One of the body’s largest and strongest parts, there are many benefits to having a strong, healthy back:
- Improved Posture
- Prevent/Decrease/Eliminate Back Pain
- Increased Strength
- Increased Flexibility
- Improved Spinal Stability
The back is made up of several interconnected muscle groups, but to keep things simple, we will focus on the 4 main areas:
- Upper Back (Traps)
- Rear Delts
- Middle Back (Lats)
- Lower Back
While the rear delts are part of your shoulder muscles, they are highly engaged in multijoint back exercises so we have included them here.
The Top Back Exercises
#1 Wide Grip Pull Up – This compound movement is excellent for targeting the lats while also hitting the biceps, triceps and rhomboids. The wide grip pull up will help create that V taper while also increasing grip strength. Definitely not the easiest of exercises, you can start with the assisted pull up machine or with negatives.
#2 Wide Grip Seated Row- using a wide grip allows you to target the lats while also hitting the traps, teres major and rear delts.
#3 Close Grip Seated Row – This exercise targets the mid-back, lats and lower traps.
#4 Standing T Bar Row – this exercise is great for the middle back. Avoid jerking or using momentum in this movement for best results.
#5 Bent over Barbell Row – another excellent compound movement, the bent over row hits the lats, rhomboids, rear delts, traps, and even the biceps.
#6 Single Arm Row – this is great unilateral exercise and it allows you to emphasize on the lats while also working the upper back and traps.
#7 Back Extensions – Target the lower back with Hyper extensions or my personal favorite, seated good mornings. Keep your movements slow and controlled, form is key in avoiding injury.
#8 Deadlift – the deadlift is another great compound movement and will target all of the muscles in the back while increasing core strength as it hits all major muscle groups.