15 Exercises for Building Your Back Muscles

15 Exercises for Building Your Back Muscles

Building your back muscles

Building your back muscles is generally the prime focus of most gym-goers. It results in overshadowing the entire back that sustains daily stress and strain. Every back exercise hits the lat, rhomboids, traps, and rotator cuff muscles to some extent. Likewise, a dumbbell back workout can be performed for strength and muscle development.

Different workouts for building your back for better posture

Improper pulldown motions can cause muscle sprains and tears. Here are the 15 exercises for building your back muscles.

1. Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown

It’s a strength exercise targeting the upper body and the latissimus dorsi muscles. Reducing the biceps and forearms resistance helps to give a v-taper and wide lats. You can push the muscles more by using more weights. Wrist straps are great for strengthening the grip.

Start by grabbing the bar with an overhead grip, palms facing away and hands more than a shoulder-width apart. Slightly lean backward keeping the spine and torso in a neutral position. Inhale as you push the bar away and exhale while pulling it down towards the upper chest. Repeat.

2. Double Cable Neutral-Grip Lat Pulldown

Lats and upper-back muscle isolation widens the back. A suitable weighted cable machine is needed. Fix a clutch on either side and in between the cable attachments, a bench is positioned for sitting comfortably.

Arms fully stretched, chest forward, back straight, and grab the pulley cables. Steadily pull down the cables. When sides touch your elbow, squeeze the lats and hold the position for a couple of seconds. Repeat in sets.

3. Machine Front Lat Pulldown

15 Exercises for Building Your Back Muscles 2

This workout strengthens the upper body and builds arm and back muscles. The supports under the machine secure your thighs while sitting. Stretch your arms and shoulders upward and grasp the lever handles.

Pull down slowly and position to upper-chest while exhaling. Hold the position and compress muscles in your back. Return to initial posture while inhaling. Repeat without focusing on the biceps.

4. Straight-Arm Pulldown

It’s the standing version of the lat pulldown using less weight and a narrow grip. Focus on lat muscles instead of the arms while pulling to avoid giving out triceps first.

Face the machine, slightly bend the knees and grip the overhanging bar. Gradually pull the weight down while stepping two-three feet back. Rotate only the shoulders. By keeping your chest high, bring your shoulder blades together and repeat. It’s better for isolating the lats.

5. Pull-up

Strengthening forearms and shoulder muscles support the back. Start by standing straight. Open your shoulders, grab the overhead bar with palms facing away, lock elbows, and suspend with arms support.

Pull yourself up crossing the bar above chin-level. Calm your neck muscles and compress your back. Then pull yourself down to align your arms. Repeat to maintain tension in abs and glutes to tone back muscles.

6. One-Arm High Cable Row

Beginners exercise targeting the rhomboid muscle of the back. Keep your body upright and kneel.

Grasp the handle attached to the high pulley cable with one hand. Keep your elbow close, shoulder blade retracted, pulled back, and squeezed in one quick movement. Allow the weight to slightly pull you forward before pulling back. Then repeat.

7. One-Arm Lat Pulldown

Stretch your left arm, back straight, grip the handle attached to a low pulley cable with palms facing inwards positioning your right hand on your right thigh.

Now step back a foot or two, lean forward, knees slightly bent and one foot forward of the other. Hold this position, pulldown, and repeat.

8. Floor Straight Arm Pullover

The pullover exercise allows upper body strength. Lay down with your back flat on the floor holding a dumbbell with palms facing up. Inhale as you slowly lower your dumbbells overhead down keeping your arms straight, elbows slightly bent.

Hold the position and exhale. Bring your arms above your chest and touch the knees. Repeat in sets.

9. Standing Rope Low Cable Row

This machine exercise targets the middle back, lower back, lats, biceps, forearms, and shoulders. Bend your knees slightly, straighten your back and keep space between your feet.

The chest should be upfront and spread your arms to grab and pull the attachment bar towards your torso. Pause, resume, and repeat in sets.

10. Incline Bench Low Cable Row

A sloped bench is placed before a cable pulley machine with a rope expansion facing the high end.

Next, you grab the rope while resting your chest on the bench with palms facing each other. Now squeeze your back and steadily pull the rope inwards. Resume your initial position and repeat it.

11. Bent-Over Dumbbell Row

It targets thickness than width working on shoulders, biceps, and traps. Stand and hold a dumbbell with palms facing each other. Hang forward and pull the dumbbell inwards. Push elbows behind while drawing the shoulder muscles in.

Slowly bring the dumbbells down resuming posture. Repeat in sets. It supports core strengthening.

12. Kettlebell swing

15 Exercises for Building Your Back Muscles Swings

Kettlebells are exercise tools that are lifted and swung keeping them positioned between knee-length to above the head. It can be performed with either single or both hands. It’s an effective ballistic exercise that strengthens the back.

13. Deadlift

Deadlift, squat, bench presses are the three powerlifting and weight training exercises. Stand with a good posture, engage the core, keep feet hip-width apart, shoulders back and down. Bend forward from the hips.

Slightly bend knees to grab the barbell and raise the bar. Bring them to hip-level, hold and reverse placing them back on the ground.

14. Squat

It focuses on the lower back, quadriceps, calves, butt, hamstrings, and abdominal muscles. You need to stand straight and slowly lower your hip and then stand back up.

The knee joints and hip flex, while the ankle joint dorsiflexes while coming down. Whereas, the knee joints and hip extend, and the ankle joint plantar flexes while going up.

15. Bench Press

Lay down with your back on a bench with arms straight. Hold the dumbbells directly over your shoulders. Keep your core tight and glutes squeezed. Lower the weights close to your chest by bending the elbows and shoulders. Then press the dumbbells back up. Repeat to complete the sets.

The back is a large group of muscles requiring a lot of alternative training. Allow yourself to analyze and explore with positions. Practice different angles to reinforce your back muscles.


These back exercises will surely enhance your physique, improve your posture, and help protect you from back pain and injury.

Having strong back muscles gives you overall physical strength and makes you feel healthy and great, too.

Images via Dreamstime.com.

15 Exercises for Building Your Back Muscles