Top 8 Exercises for Back Training in 2020

What’s in for you?

These Back Exercises Strengthen Your Back.
Plus: The Ultimate guide on how to optimally train your back muscles and which Back Exercises are the Best.

Sure, more muscles are always a good argument in favor of strength training. But a strong back has many other advantages. A strong back not only looks good, it is also less prone to tension and injuries.

Well-trained trunk and shoulder muscles act like armor, which ensures better posture, protects you from injuries and relieves the sensitive intervertebral discs.

Why Should I do Back Training?

  1. Back Training Prevents Pain
    Those who support the trunk and spine with strong muscles rarely suffer from back pain. By the way: if you don’t want to use heavy weights, you can do back exercises. This also helps to strengthen the back muscles and thus against pain.
  2. Back Training Makes Everyday Life Easier
    A strong back helps in many situations. Anyone who works in the office and sits a lot will notice that a strong back reduces the stress when sitting.
  3. Back Training Makes you Beautiful
    Yes, you heard right. The right back workout is a great way to achieve the coveted V-shape, i.e. a V-shaped upper body (broad shoulders and a narrow waist). In addition to looking good, strong back muscles also improve your posture.

Which Exercises Help with Back Pain?

You don’t necessarily have to take it easy if you have back pain. The symptoms may improve if you just lie in bed from now on, but at the same time the ligaments and muscles that support your back atrophy and shorten. The better alternative: Try out specific exercises that do not cause pain and train the mobility of your spine. In this way you keep the important supporting and holding muscles active and stabilize your problem area. But be careful: never do the exercises with pain!

Tip: Exercises for the back muscles are particularly efficient if you have to make constant compensatory movements. This works, for example, on balance devices like this one

Which Back Muscles do I need to Train to Prevent Back Pain?


A healthy back requires strong abdominal muscles. If these are atrophied, however strong the back muscles are, sooner or later such muscular imbalances lead to problems with the back. Both the straight and the oblique abdominal muscles play an important role: some help with trunk flexion, others support the spine and influence posture. But stunted back extensors or poorly developed gluteal muscles often trigger pain in the lower back. It’s best to see a sports doctor. He senses existing imbalances and tells you which back exercises will help you.

How can I Strengthen the Lumbar Spine?


The lower part of the back is the most prone to pain. Most of the weight rests on him when standing and sitting. Only with strong muscles can you avoid pain in the long term. The good thing: There are a variety of back exercises (including at home) that can strengthen your lumbar spine. In general, the training effect increases the more you pull the lower vertebrae into the hollow back (hyperlordosis) under your own power. On the other hand, you should avoid passive hyperextension without muscular stabilization.

What Back Muscles are there & What are they for?


Before you start with this motivational injection and work on your back fitness, get a crash course in back anatomy. It is difficult to give an exact number of back muscles, as some of the muscles can hardly be separated from each other and are therefore grouped together. Overall, the back muscles can be divided into 2 levels:

Superficial Level of the Back Muscles:

The group of superficial muscles mainly includes the trapezoid or hood muscles and the broad back muscles. The hood muscle owes its name to its shape and location: It looks like a hood hanging on the back and covers the entire neck area. For example, without it, you would not be able to move your shoulder blades or turn your head. This makes it one of the most important back muscles you have. The broad back muscle is also of great importance. It is responsible for moving the arms and tilting the trunk sideways. In addition, the trunk girdle muscles and the spinal column-rib muscles belong to the superficial level. Since they lie under the hood and the broad back muscles, they cannot be seen from the outside. Trunk girdle muscles are the large and small rhombus muscles and the shoulder blade lifting muscle. The muscles of the spine and ribs include the anterior upper and posterior lower saw muscles.

Deep Back Muscles:

The most important task of the deep back muscles: keeping the body upright and stabilizing the back. These muscles run along the spine and are hidden by the superficial muscles. But you can feel it on the side of the spine as a bulge. This also includes the back extensor, which contains several muscles and straightens the spine. Overall, this level consists of different layers that lie on top of each other and thus form a stabilizing muscle network.

Test how Strong your Back Muscles are

For this simple test, all you need is a chair. Cross your hands on your shoulders and sit down. Then you get up as quickly as possible 5 times in a row, sit down again and look at the clock. How long did it take you – more than 10 seconds? Clear case: your muscle performance clearly leaves a lot to be desired. If it takes you over 12 seconds, then you need to be seriously concerned. Then you have an enormously increased risk of falling, which cannot be compensated for even with the best coordination. Even if you have doubts about the functionality of certain muscles, go to a specialist!

Which Back Exercises are the Best?

Not an easy question. What the best back training looks like depends on what goals you are pursuing with your training. The basis for a V-shape is a back workout that also focuses on the hood muscles (trapezius) and the rhombus muscles (rhomboideus major, minor) or the shoulder muscles. Incidentally, this strength training also prevents a hump. Do the following back exercises, for example: shoulder raises and reverse flys while lying down. Another workout for back fitness and V-shape consists of leaning back pull-downs to the chest (optimal angle for the latissimus 135 degrees), pull-downs in the overhand grip and one-armed dumbbell row that challenges the biceps and trapezius as it were. Those who train for a wide back and also want to prevent back pain, rely on complex exercises such as deadlifts with a barbell, squats with a barbell and chin-ups for the latissimus.

Does Back Training depend more on Strength or Flexibility?

Clearly: on both. A strong, healthy back not only requires powerful, strong back muscles, but also flexibility and coordination. Only when you train all sub-areas can you achieve a balanced muscle corset that protects you from pain and gives you a good body feeling. You can find the optimal exercises in this series of images.

Is it Enough to Train your Back once a Week?

If you want to celebrate visible success quickly, you have to do a little more: 2 to 3 times a week you should exercise your muscles. Between the days of training for the back, you can, for example, focus on other muscle groups. Or you can train your stamina by jogging and cycling. The basic rule is: Do not use the same muscles for 2 consecutive days. In between there must always be 1 full day of rest.

How Many sets and Repetitions are Optimal for Back Muscle Training?

To answer this question, you need to clarify which effects you want to achieve with the back workout. Do you want to define your muscles and work out an impressive back? Or is it about building muscle? The number changes depending on the destination.

What Role do the Deep Muscles Play in a Healthy Back?

Don’t underestimate the importance of the deep back muscles. You are largely responsible for moving and supporting our vortices. These are small, deep-lying areas of the muscles, but their connections stabilize our entire movement system. For example, if you raise your arm, the deep muscles will react a fraction of a second beforehand and strengthen your vertebral segments.

This ingenious system often no longer works with back complaints – the stabilizing effect is lost.

The Only Effective CounterMeasure: Exercise!

Is Strength Training Only suitable for Prevention or as a Therapy for Back Pain?

Most back problems are caused by weak muscles. Targeted strength training can bring relief. The problem: Usually, with the pain, the training motivation also disappears. As soon as the acute symptoms subside, the level of suffering decreases, other things are suddenly more important again, and training is neglected. Under no circumstances should you believe that there is no need for action without specific pain. Use the regained freedom from pain to combat back problems more comprehensively. Only with targeted training can you avoid future problems and invest permanently in a healthy back.

Which Training Devices Really Benefit My Back?

So-called wobble boards or balance gyroscopes are ideal. They are available in a wide variety of variants and price ranges. You can also use it to train perfectly at home. And this is how it works: The permanent wobbling activates dormant muscle groups. In addition, training with this device improves coordination, a sense of balance and the ability to react.

If you like it more extravagant, you should train with a so-called space curl or aerotrim. This three-dimensional training device, which was originally developed for astronauts, is now also used in some rehabilitation centers. The special effect: the controlled movements in all directions strengthen the back muscles, which are rarely used in everyday life.

Should I focus Entirely on Back Strengthening Exercises to Get Rid of Pain Quickly?

Of course, with stronger back muscles, you are less prone to lower back pain. However, you shouldn’t make your program too one-sided. The reason: Anyone who only demands one muscle group is neglecting another at the same time. This leads to so-called muscular imbalances, which in turn cause pain. Important for back training: Train your stomach as well, because it forms the counterweight to the back muscles. The oblique abdominal muscles in particular act like an abdominal band that distributes and stabilizes the weight.

Conclusion: A Wide Cross Doesn’t Just Look Good

A strong back not only looks good, it is also less prone to tension and injuries. Well-trained trunk and shoulder muscles act like armor, which ensures better posture, protects you from injuries and relieves the sensitive intervertebral discs.

Here are the Most Effective Exercises for a Strong Back!

With these exercises, the back muscles can be strengthened so that they are less prone to tension and injuries.

Nice Side Effect: A Wide Cross!

Back Exercise # 1: Reverse Row With a Towel


Makes a Broad Back and Tight Arms

A. Place 2 towels shoulder width apart over a rod (1 meter high), grab one end of the towel with each hand. Stretch your arms and legs, place your back under the bar, your heels on the floor.

B. Pull your upper body as close to the bar as possible. Hold the position for 2 seconds, lower your body again.

10 to 12 Repetitions

Back Exercise # 2: Alternating Dumbbell Rows


Pumps Up the Hood Muscle Powerfully

A. Stand your legs shoulder width apart and bend your upper body forward until it is almost horizontal. Let both dumbbells hang in front of your body. Important: keep your back straight!

B. Alternately raise and lower dumbbells: Bring the right hand to chest height, hold it briefly, lower it, then do the whole thing with the left.

10 to 12 Repetitions Per ARM

Back Exercise # 3: Bent Over Lateral Raise


Great for the Upper Back

A. Grab a pair of dumbbells and bend your torso sharply forward. The arms hang slightly bent in front of the knees. Tense your glutes and keep your back straight.

B. At the same time, raise arms straight to the side until they form a straight line with your shoulders. Hold tension briefly, back off.

8 to 10 Repetitions

Back Exercise # 4: Lat Pulldowns, Kneeling


Make Your Cross in a V Shape

A. Before doing the lat pulldown, kneel down but stay upright so that your body is in line from your shoulders to your knees. Make your arms long and grab the bar about shoulder width.

B. Pull the bar slowly and in a controlled manner towards your upper chest. Keep your upper body straight, your gaze is directed forward.

8 to 12 Repetitions

Back Exercise # 5: Y-lift on the Stability Ball


Defines Your Shoulder Girdle

A. Grab a dumbbell with each hand and place it on your stomach on an exercise ball. The chest protrudes just above the ball. Back straight, arms hanging down, palms facing each other.

B. Raise your arms so that they form a Y with your body. Hold the tension for 2 seconds. Lower dumbbells.

8 to 12 Repetitions

Back Exercise # 6: One-Armed Cable Pull Row


Stabilizes the Trunk and Lower Back

A. Grasp the cable puller with your right hand and walk in step position. Place your left foot about three feet in front of your right foot, keeping your upper body slightly bent forward.

B. Then pull the cable up to chest height while turning your upper body to the right. Hold 2 seconds back.

10 to 12 Repetitions Per Side

Back Exercise # 7: Pulling Cables to the Face


For Steel-hard and Broad Shoulders

A. Stand upright in front of the pulley, feet shoulder width apart. Stretch your arms, grab one end of the rope with each hand. Palms together, the back is straight.

B. Pull your elbows outwards, bringing the ends of the ropes up to your ears. Hold briefly, then back.

10 to 12 Repetitions

Back Exercise # 8: Dumbbell Raise, Lying Down


Gives the Shoulders Resilience

A. Lay on your side on the bench, support your left forearm on it. Grab a dumbbell with your right hand and let your arm hang down slightly bent in front of your body.

B. Raise your right arm until you are holding the barbell above your head. The palm of the hand should point towards the head in the final position.

10 to 15 Repetitions Per ARM

5 Back Missiles – A Training Booster

With Our Tuning Tips, You are Guaranteed to Expand Even Faster

  1. Deviating from gripping the dumbbell in the middle, but slightly offset. This has an influence on the weight distribution, pushes other muscle parts.
  2. Inflating After the first normal set, 5 sets of the same exercise with 30 percent less weight, with a 20 second break in between.
  3. Tightening For that extra kick when doing rowing exercises: At the end of the movement, pull your shoulder blades together deliberately.
  4. Tensing Posing makes you strong! Immediately after the exercise, stand in front of the mirror and tense the trained muscle for 20 seconds.
  5. Thinking out the sequence of movements in your head beforehand (close your eyes for 10 seconds) – improves the interaction of the muscles.