Top 6 Exercises to Strengthen Your Back

Top 6 Exercises to Strengthen Your Back

Building a thick, wide back can really improve your aesthetics. The V-shape creates a real illusion of slim waist and huge shoulders. To achieve this shape, you have to hammer the shield with exercises aimed at different muscles.

Endless sets of pull-ups won't be enough to build a muscular back. In this article you will find out how to put your back to work in the best way.

Back muscles

The back is a large and complex muscle group. The illustration below shows some of the back muscles that can easily be worked by the exercises presented in this article.

As you can see, the muscle fibers in the back are turned at different angles. This therefore explains the need to vary the grips, grips and machines during training. After all, in order to get a muscular back, you have to be looking to recruit all possible muscle fibers.

An evaluation of each muscle in the back made it possible to write this article. But to put it simply, the development of the dorsals (Latissimus Dorsi) and the teres major (Teres Major) allows you to obtain a wider back (the V shape) while the rhomboid muscle and the spines (Erector Spinae) make your back thicker.

A good training program should normally work all of your muscles and avoid disproportions.

By convention, we can also divide the back into two parts:

The upper part: Rhomboids, trapezoids, large and small circles as well as the upper part of the dorsals.

The lower part: Lower part of the dorsals and spines.

If sufficiently developed, the spines can be seen "through" the thoracolumbar fascia, a connecting tissue that cannot be worked on.

This step-by-step exercise guide will ensure you get the most out of your workout. You will also be given some tips for working both width and thickness at the same time.

Top 6 Exercises For Strong Back


Top 6 Exercises to Strengthen Your Back

The deadlift is one of the most worthwhile exercises because it engages many muscles: all the muscles of the back, abdominals, thighs and glutes.

This movement is considered one of the best for building thickness, with good spinal stimulation.

In addition, mastering the deadlift gives you a technique to safely raise the bar for other exercises but also to lift objects in everyday life. So you can lift your shopping bags in style.

Starting position:

(A little complicated but essential to avoid injury.)

Start by facing the bar, keeping your feet shoulder-width apart. Contract your abs, push your torso upward keeping your back straight, and bend your knees until you can reach the bar.

Grab the bar with an overhand grip (thumbs face to face), make sure your grip is a little wider than your shoulder width. Use the rings on the bar to make sure you have a balanced grip.

Tighten your grip well, your abs and lower back are contacted, torso rounded and back straight. Fix a point in front of you, inhale and hold your breath.

Step by step:

Start lifting the bar off the floor by straightening your legs and keeping the bar close to your body. Once the bar reaches knee level, continue straightening your legs and gently raise your back.

Stop the movement once you are perfectly straight. Avoid hyperextension of the back. Your shoulders and hips should form a straight line.

Exhale and hold this position for 2 seconds and squeeze the shoulder blades to stimulate the back to the maximum.

In a controlled fashion, rest the bar by bending your back then your legs. Maintain correct posture while doing it with head up, back straight, chest forward and abs tight.

Sets and Reps: Do not hesitate to warm up a lot with lighter sets (3 to 4 x 10 reps). Once it's boiling hot, you can go on 3-4 heavy sets of 6-8 reps.


If you really want to gain volume, avoid using the over-under grip which is very popular with powerlifting fans where one hand is overhand and the other is supine. This grip prevents the bar from leaving your hands but puts the biceps of the supine grip in a delicate position and increases the risk of tears. If you don't hold the grip, use bands or work on your forearms a bit. Don't compromise your back by trying to work your forearms with deadlifts.

Barbell Bent-Over Row

Top 6 Exercises to Strengthen Your Back

The Rowing barre is another poly-articular and brutal movement for the development of the back. It allows you to use more weight than on any other pull-up exercise which is of course great for adding mass. This movement stimulates the trapezoids, rhomboids, large circles and the back muscles.

You are free to change the angle between your torso and the floor during the exercise allowing you to add a few cheat reps to increase the intensity.

Starting position:

(Begins with a deadlift.)

Keep your knees slightly bent and lean forward to form a 45-degree angle between your torso and the floor. The more you stand, the more you will work the trapezius muscles and the more you lean, the more you will attack the lower back.

Make sure to keep your back straight, torso up, and head straight while looking straight ahead.

Step by step:

Grab the bar in overhand grip (thumbs facing each other), place your hands to have a gap slightly wider than your shoulder width.

Pull the bar down your thighs towards your belly button. Your biceps and forearms should only be used to hold the weight and should not contact each other.

Pull the bar up with your elbows (Not your biceps)

At the top of the movement, squeeze your shoulder blades and hold the contraction for 2 seconds before slowly lowering the weight back down.

Sets and reps: 3 to 4 heavy sets of 6-8 reps.


The exercise can be performed using both overhand and supine grips. The supine grip (thumbs not facing each other) places the biceps in a stronger position which allows the upper part of the movement to be carried out more easily and helps in better contraction of the trapezius. However, supination can also transfer a good deal of the load to the biceps and be a disadvantage for those exercisers with a lag on their back compared to their biceps.

Dumbbell Row 

Top 6 Exercises to Strengthen Your Back

The dumbbell pull-up helps develop a thick, wide back; by engaging the dorsals, rhomboids, large circles and trapezoids. This exercise can also be considered a core exercise since you have to keep your torso rigid without leaning forward or to the side.

This exercise is a very good variation of pulling, it allows one-sided work where each arm works independently of the other. Your arm is strongest in a neutral grip and this grip also allows you to attack weights a lot without putting too much stress on the shoulders.

Starting position:

(Start with the left arm)

Place a dumbbell on the left side of the bench. The bench will be used as a support.

Place your right knee on the lower part of the bench and your right hand on the upper part.

Your torso should be almost parallel to the floor, with your back straight and abs tight.

Lower yourself to pick up the dumbbell in neutral grip (palm facing you).

Keep your elbow slightly extended and rise back to the previous position without rounding your back.

Step by step:

Pull the dumbbell towards you, focusing on raising your elbow as high as possible. The dumbbell should follow a straight path, close to the body and end against your hip at the top of the stroke. Your torso should remain rigid throughout the movement.

Keep the dumbbell at the top of the movement for a second, focusing on your lats. Your shoulder blade should be retracted as much as possible.

Slowly lower the dumbbell back down, letting your shoulder blade stretch. Descend as low as possible without leaning your back to the side.

Hold the position for a second. Without taking a break, repeat the exercise using the other arm (dumbbell on the right, knee and left hand on the bench). It's been a series.

Sets and Reps: Perform 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps.

Lat Pull Down

Top 6 Exercises to Strengthen Your Back

The high pull is an excellent exercise to widen you, especially targeting the back muscles and the big circles. However, with a few tips explained step by step, you can also work on the rhomboids and lower trapezius muscles to further thicken your back.

The high pull-up is also a good alternative to pull-ups which require a force proportional to its body weight. Most often this is not the case for beginners and some very heavy bodybuilders.

Starting position:

Tie a wide bar to the high pulley and added the kneeling pad to the machine.

The knee pad allows you to keep yourself in the seat and prevent the weight from lifting you.

Grab the bar with an overhand grip (inches face to face) so your hands should be wider than your shoulder width apart.

Hold the bar, sit on the seat and lock your legs under the kneeling pad.

Step by step:

Keep your shoulders in line with your hips, keep your head up, and let the weight stretch your back. You need to let your backs relax and stretch. Hold the position for a second.

Bring your head back a bit and pull the bar towards your torso while extending your back slightly for fuller movement. Pull your elbows as far as you can, but you don't have to touch your torso.

Once your elbows are pulled to the max, tighten your shoulder blades, contract your back, and hold the contraction for a second.

Gently raise the bar while keeping your shoulders in line with your hips.

Sets and reps: You can use this exercise to warm up and isolate your lats by increasing the weight in a pyramidal fashion. Perform 4 sets of 15, 12, 10 and 8 repetitions while increasing the weights.


You can lower the bar to your chest or neck. The first method allows you to use more weight and places more stress on the back muscles. The second facilitates contraction at the level of the shoulder blades and engages more the central part of the back (rhomboids and lower trapezius).

You can also attach different bars or handles to the pulley, which engages the muscles at different angles. Changing angles while training your back is very important since the muscle fibers go in different directions. Change your performance after a few weeks.

Barbell shrugs

Top 6 Exercises to Strengthen Your Back

The top of the trapezoids can develop quite easily without direct work. Muscle plays its part in many polyarticular back exercises.

However, if you find that your neck feels too long, or you are fed up with having a neck, barbell shrugs are for you.

Starting position:

Perform a deadlift and stay in a high position.

Step by step:

While keeping your arms relatively rigid, raise your shoulders as high as possible. Imagine that you want to bury your head in your shoulders without moving your neck.

Hold the contraction for 3 seconds, contract your back to the maximum.

Slowly lower the bar and let the weight stretch your trapezius.


Sets and Reps: 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps, keeping the contraction for at least 3 seconds.


The exercise can be done with a different grip gap. A wide grip allows a better contraction of the trapezius but a lower stretch. You can change the grip between each set for best results.

Pullover With Flexed Arms

Top 6 Exercises to Strengthen Your Back

Attention, subject to debate! Chest or back, we know that opinions differ but in this case, we take it for its effect on the back.

Indeed, this exercise is very good for finishing a back session since it allows you to stretch your back muscles with a heavy load. This could allow you to gain mass. We are speaking in the conditional because there is no real scientific evidence showing that stretching with a load causes hypertrophy.

However, many bodybuilders believe that it allows the muscle to grow bigger. True or false, the flexibility provided by this exercise will reduce injuries and increase your mobility.

Starting position:

Place a dumbbell at the end of a bench.

Lie down on the bench and press your feet firmly into the ground.

Grasp the dumbbell with both hands, place your hands under the inside weight of the dumbbell. To ensure a secure grip, you can place your diamond hands around the handle.

Step by step:

Place the dumbbell over your head and bend your elbows (keeping your arms too straight will work more on your pecs than your back).

Keeping your arms rigid, lower the dumbbell behind your head as far as possible.

Hold the position for a second and bring the dumbbell back to the top of your head. Keeping the barbell above your forehead will allow you to put more pressure on your back.

Sets and Reps: Perform 2-3 sets of 12 reps, focus on stretching.


This exercise can be done with different catch gaps. A wide grip allows for better trapezius contraction but less stretching, while a tight grip allows for more stretch but less contraction. You can change the takes between sets for more efficiency.

Related article: Ronnie Coleman's Best Exercise for Back Muscles

Post a Comment