The coronavirus  pandemic had us workout at home much more than we used to, which I think is a good thing. In this post, I’ll be providing you with the 10 best back workouts at home.

You do not have to complete them all in a single session. You can pick 4 or 5 exercises and perform 8-10 reps for 4 sets allowing for rest time between sets. If performed correctly and with the right weights, they will prove to be very effective. Try not to switch your routine too often. The best results are achieved when performing the same workouts for a few weeks and building progression from there, ie increasing weights or reps.

The below exercises are either bodyweight or dumbbell focused.

What are the best 10 back workouts at home?

1. Renegade Rows

man performing renegade row for back workout at home

The renegade row is a great full-body exercise that targets not only the back but also the core, legs and arms. It’s a great back workout at home to add to your routine as it is quite simple but the benefits are amazing, including muscle strength but also midline stability and coordination which are essential to any strong and balanced movement.

Grab a pair of dumbbells, one for each arm. Start with lights weights until you feel fully comfortable with the form and exercise. Do not forget form is extremely crucial especially when it comes to the back.

Put yourself in a plank/press-up position. Brace your core; this will prevent your body from being floppy and prevent you from getting injured. Raise one of the dumbbells to your side, as if you were trying to kick something behind you with your elbow. Your elbow should be slightly higher than your torso. Once this move is performed, slightly lower the dumbbell back to the ground and repeat with the other arm.

Remember to try and stay braced and stabilized at all times as this will eventually build overall strength.

2. Bent-over Rows (dumbbells)

women performing dumbbell bent over row for back workout at home

The bent over row is also a great exercise. It does not strengthen the back only; it also works on trunk stability and hip stability. Therefore, do not be surprised if you also feel your core, legs and glute working. It is only a good sign! This is of course provided you make sure your form is as good as it can be as this could seriously damage your lower back if the exercise is not performed correctly. We do not want injuries. 

Again, if you’re not familiar with the bent over row, start with picking a weight that is not heavy as this will be crucial for your form. Slow controlled and manageable movement are far better than a few heavy uncontrolled ones.

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Then bend your knees. Lean forward keeping your back straight and using your waist to perform this movement, ie you should not use your shoulders to lean down but your waist and butt. If you’re not sure, practice this move without the weights until you are able to feel what we are referring to. You should feel the difference between going down using your waist and going down using your shoulders or torso.

Once you get into the desired position, let your arms hang with the weights. Squeeze your shoulders, brace your core and raise the dumbbells towards your torso. As per the renegade row, your elbows should get slightly higher/behind than your torso. Lower the weights down to complete the rep. Repeat.

3. Rear-delt Fly

man performing dumbbell rear delt fly for back workout at home

This is a great exercise that will strengthen your upper back, especially the rear or posterior head of the deltoid muscle group. Shoulder area including rotator cuff is also targeted through this exercise. It is a great one to improve your posture.

The rear-delt fly is very similar to the bent-over row when it comes to positioning. You want to have your feet shoulder-width apart, bent knees and a straight back before you begin the workout. Instead of rowing the dumbbells towards your torso, keep your arms straight (shoulders and elbows locked) and raise them to your side as if you were spreading your wings (if you have any metaphorically!).

Do not overextend the movement, ie you do not want to have your arms way above your back as this will very likely cause injuries. Your back should remain straight at all times and movements should be slow and controlled particularly when lowering the weights back down (eccentric phase).

If your back hurt or if you have difficulty standing, you can perform this exercise seated. This will help take the pressure off your lower back and help you focus on your upper body only.

4. Superman Back Extension

man performing superman back extension for back workout at home

The superman back extension is one of the most popular back exercises that can improve your back’s strength, size and posture. By performing this exercise at home, you can get great results without spending a lot of money at a gym because it literally requires zero equipment.

The superman back extension is a great back exercise for people of all fitness levels. It is a simple and easy exercise that can be completed following the next steps.

Lie on a mat with your face down, legs stretched. Extend your arms in front of you. Raise your legs and arms simultaneously a few centimeters from the ground, keeping your core, glutes and hamstrings squeezed during the exercise. Hold the position for a few seconds. Lower your legs and arms back down slowly and repeat the movement.

Simple but very effective.

5. Scapular Push-ups

man performing scapular push up for back workout at home

The next great back workout is called scapular push ups. What are scapular push ups? Simply put, these are back exercises that work the shoulders and chest muscles. You can do them with your hands on the ground or against a wall. The advantage of doing them against a wall is that you can use your momentum to help you keep from losing your balance.

How do you do them? The first step is to get into a high plank position with your hands shoulder-width apart and your abs pulled in. From here, slowly lower your shoulder blades towards the ground, and then press back up to the starting position. The key here is to control the movement and use your shoulder blades only to execute the exercise. It is okay and preferable to go slowly and use mind-muscle connection.

Why are they such a great workout? Well, they work your shoulders and chest muscles in a way that is both challenging and efficient. Plus, they are great for your back because they improve your shoulder mobility and strength.

So if you’re looking for a great back workout that you can do at home, scapular push ups should be on your list.

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6. Dumbbell Pullover

man performing dumbbell pullover

This exercise, known as a pullover, is a great way to target your back muscles and tone them up. Plus, it’s an easy back workout that you can do at home just lying on the floor, although it can be more beneficial to execute it on a bench.

To do a dumbbell pullover, start by lying down on your back on the ground. Grab one dumbbell and hold it with both hands. Raise the dumbbell above your head so that your arms are in a perpendicular position to the ground. Take the dumbbell slowly behind your head until you touch the floor with the weight. Bring the weight back up above your head and repeat the exercise.

Lying on a bench could be more effective as you would be able to lower the weight further down (without overdoing it to avoid shoulder injuries). However, if performed slowly and correctly using the right weight, lying on the floor can be enough.

7. Romanian Deadlift (dumbbells)

man performing dumbbell romanian deadlift

The Romanian deadlift is a great exercise to build strength in your back (lower but also upper and middle back) and lower body (glutes, adductors and hamstrings) making it one of the best back workouts at home.

To start, you’ll need to anchor your feet to the ground. From here, you’ll take a dumbbell weight in each hand and position them horizontally on your thighs. Then, using your hips as your main drive, bring the weight down until you can no longer push your hips behind you. The idea is that you should imagine yourself pushing a door or a wall behind you with your butt only. As you take the dumbbells down, keep the dumbbells as close to your legs as possible as if you were sliding them. You do not have to go far down touching your feet for example as form will certainly be sacrificed. And remember to keep your back flat and straight at all times. Repeat the exercise.

8. Resistance Band Pull Apart

man performing resistance band pull apart

Resistance band pull apart is one of the best back workouts at home you can do. It’s simple, effective, and takes just a few minutes. Plus, it can be done at any time of day or night.

First, start by looping one end of the band around a sturdy object in the room, like a door handle. Hold on to the other end of the band and start pulling it apart. You’ll want to keep the tension on the band as you do this, and always make sure your hands are stretched out in front of you.

Without using a sturdy object, you can simply take the band, each extremity in each hand. Extend your arms in front of you at shoulder level and pull them apart to your side. Repeat the movement. Keep tension in the stretch, that’s how the strength is built.

This exercise is great as a unilateral exercise as when a side is weaker than the other, the body tends to compensate the weakness with the stronger side, not allowing you to build strength on the side that needs it most. Therefore it is great to switch the workouts sometimes to allow for some balance and equal unilateral strength.

9. Dumbbell Deadlift

man performing dumbbell deadlift for back workout at home

If you’re looking to add a new, challenging exercise to your routine, look no further than the dumbbell deadlift. Not only is it one of the most effective exercises for overall strength and muscle growth, but it’s also simple to perform if the form is correct and if weights are not too heavy for you. Here’s how to do it:

Position your feet shoulder-width apart, and pick up a pair of dumbbells.

Keeping your spine tall and your core engaged, lift the weights off the floor, extending your hips until your knees reach Luxembourg height (or the point of your toes).

Reverse the motion back to the starting position, and repeat.

10. Pull Ups

man performing pull ups for back workout at home

If you have a pull up bar (or a tree where you can hang!), pull-ups are one of the most important classic back exercises you can do at home. They focus on the latissimus dorsi muscle, which is one of the largest muscles in your back and shoulders. Plus, they are a great way to increase your upper-body strength and endurance.

Here’s a quick tutorial on how to do a pull-up.

Place yourself under the bar.  Jump to the bar if you can, if you can’t, use a bench or a surface that will allow you to reach it. Grip the bar with both hands and strong grip. With you core braced, straight legs and toes pointed, pull your body up until your chin is over the bar. This is not a simple exercise therefore it is recommended to use resistance band as a start if you are not fully familiar with this exercise and need to build the strength to perform an unassisted pull up. I have put a tutorial on my Instagram to help you get your first unassisted pull up.

Lower yourself back down to the starting position and repeat.

As for most exercise listed above, be sure to tense your entire body before you start the pull-up, and then hold the tense position throughout the exercise.

Take your time and gradually increase your repetitions until you can do 8 to 10 repetitions with good form.

Back workouts at home can be a great way to get your pull-ups up to speed, as well as increase your overall back strength and endurance. gave you some tips on how to do a pull-up, so be sure to give it a try.

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