Back Exercises – How To Do Back Exercises

The back is one of the widest and largest parts of the body, it is made up of numerous muscles, which make it strong and complex, these muscles are interconnected with each other, and are divided into two main parts:

  • Upper part: It is formed by the rhomboids, trapezius, trees and the upper and outer dorsal latissimus dorsa.
  • Lower part: Formed by the lower latissimus dorsa, lower regions of the erector spine, which cannot be trained, it is formed by a set of tendons and muscles, which are positioned vertically along the spine. In addition, the middle back and the lower back are also found in this part.

Each part requires a certain stimulation, which is activated and worked through different exercises, thus working together on the volume, density and width of the back.

The muscle fibers of the back work at different angles, so different types of handles, grips and machines are needed throughout the training, in this way all the muscles are worked.

Those responsible for the breadth of the back are the latissimus dorsa and the trees major, in this way the so-called “V” will be achieved, which they seek so much to achieve defined on their back. On the other hand, density is achieved by working the rhomboids and the erector spine.

It is important to know which exercises belong to each area of ​​the back, in order to perform them achieving the desired thickness and width.


It is an exercise that involves a large number of muscles, not only those of the back, with them the abdominals, thighs and buttocks are also worked. It is considered one of the best to thicken the back; it is achieved by stimulating the erector spinal muscle.

How is it performed?

The first thing you should do is stand in front of the bar; spread your feet, perpendicular to your shoulders. Contract your core, push your chest out, keep your back as straight as possible, and bend your knees until you can reach the bar. You must grab the bar, with your thumbs in front of each other; it is what is called “prone grip”. Hold the bar tightly, look straight ahead, inhale, hold your breath for several seconds, and exhale.

Start by lifting the bar off the ground, extending your legs, with the bar close to your body, when you reach knee height, straighten your legs, while straightening your back. When you stand up, don’t straighten your back all the way, keep your shoulders and hips in a straight line. Hold for a few seconds, and see yourself lowering the bar back to the ground, flexing your back and bending your thighs, always keeping your head up, your back straight and your abs contracted.

You can do it with a light weight, 3 or 4 sets of 10 repetitions, and with more weight, 3 or 4 sets of 7 or 8 repetitions each.

Bar Row

With this type of exercise, a great development of the back is made, since it allows gaining a lot of muscle mass, due to the use of a great weight on the bar.  The exercise stimulates the trapezius, trees major, latissimus dorsa, and trapezius.

How it is performed?

Keep your knees slightly bent, throw your body forward, forming an angle of 45º between the trunk and the ground.  It is important that you keep your back and head straight, looking forward, and sticking out your chest. Start by holding onto the bar, keeping your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Raise the bar little by little; the biceps and forearms only have to support the weight, so you should not contract them. Keep your shoulder blades together, holding them for a few seconds, and lower the weight?

You should do it for 3 to 4 heavy sets of 6 to 9 reps.

One Arm Dumbbell Row.

This exercise works the density and amplitude of the back, since it works the latissimus dorsa, the rhomboids, the trapezius and the trees major. It is considered as a movement to give stability to the “core” muscles, which needs to keep the torso rigid, that is, without rotating or moving the spine, or bending the back.

This exercise is a rowing modality, unilateral work is done, and each arm works differently and independently

How it is performed?

It is recommended that you start with the left arm. Place a dumbbell on the left side of a bench for support, then place your right knee on the bottom of the bench, bend at the waist, and place your right hand on top of the bench.  You should keep your torso almost parallel to the ground, your back straight, and your abs tight. You have to go down to grab the dumbbell using a neutral grip, i.e. keeping your thumbs up. Keep your elbow slightly bent and get into the previous position, without bending your back.

Begin by rising the dumbbell, bringing your elbow as far back as you can, moving the dumbbell in a straight line near your hips at the top of the movement. You have to keep your torso rigid throughout the movement. You can keep the dumbbell raised high, for a second, it is important that you put a lot of contract in the traps, rhomboids and last. Then you see slowly lowering the dumbbell, which allows you to stretch the scapula. Go down as far as possible without shifting your back to the side. Hold this stretch for a few seconds. After performing the exercise with the left arm, you can repeat the same with the right arm.

You can repeat the exercise 3 or 4 series, from 10 to 13 repetitions.

Chest Pull

With this type of exercise it is possible to have a broader back, since the trees major, the latissimus dorsa, the rhomboids and the trapezius are exercised

How it is performed?

Place your knee on a pad, which you must adjust beforehand, in this way you are blocking your thighs to prevent the weight of the machine from lifting you, and place a wide bar on a pulley. Grasp the bar with an overhand grip, place both hands a little more than shoulder-width apart, grab the bar, sit back and press your thighs against the pad.

Start by aligning your hips with your shoulders, lower your head a little and let the weight stretch your back, you must relax your last to cause them to stretch, hold the position for a few seconds. Then move your head back and pull the bar up to your upper chest, while stretching your back a bit for more range of motion. It is important that, keeping the elbow stretched as much as possible, focus on keeping the shoulder blades together, contracting the back for a second. Gradually lower the weight, bringing your shoulders back into line with your hips as before.

You can always do it by gradually increasing the weight, in a pyramid shape, with 4 sets of 8, 10, 12 and 15 repetitions.

Pull-over with dumbbell.

With this exercise, a closure of the dorsal is produced, in the event that a heavier load is used. In addition, flexibility is worked on, which prevents injuries and increases the mobility of the back, which leads to greater growth.

How it is performed?

Place a dumbbell standing on top of the bench, lie on top of it, keeping your shoulder blades slightly against it. You should not keep your neck resting on the bench, in this way you avoid future spinal injuries. It is important that you stick your feet to the ground well, and lower your spine. Take the dumbbell with both hands, sticking your hands well to the inner bar, being careful not to drop it on top of you.

Start by placing the weight above your head and bend your elbows, always keeping your arms straight, this way you will work your chest more than your back. With your arms extended, slowly lower the dumbbell behind your head as far as you can. You must hold this stretch for a few seconds, and then raise the dumbbell until it is above your head. Raise the dumbbell by placing it in front of your forehead, this way you are putting more emphasis on your back. Don’t forget to squeeze your chest and keep it contracted for a minute.

You can do it 2 or 3 sets of 10 repetitions.

Reverse grip pull-down.

How is it performed?

Take the bar, with a width similar to the distance between the shoulders, holding them with your hands facing upwards, in this way it allows you to bring your elbows back, as far as possible, thus exercising the muscles that you have in your back. It is important that you keep your torso straight, rounding your back a little while fully extending your arms at the top. Your chest accompanies your back in that little slump, but when you bring the bar closer to your chest, you pull it out to put more tension on your back muscles. Drive your elbows as far back and down as possible until the bar approaches your upper pecks.

You can repeat this exercise in 2 sets of 8 repetitions each.

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