Top 6 Muscle Building Back Exercises

The beginner’s back exercises for strength and size

Back exercises – The back is one of the body parts often neglected when it comes to physical exercise. Since we can only inspect our backs through a mirror, we do not give much thought about exercising the muscles there.

However, people can tell how strong and physically well you are from the shape of your back muscles. Not only your biceps your back muscles can be visible and impressive with the right training.

muscle building back exercises

Strong lats (latissimus dorsi) help creates that classic V-shape that you like. The right training for your back muscles also greatly assist with developing the front muscles.

You will gain maximum results from squatting, curling or pressing exercises, but they all need a strong back. It will also help you to prevent injuries as you bend and twist.

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Now prepare yourself like a pro and follow the real deal of our top 6 muscle-building back exercises.


This is a very versatile exercise. If you find a straight bar that will hold your weight, you can do this anywhere you like.

This exercise is not easy-breezy. Since the weight can’t be reduced, you should best perform this on the first session of your workout.

pullups for back muscles

Starting Position: Reach & grab the bar by using a firm overhand grip. Your palms should face forward. Keep the hands roughly twice the shoulder width apart. Straighten your arms as you let your body hang from the bar.

Keep your knees bent and crossed your feet at the ankles. With your arms extended in front of you while holding the bar, push your torso back to a 30-degree-angle to create a curve.

The Exercise: Pull your torso up until the bar is in contact with your chest. When you do this, you draw your shoulders and upper arms down and back as you exhale. Squeeze your back muscles as you are on the full concentrated position.

Keep your upper torso steady and your forearms holding the bar. After a second on the concentrated position, lower your torso back again to the starting position slowly. Then repeat as much as you need.

Wide-grip Lat Pulldown

With many shaping and strengthening benefits, you can do this exercise by changing the width and position of your grip. The targets are different muscles in your back, especially those underused in other exercises.

wide-grip lat pulldown

Starting Position: On a pull-down machine with a wide bar attached to the top pulley, sit and adjust the knee pad to fit your height. Then grab the bar with your palms facing forward.

Depending on your grip (wide or medium) on the bar, make sure you consider the right amount of space between your hands. Bring your torso back at a 30-degree angle as you push your chest forward. This will create a curvature on your lower back.

The Exercise: Exhaling, bring the bar down until it is in contact with your upper chest. Your shoulders and upper arms draw down and back during this exercise.

Focus as you squeeze your back muscles once you are in a fully contracted position. Your upper torso should remain still, and only your arms can move. After squeezing your blades together, raise the bar back up slowly. Then repeat this movement as recommended.

One-arm Dumbbell Rows

To isolate the muscles of your upper and middle back, doing a one-arm dumbbell row is the answer.

one-arm dumbbell rows

Starting Position: With a flat bench and a place for dumbbells on each side, place your right leg on top of the bench’s edge, bend your torso forward until your upper body is parallel to the floor.

Put your right hand on the other edge of the bench for support. Your left hand will pick up the dumbbell. Your lower back should remain straight. Your palm should be facing your torso.

The Exercise: Pull the resistance to your chest, while your upper arm should stay close to your side and your torso remains still. Do not forget to exhale while doing this.

Focus on squeezing the back muscles once you get to the full contracted position. The full force should be from the back muscles instead of your arms. Keep your upper torso still. Only your arms can move.

When you lower the resistance again back to its starting position, do not forget to inhale. Repeat this movement as necessary, but do not forget to switch hands after that. Make sure both hands get the same amount of repetition.

Seated Cable Rows

This exercise focuses on all areas on your back. Not only strengthening your back, but this exercise also thickens it by pumping up more muscles. You will need a low-pulley rowing machine and a V-Bar.

The V-Bar functions as an enabler for you to have a neutral grip when your palms face each other.

seated cable rows

Starting Position: With your feet flat on the footrests and your knees slightly bent, sit down on that machine. Your feet should be on the platform or crossbar. Make sure that your knees are only slightly bent. Lean over and grab the V-bar handles.

Slowly pull yourself back until your torso is at 90-degrees from your legs. With your back slightly arched and your chest sticking out, hold the bar in front of you.

The Exercise: Keep your torso still as you pull the handles back. Do not forget to exhale as you pull them towards your torso. Keep your arms close until you touch the abdominals. That is when you squeeze your back muscles hard.

Hold it right there for a second before you slowly go back to the original position. Do not forget to inhale while doing this. Repeat this movement as recommended.

Back Extensions

Targeting your lower back, this exercise does not require so much weight. What you need is a hyperextension bench, which consists of a wide pad to rest your upper legs on and a padded “railing” to keep your legs locked securely in place.

back extensions exercise

Starting Position: Lie face down on the bench. Tuck your ankles securely under the footpads. Then lean your upper body forward. Make sure the wide pad is properly adjusted for your body.

Your upper thighs should lie flat across the wide pad, as you leave enough room for you to bend at the waist unrestricted. Once adjusted, return to an upright position with your body in a straight line. Cross your arms in front of you or place your hands lightly along the sides of your head as an added resistance.

The Exercise: Slowly bend forward at the waist as your back remains flat. Do not forget to inhale while doing this.

Keep moving as you feel the hamstrings stretch nicely and you can go no more. When you raise your torso back to the first position, do not forget to inhale. Repeat this movement as recommended or necessary.

Straight-arm Pulldowns

Consider this exercise a great finishing touch to your back-muscle workout. This back exercise does not involve your biceps, though.

straight-arm pulldowns

Starting Position: Grab the wide bar from the top pulley. Keep your palms face down as you tighten your grip. Take a few steps back for about two feet.

Then bend your torso forward by 30-degrees with your fully-extended arms in front of you. Your elbows should slightly bend. Tighten your grip on the lats.

The Exercise: Keep your arms straight as you pull the bar down. Doing that means contracting the lats until your hands are on the sides of your thighs.

Do not forget to exhale while you are doing this. Then, slowly let the bar up as you inhale. Your arms still need to remain straight while you do this. After that, repeat this exercise as recommended.

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