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Strength Training

A Strong & Healthy Hack: The Best Back Training For Home

A strong & healthy back: the best back training for home

Back problems are one of the most common health issues. And its not just older people who are affected. Why are bad backs so widespread? One reason is weak or deteriorating back muscles. That’s why its so important to make targeted back training a regular part of your workout repertoire. It may not be as sexy as a ripped six-pack or sculpted pecs, but a strong back can save you a lot of misery down the track. 

Strong backs for superior performance and appearance

Your back is the main support structure for your entire body. When you strengthen your back muscles the benefits are remarkable. A healthy back means a stable and strong spine which makes hitting those health and fitness goals even easier. The classic V-shape so many of us strive for is mainly achieved through targeted back, training which is another awesome reason to put your back into back training.

Which muscles are in the back?

The human back is made up of a number of muscle groups, but when planning back training, a distinction is usually made between the lower and upper back muscles. The lower back muscles flank the spine, especially in the lower part of the back, and are known as long back extensor muscles (muscle erector spinae ).

Further above, the broad back muscle (Musculus latissimus dorsi) is probably the most well-knows back muscle. For the athletic V-shape in the upper body, targeting  the broad back muscles is key.

Build a strong back with simple equipment

You don’t need complex gym equipment to strengthen your back. There’s a range of effective exercises targeting key back muscles you can do with free weights such as dumbbells. In some cases, training with free weights results is more effective than training on machines. In fact, some of the best exercises don’t use any equipment at all. Bodyweight exercises such as the forearm support or plank are brilliant for your back.


There are fantastic back exercises you can do at home for every goal and every age. The right training technique plays a decisive role in achieving maximum training results. For example, if you work out with a weight that is too heavy, your full range of motion (ROM) is restricted, so your training is not as effective. Sports science studies achieving full ROM, by using correct weights, leads to greater muscle damage (microtraumas), which are essential to muscle building.

Pull up bar

Pull-ups are the most legendary and effective back exercise of all. This brilliant back exercise trains a large number of muscle groups at the same time. They not only stimulate the muscles in the back (especially the broad muscles of the back but also effectively exercise various muscles in the chest and upper arm. Because its a self-weight exercise, all need is a pull-up bar. You don’t need lots of money to pump out pull-ups like a champion.

Stick with it

Not everyone can do pull-ups right away. Pull-ups require a certain level of strength because lifting your own body weigh isn’t easy. If you only manage one or even half a pull-up at first, that’s OK. Keep at it. Every attempt is building strength and the rewards will come.


Dumbbell rows should be a part of any training plan where the goal is to build stronger back muscles. This epic exercise not only works lots of back muscles, it also targets the muscles from a different angle than pull-ups. That’s why dumbbell rows are the perfect complement to pull-ups.


While pull-ups and dumbbells rows primarily target the upper back, deadlifts go to work on the back extensor muscles. Here’s the bonus. Deadlifts deliver much more than a strong lower back. They target the entire muscle chain on the back of the body and that’s what makes them one of the Big 3 when it comes back exercises.


Because back pain has a wide variety of causes, always consult your doctor when experiencing back issues. Severe back pain can be caused by so many things so please wait for the green light from you doctor before resuming training if you’ve had back pain.

While the first three exercises we’ve covered are primarily intended for performance-oriented athletes, the next set of exercises are ideal for everyday people looking to strengthen the back muscles for general health or to reduce the risk of back problems. They can also provide targeted relief for acute back problems. But again, please consult your doctor if have experienced serious back pain before doing any of these exercises.

Tip: Ideally, you should do these exercises on a yoga mat for a more comfortable and effective workout.

Pelvic raises

Because most people complain of problems in the lower back, it makes sense to specifically train the back extensors there. One exercise that enables does this effectively is the pelvic lift. The surrounding muscles, i.e. the glutes and hamstrings, are also targeted 

Quadruped stand with arms and legs extended diagonally

Begin in the all fours position. Then extend the right arm and leg diagonally. Bring them back to starting position then do the same with your left arm and leg. This targets both the abdominal and back muscles (core muscles). Stretching out your arm and leg also activates the muscles in the shoulder blade and the muscles in the buttocks.

The Cat & Cow exercise

The Cat and Cow stretch exercise comes from yoga. This exercise focuses on getting down on all fours and then arching your back, that’s the cat and then lowering your stomach towards the ground, that’s the cow. This exercise provides a great stretch, builds strength and may also alleviate back pain. 


The type of equipment you need for effective back training at home depends on your goals and your level of performance.

If you want to give your back a workout after a long day at your desk, simply having a yoga mat handy is all you need to do a range of effective exercises, like the Cat & Cow.

For a lower back workout, get yourself a back trainer so you can do a lot of hyperextension work. Many of these back training machines also allow you to target your abs, so its a win-win.

If you want to go hardcore, dumbbells and / or barbells are ideal. With these free weights you can do barbell rows, dumbbell rows or deadlifts. 

Tip: To protect the floor and equipment, and minimize training noise, add protection mats to your home gym floor. They’re easy to install and inexpensive.

A pull-up bar is also perfect for the home gym. Here you have a few choices. If you travel a lot there is a pull-up bar that can be quickly and easily fixed in the door frame. For a more permanent and serious solution, a high-quality Gorilla Sports pull-up bar can be wall mounted.


Which muscles are used in back training?

The back is made up of a multitude of muscle groups. However, the two primary muscle areas are the lower back and the broader back. Different exercises target different area. For example, pull-ups primarily work on the broad back muscle while hyperextensions, like pelvic raises target lower back.

What exercises for back pain?

Before beginning any exercise for back pain, its critical that you get professional medical advice. Its essential to find out the reason for the back pain so you can then start a suitable program to address the issue. In general, there are not only mobilizing exercises that can alleviate pain (e.g. the yoga exercise, Cats & cows) but also preventative exercises that strengthen the surrounding muscles (e.g. pelvic lifting).

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