Back Exercises For Building Muscle Mass
When people think of working out, back exercises are usually the ones they think about the least. Everyone is concerned about their abs, or their arms, but your back is essential to providing proper balance and alignment to your chest and abs (two muscles we tend to OVER work).
If you have ripped abs and strong chest muscles, it won't matter.
If your back muscles are not developed, your body will be off balanced. Your muscles work in complementary pairs. If you want to build your triceps, you build your biceps as well. You want to build your chest and abs, you better be doing back exercises to develop your back.
Not working out a complementary muscle group can cause you to be more prone to injury. Muscles pull easier and you are more like sprain a muscle. I actually sufferred from bad posture from overworking my chest muscles and underworking my back muscles. My chest muscles were so strong they were actually pulling my shoulders forward!!!!
Below I have listed some great back exercises to help you balance your body. If you are looking for some great bodyweight exercises, check out or pull ups and chin ups section. Find complementary chest exercises.
Some of these you can do at home with dumbbells and other I have listed require machines from a local gym. So whether you are working out at home or at the gym, you can find exercises that will work for you.
Smith Machine Dead Lifts
You can do this off of the Smith machine as well with just a barbell or a couple of dumbbells. I find the Smith machine is easier to focus on and keep good form. The dead lift also works your hamstrings as well. Stand with you feet shoulder width apart, and a normal overhand grip on the bar with palms facing towards you. Bend at the waist keeping your back straight, and knees slightly bent. Return to the starting position.
Barbell Delt Row
Feet should be shoulder width apart. Place the barbell in front of you on the ground. Bend at your waist until your back is parallel with the floor. Maintaining a straight back, grasp the barbell slightly wider the shoulder width. Raise the bar towards your chest until it touches your chest, then lower. Make sure to squeeze your back muscles on this and not use too much of your biceps. You can also do this exercise with dumbbells if you choose.
Cable Seated Rows
This is one of my personal favorite back exercises. You will need to sit at a pulley machine and place your feet flat on the foot rest. Keeping your back straight, lean forward to grab the handles. Lean back a little and pull the handles back. Again, use your back muscles not your biceps. You should feel the squeezing of your back muscles.
A great lower back exercise, and another of my favorites. You can either hug a weight or use your own body weight for this. Adjust the bench so your feet are under the foot pad and your hips are at the top of the bench. Fold your arms across your chest and lower your body. Then, lift your self back up.
This is one of the best exercise for working your entire back. If you have this machine at your gym, I would suggest using it. Your feet go on either side of the bar on the foot pads. Your knees should be slightly bent and you should bend at your waist keeping your back straight. Pull the bar as high as your can towards your chest, hold and then lower back down.
Rear Deltoid Row
This is another rear deltoid row specifically for dumbbells. You should have one dumbbell on the ground. Place one and and one hand (the same side) on a flat. The other foot should be on the floor. With your free hand, bend at the waist, keeping your back straight and grab the dumbbell. Lift the dumbbell by bending at your elbow and raising it straight up.
Wide Grip Lat Pull Down
Sitting at a cable pull down machine, use a wide bar attachment. Using a wide overhand grip (wider than shoulder width), sit up straight. Use your abs to balance yourself and pull down on the bar. Do not use your biceps, try to concentrate on squeezing your back muscles. Then return to starting position. Make sure not to swing your back on this exercise and use momentum. You can also do narrow and normal grip versions of this exercise.
I learned this move at physical therapy when I injured my back in a car accident. It's an amazing back and core exercise. It's one of my favorite back exercises.
With a pair of dumbbells in your hand get into push up position starting at a 45 degree angle. Staying in push-up position, walk your hands to the opposite 45 degree angle and back. Trying doing 5-10 of these.
Do not let the weights bang on the ground. Try to keep it soft. You should not sound like a giant walking when you do this exerise.
After doing these back exercises, your back should be in it top shape, providing you with the support and balance you need. Do not foget to check out our chin ups and pull ups section, as well as our chest exercises
Pictures courtesy of EverKinetic.
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