thoracic region, you pull your shoulder blades in and down then raise your hips above towards the ceiling making sure they extended properly for 20 seconds while applying pressure to your gluteus. Then, you lower your hips without touching the floor and repeat the exercise as much as you want but be careful not to exhaust yourself.

THE PRONE PULL

To do this exercise, you first lay face-down on the floor with your legs extended straight while your forehead rests on a towel or mat. Then, you bend your arms with your palms flat on the floor just next to your ribs. 

After that, you raise your elbows towards the ceiling and lift your palms off the floor making sure your shoulder blades are being squeezed together. 

Then, you extend your arms straight over your head until your biceps are by your ears. When you’ve done that, you bend your arms in a manner that allows your palm to be in line with your chest. You then repeat it for 25 more seconds.

THE SPINAL ARTICULATION

This exercise is healthy for your spine. You start on all floors with your knees under your hips and your shoulders above your wrists. However, you’ll also have your toes tucked while your gaze is at the mat just in front of your fingers.

After that, you’ll slowly arch your back allowing your lower belly to touch the floor while lifting your gaze to look straight. 

Then, you place the tops of your feet flat on the mat and tuck your pelvis under making sure that your navel is drawn towards your spine. Your upper back will be positioned towards the ceiling and your chin will be drawn to your chest. To start, you can easily reverse the movement and do it four or five times.

THE QUADRUPED LIMB RAISES

Just like the spinal articulation, you’ll get on all floors and place your hands under your shoulders but make sure they are a reasonable width-apart. 

Then, you’ll bend your elbows slightly placing your knees right under your hips. However, you should make sure your body forms a straight line from your head down to your butt. Also, pull your shoulder blades in and down at the thoracic region.

After assuming the above position, extend your left leg backward and your right arm forward while keeping your back straight. Thereafter, hold this position for 5 to 10 seconds and then lower your back to restart. You can do this for 20 seconds.

SUPERMAN

The first thing to do when doing the superman exercise is to lie flat on your stomach and stretch your arms forward while your palms are on the floor.

After you’ve taken this position, raise your upper body, and then do the same to your legs so they form an arch. While doing this, you have to make sure you’re chest and knees don’t touch the ground. Also, remember to place your neck and head in a neutral position.

Moreover, keep your chin tucked and so not overextend your head. If you want to, you can slightly bend your arms at the elbow while you extend them forward and up. It is also possible to decrease your body tension by slightly lowering or raising your upper body and legs at the same time. You can do this for 10 seconds, take a break, and repeat.

THE PULL-UP/CHIN-UP 

A list of best bodyweight back exercises isn’t complete without the pull-up/chin-up. As conventional as they are, they still have their uses. Moreover, many people are of the view that both the pull-up and chin-up are the best among all other bodyweight back movements.

Furthermore, both exercises are known to better reduce the activation of the lat than other regular back exercises such as the seated row, inverted row, lat pull-down, bent-over row, and so on. 

To do the pull-up, you need to use an overhand, and its position should be slightly wider than a shoulder-width grip. You must ensure your shoulder blades are lowered, retracted, and depressed. 

Your legs must also be kept straight, closed together, and slightly positioned in your front view. Afterward, you pull yourself up to the bar simultaneously squeezing your back muscles. You must ensure your back muscles are squeezed while pulling yourself up to the bar.

The next thing to do is to lower yourself from the bar, but make sure your head doesn’t sink into your shoulders. You must keep your scapula retracted throughout the exercise. After all this process, you repeat them over and over again.

To do the chin-up, and underhand, and a shoulder-width grip is needed. Like the pull-up exercise, you need to keep your shoulder blades retracted and depressed. Your legs must also be closed, straight, and slightly in your front view. 

Then, you pull yourself up the bar and slowly go down maintaining an appropriate posture just as the pull-up exercise. After this process, you go over the whole process over and over again.

The pull-up and chin-up exercises are similar given their positions, but they also differ in terms of the overhand and underhand position. 

Bodyweight back exercises are quite helpful in the building of the back muscles. If you are consistent, there will surely be results after some time.

FINAL THOUGHTS

In summary, bodyweight exercises usually require lots of core stability. This stability, in turn, requires the working of the abs and back in unison. Back workout sessions must include all these things, and it must affect all the muscles such as the lats, deltoids, traps, and rhomboids. 

Every gymnast and bodybuilder needs this exercise given its sole benefit of keeping fit.   

 

Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4926733/

https://uhs.berkeley.edu/sites/default/files/LowBackPain.pdf

https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/low-back-pain-try-steps-first-2017040311411

https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/medialibraries/urmcmedia/medicine/general-medicine/patientcare/documents/lowbackpain.pdf

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