The Top 2 Best Bodyweight Exercises For Training Your Back

The best bodyweight exercises for training your back muscles? Easy.

Rows and pull ups.

The former is a horizontal pulling exercise the latter a vertical pulling exercise. Include them both in your workout cycle to effectively stimulate and strengthen all the major muscles in your back.

Bodyweight Rows

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The bodyweight row is great for developing a foundational level of strength in the pulling muscles of the upper back and arms. The more vertical your body the easier the exercise and vice versa.

Performance Tips:

  • Grip onto a secure bar (or suspension trainer)

  • Adopt your starting position with your arms extended

  • Tense your glutes and mid-section

  • Smoothly lift your body upwards by pulling your elbows back past your torso

  • Aim to move your body as one single straight line

  • Don’t let your shoulders hunch up or your neck jut forward as you move

  • Visualise squeezing your shoulder blades together on each upward phase

  • Pause at the top then lower yourself with control

  • To make the exercise harder change your start position

  • The closer you are to horizontal, the harder the exercise

Pull Ups

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The pull up is an excellent exercise for your back, arms and mid-section. You against gravity!

Performance Tips:

  • Grab hold of an overhead bar or suspension trainer

  • Arms should be approximately shoulder width apart

  • Your feet should be suspended off the ground

  • Allow your knees to bend if you don’t have the space underneath

  • Keep your shoulders down

  • Tense your glutes and abs then pull yourself up as far past the bar or handles as possible

  • Imagine trying to touch your chest to the bar

  • Pause then lower yourself down under control until your arms are almost fully extended

Pull ups are a hard exercise. If they are beyond your current strength level you have a few options. You could hook a 41 inch looped resistance band to the bar, step your feet inside the band and use it to provide assistance during the exerise. Over time use lighter bands. Or you can jump into the top position and slowly lower yourself down. Once at the bottom, jump up and repeat.

Rows and pull ups. Comfortably the best two bodyweight exercises for your back muscles!