4 Easy Workouts for a Strong and Toned Back

We'd all like to have a strong, toned back that we can show off with lower-cut dresses and tops. Here are 4 back workouts that will help!
Woman with a great back

Before starting specific back workouts, it’s important to understand why they are important. A strong back improves overall muscle mass. The back is one of the body’s main muscle groups, so when you’re increasing overall muscle mass and bone density, you’re getting a large return on the investment of working out your back. When you increase your overall muscle mass, you are counteracting some of the muscle and bone loss that comes with aging.

Benefits of a Back-Focused Workout

Adding a back-focused workout to your fitness routine will not only improve your overall strength, but it will also yield other essential benefits such as:

  • Reduce back pain
  • Supports great posture
  • Build up the main support structure for your entire body
  • Balance & Stability
  • Improved strength & physical function

A Strong Back Protects You Against Injury

Having a strong back helps improve the quality of life. A strong, stable back not only allows you to perform daily tasks but also protects you against injury. When you think about your back, you probably have a general idea, but “the back” isn’t an actual body part. Your back includes the area from the base of the neck to the top of the pelvis, and they are the main structural support for your torso. The back muscles help you move your body, including your head, neck, shoulders, arms, and legs. Your back muscles work together to help you perform many functions and play a role in supporting your spine and helping you breathe.

Exercises For A Complete Back Workout

With an understanding of how integral a strong, healthy back is to your well-being, you have plenty of reason to incorporate specific exercises to train your back muscles and maintain your stability.

1. Assisted Pull-Ups

assisted pullup with a band

Pull-ups may seem like an exercise better left to boot camp, but when it comes to training your back, pull-ups are a perfect targeting back workout. Pull-ups use your lats (side muscles) and biceps while also using your deltoids, rhomboids, and core. Most people struggle with doing a pull-up, so they’ll avoid them altogether. Rather than skipping the pull-up exercise, here’s a method for modifying this exercise so that you can still get the incredible back-building benefits.

How to do an assisted pull-up:

The first option is to use an assisted pull-up machine. If you don’t have one available, perform the exercise with a pull-up bar and resistance band.

  • Loop a resistance band around the bar to create a hanging loop.
  • Position yourself on the pull-up bar using an overhand grip that’s slightly wider than your shoulders.
  • Place either your knees or feet in the band.
  • Raise your body as high as you can.
  • Slowly lower back down to the starting position.
  • Repeat.

2. Bentover Dumbbell Row

bent-over dumbbell row

The dumbbell row primarily hits muscles on your back but also improves core stability, making it a perfect exercise as part of your back workout.

How to do a bent-over dumbbell row:

  • Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent.
  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand, shoulder-width, with your palms facing each other.
  • Bend over at a 45-degree angle.
  • Pull the dumbbells up toward the sides of your chest and lift them to the point your range of motion allows.
  • Lower the weights in a controlled manner to the starting position.
  • Repeat (remain bent over until all repetitions are complete).

3. Close-Grip Seated Cable Row

up close cable row

The seated row targets the muscles in your upper back and the muscle on the outer side of the chest wall. This exercise will help improve your posture and help protect your shoulders, which commonly, with age, create range-of-motion problems.

How to do a close-grip seated cable row:

An alternative to this exercise would be the rowing machine, which targets the same muscle group!

  • Sit on the bench (at the cable row machine) with your knees bent and grasp the cable attachment.
  • Position yourself with your knees slightly bent, so you must reach to grab the handle with outstretched arms. Do not curl your lower back.
  • Pull the handle and weight back toward the lower abdomen while trying not to use the momentum of the row.
  • Target the middle to upper back by keeping your back straight and squeezing your shoulder blades together. Keep your chest out.
  • Return the handle forward while keeping the tension. Keep your back straight.
  • Repeat.

4. Dumbbell Deadlifts

at-home dumbbell deadlift

While dumbbell deadlifts do target the glutes and other muscles in the legs, they also target your lower back. All these muscles in your butt, legs, and back work in unison for strength, stability, good posture, and freedom of movement.

How to do a dumbbell deadlift:

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart, holding a pair of dumbbells in front of your thighs, palms facing you. Use as heavy a dumbbell as you safely can. The heavier the weight, the more it will target and strengthen those lower back muscles.
  • Keeping your back flat and shoulders back, push your hips back and simultaneously hinge forward at your waist as you bend at your knees.
  • Lower your torso until it’s nearly parallel to the floor. Keep the dumbbells within an inch or two of your legs throughout the move.
  • Pause at the bottom of the move, then slowly reverse the movement to return to a standing position.
  • Repeat.

The Takeaway: Consistent Back Workouts Lead To A Healthier Life!

While there are many different exercises you can do as part of a targeted back workout, these are excellent standards and can all be adapted in multiple ways to suit your fitness level. Consistently targeting your back muscles as part of your overall workout routine will give you lasting strength and stability for life.

Tools for a Toned Back

Read Next:

Targeting Back Fat with Exercise

6 Inner Thigh Workouts to Shape and Tone


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