20 Great Exercises for a Stronger Back 2023

20 Great Exercises for a Stronger Back 2023 To enhance your back muscles, you can perform exercises that specifically focus on the affected areas. Utilizing tools such as weights and resistance bands can also aid in this process. Lower back pain can be incredibly exasperating, and it is a common issue experienced by many individuals in Western nations,

As your back is involved in almost every movement that your body makes, experiencing such pain can severely affect your ability to carry out daily activities. However, enhancing the strength of your back muscles can be an effective approach to manage or avoid non-specific back pain and enhance your range of motion.

20 Great Exercises for a Stronger Back 2023

If you’re new to back exercises and feeling overwhelmed by the abundance of options available on the internet, we’ve got you covered. Our team has done the research and compiled a list of the top 15 back movements that will help enhance your strength and performance. with  estimates indicating that approximately 60-80% of adults are affected.

Experiencing a backache can be an extraordinarily unpleasant ordeal. Considering that every movement of your body involves your back in some capacity, having an injured one can leave you feeling incapacitated and miserable. However, by strengthening your back muscles, you can avoid such injuries, guaranteeing that your entire body performs seamlessly during everyday activities and workouts.

20 Great Exercises for a Stronger Back 2023 Highlight

Article Name 20 Great Exercises for a Stronger Back 2023
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Which back muscles are we targeting?

When referring to the muscles in your back, which specific muscles are we focusing on? The primary muscles located in the back area consist of:

  • The latissimus dorsi muscles, commonly referred to as “lats,” are situated beneath your armpits and run along the sides of your back.
  • The rhomboids, located in the upper-middle back region.
  • The trapezius muscles, commonly known as traps, extend from the base of your neck all the way down to your mid-back region.
  • The erector spinae muscles, which are situated parallel to your spinal column.

Each of the exercises listed below focuses on a mix of these muscles while also potentially engaging other upper body muscles in the shoulders, chest, and arms.

20 Great Exercises for a Stronger Back

The warmup 20 Great Exercises for a Stronger Back 2023

To stimulate your muscles and increase blood flow, kick off with a brief 5-10 minutes of moderate cardio.

Afterward, perform a dynamic stretching routine lasting 5 minutes to prime your back for specific workouts. These exercises serve as an excellent point of commencement.

20 best back exercises 20 Great Exercises for a Stronger Back 2023

For those who are new to this, select 3-5 workouts listed below and perform one set of each, twice a week. Gradually, within a few weeks, progress towards completing three sets of each exercise. The information and meaning remain unchanged.

If you possess knowledge and familiarity with strength training, opt for 3–5 of these workouts and perform 3 sets of each, twice a week (or more). Strive to include all 15 exercises mentioned here in your workout routine within a timeframe of 2 weeks to guarantee a comprehensive and balanced regimen.

1. Resistance band pull-apart

Reason for inclusion: The resistance band pull-apart is an excellent exercise to commence your back workout due to its simplicity and effectiveness. It is recommended that you select a resistance band that permits you to perform 15-20 repetitions for 1-2 sets while maintaining good form.

This exercise primarily focuses on scapular retraction, where the shoulder blades are brought closer together. As a result, the rhomboids, rear deltoids, and trapezius muscles in the upper back are effectively engaged.

By fortifying the stabilizer muscles around your shoulders, including those that constitute the rotator cuff, retraction exercises can enhance the health of your shoulder.

Resistance band pull-apart


  1. Assume a standing position with your arms fully stretched out. Grasp a resistance band with both hands and pull it tight to keep it horizontal to the ground.
  2. Begin by extending your arms and then pull the band towards your chest while keeping them straight. Move your arms away from your body to the sides to execute this movement.
  3. Initiate a motion from your mid-back, contract your shoulder blades towards each other, and maintain a neutral alignment of your spine. Gradually revert to the initial position and replicate the action.
  4. Execute 1 to 3 rounds of 8 to 12 repetitions.

2. Lat pulldown 20 Great Exercises for a Stronger Back 2023

Reason for inclusion: The lat pulldown is a fundamental exercise that effectively targets the back muscles and helps in developing a sturdy back. It can be done using a machine at the gym or resistance bands.

The primary muscle focused during lat pulldowns is the latissimus dorsi, which is a substantial muscle situated in the lower and middle back. Apart from that, this exercise also works on the trapezius, rotator cuff, posterior deltoids, rhomboids, biceps, and forearms.

Lat pulldown


  1. To utilize the machine correctly, make sure that the pad is touching your thighs. Afterward, stand up and grasp the bar with hands that are wider than the distance between your shoulders before sitting down again.
  2. Initiate the downward motion of the bar towards your chest while simultaneously bending your elbows and directing them downwards. Ensure that you are engaging both your upper back and mid-back muscles throughout the exercise. Maintain a straight torso and avoid leaning backwards during the movement.
  3. Perform either one to three sets of eight to twelve repetitions.

3. Back extension

Reason for its inclusion: Back extensions focus on exercising your entire posterior chain, which refers to the rear part of your body. These are excellent exercises for beginners.

The erector spinae muscles, which are the back extensor muscles, are primarily targeted by performing back extensions. Depending on the specific variation being performed, this exercise may also work your hamstrings and glutes to some degree.

Back extension


  1. Assume a prone position on an exercise ball, placing your midsection at the center of the ball. To maintain stability, press the balls of your feet onto the ground behind you. If needed, you may also prop your feet against a wall to increase stability. The overall posture should remain unchanged.
  2. Begin by raising your arms straight up towards the sky, aligning them with your ears. Then, bend forward at your waist and lower your body towards the ground. This will be considered as your initial stance.
  3. Gently lift your torso and extend your arms upwards towards the heavens, making sure your shoulders are higher than your hips. Tighten your abdominal muscles and buttocks while maintaining contact with the ground beneath your feet.
  4. Take a brief break at the peak, then gradually descend.
  5. Perform 8-12 repetitions for 1-3 sets.

4. Suspended row 20 Great Exercises for a Stronger Back 2023

Reason for inclusion: The suspended row is an extremely effective exercise that requires balance and stability while utilizing the body’s weight. One of its advantages is that it can be performed by individuals at any level of fitness expertise. To complete this workout, a TRX trainer or comparable suspension trainer will be necessary.

The suspended rows exercise is designed to engage and work on the major muscles in your back, which includes the latissimus dorsi, trapezius, and rhomboids. In addition to these muscles, this move also helps to strengthen your core, shoulders, and biceps.

Suspended row


  1. Take hold of the TRX handles and walk beneath them to assume a tabletop stance while extending your arms. The degree of difficulty for this exercise increases as your back becomes more parallel to the floor. To maintain a straight line, you can also attempt this movement with your legs kept straight.
  2. To elevate yourself, pull towards the ceiling while maintaining a straight back and keeping your elbows near your sides.
  3. Stretch out your arms and come back to the initial position.
  4. Perform 8-12 repetitions for 1 to 3 sets.

5. Wood chop

Reason for inclusion: The wood chop exercise is a comprehensive movement that targets the core, arms, and back muscles effectively. It involves using a medicine ball or dumbbell, and starting with 10 pounds is recommended.

The wood chop exercise effectively targets and strengthens the core muscles including the transversus abdominis and obliques. In addition, it also works on the arms, upper back, and shoulders.

Wood chop


  1. Take hold of a dumbbell or medicine ball using both hands and elevate it above your head with your arms fully extended.
  2. Execute a sweeping motion by rotating your hips towards the left and lowering the dumbbell or ball to the exterior of your left knee.
  3. During the upward movement, rotate your torso towards the right and lift the dumbbell or ball in a forceful yet regulated manner above the right side of your head while maintaining straight arms. This action imitates a cutting motion, which is why it is referred to as chopping”.
  4. Perform 8-12 repetitions on each side for 1-3 sets.

6. Good morning 20 Great Exercises for a Stronger Back 2023

Reason for inclusion: The good morning is a workout that specifically works on your lower back. It is named so because the motion resembles the gesture of greeting someone by bowing. This exercise is considered to be more challenging and requires caution. It is recommended to begin without any weights to ensure correct posture before adding a barbell.

The muscles that are engaged during good mornings include those located at the back of your body such as the glutes, hamstrings, erector spinae, and upper back muscles..

Good morning


  1. To use weight, securely place a barbell on your shoulders at the back of your head. Then, stand with your feet positioned shoulder-width apart while maintaining proper safety measures.
  2. To perform the movement, start by hinging at your hips and slightly bending your knees. Gradually lower your torso towards the ground until it reaches a parallel position with the floor. It’s important to maintain a straight back during this exercise.
  3. Upon reaching the parallel position, exert force through your feet to get back to the initial stance. It is recommended to perform 8-12 repetitions for 1-3 sets.

7. Quadruped single-arm dumbbell row

Reason for inclusion: This particular exercise helps you revisit the fundamentals of rowing and corrects various form errors like excessive rowing at the top of the motion, overextension of your arm at the bottom of the motion, and dependence on your lower back. It is recommended to perform this exercise prior to any other rowing movements.

The focus of this exercise is on your upper back muscles, specifically the latissimus dorsi, teres minor, teres major, posterior deltoids, rhomboids, and trapezius. Additionally, it enhances arm strength. Moreover, it addresses any unevenness in muscle development by targeting each side separately.

Quadruped single-arm dumbbell row


  1. Assume a hands and knees position while holding a dumbbell in each hand. Make certain that your back remains straight, and your hands are positioned directly under your shoulders while your knees are below your hips.
  2. Initiate the rowing movement by pulling your right arm towards your armpit while keeping your elbow bent and close to your side. It is essential to maintain this posture throughout the exercise. Over-rowing may result in loss of balance, hence be mindful of the range of motion.
  3. Gradually bring back the dumbbell to its initial position and replicate the movement on the opposite side.
  4. Perform 8-12 repetitions on each side for 13 sets.

8. Wide dumbbell bent-over row 20 Great Exercises for a Stronger Back 2023

Reason for inclusion: The wide dumbbell row exercise mimics the barbell row, but provides a wider range of motion. It can be beneficial in correcting muscular imbalances between the left and right sides of the body. Starting with a light to moderate weight, such as 10 pounds, is recommended before gradually increasing the weight. However, individuals with lower back problems should exercise caution when performing this exercise.

This exercise primarily involves the activation of the latissimus dorsi, rhomboids, trapezius, and erector spinae muscles. As a result, it effectively targets a significant portion of your back muscles.

Wide dumbbell bent-over row


  1. To perform the exercise, hold a dumbbell in each hand and position your palms facing your thighs. Stand with your feet spaced shoulder-width apart. Slightly bend your knees, engage your core, and keep your neck in a neutral position. Hinge at the hips until your torso is inclined at 45 degrees to the floor. Let the dumbbells hang down in front of you.
  2. Initiate the rowing movement by positioning your elbows at a 90-degree angle and pulling them up towards the ceiling. At the top of the movement, contract your shoulder blades together tightly.
  3. Go back to the initial stance and redo the exercise for 8-12 repetitions, finishing 1-3 sets.

9. Barbell deadlift

Reason for inclusion: The barbell deadlift is a highly effective compound exercise that works multiple muscle groups simultaneously. It engages the entire posterior chain, including the upper back and calves, thereby providing a comprehensive full-body workout.

The barbell deadlift necessitates back strength in order to be executed successfully as it works the erector spinae muscles, hamstrings, glutes, and shoulder stabilizers.

Barbell deadlift


  1. Position yourself behind a barbell, ensuring that your feet are spaced apart at shoulder-width distance.
  2. To pick up the barbell, maintain an upright chest and gradually bend at the hips while also bending your knees. While doing this, ensure that your back remains straight and use both hands to grip the bar with palms facing towards you.
  3. To stand up, ensure that your feet are firmly planted on the ground and then push upwards while maintaining a straight back. Remember to keep your shoulders down and pulled back during this motion.
  4. To go back to the initial stance, move your hips backwards and lower your knees while bringing down the barbell towards the ground.
  5. Perform 8 to 12 repetitions for 1 to 3 sets.

10. Superman 20 Great Exercises for a Stronger Back 2023

Reason for inclusion: Despite appearing easy, the superman exercise can be quite demanding while lying on the floor. It is a great workout that focuses on enhancing your lower back muscles and doesn’t require any equipment.

The muscles targeted include the erector spinae, glutes, hamstrings, upper back, shoulders, and arms.



  1. Assume a prone position on the ground with your arms stretched out above your head.
  2. Activate your core and gluteal muscles and elevate both your upper and lower body from the ground as much as possible without exerting excessive force. Hold the peak position for a duration of one second. Then, slowly and methodically lower yourself back to the initial posture.
  3. Perform 8 to 12 repetitions for 1 to 3 sets.

11. Single-arm dumbbell row

Reason for being included: Performing a single-arm row while stabilizing yourself on a bench is an effective way to focus on your back muscles. To make it more challenging, you can add some weights; however, it is important to maintain proper form throughout the exercise.

Targeted Muscles: This exercise specifically targets your latissimus dorsi, teres minor, teres major, posterior deltoids, rhomboids, and trapezius muscles. Additionally, it can aid in correcting muscular imbalances by focusing on each side separately.

Single-arm dumbbell row


  1. Take a seat on a bench and rest your left knee, shin, and hand on it to provide support. Your right leg should be extended with your foot placed firmly on the ground. Hold a dumbbell in your right hand while keeping your torso straight.
  2. Lift the dumbbell upwards, directing your elbow towards the sky while maintaining proximity to your body. While bending your elbow, contract your upper back muscles.
  3. Gradually descend back to the initial posture. Accomplish 1 to 3 rounds of 8 to 12 repetitions on both sides.

12. Renegade dumbbell row 20 Great Exercises for a Stronger Back 2023

Reason for inclusion: This particular exercise is considered advanced as it entails performing a row while holding a plank position. As a result, not only does it enhance the strength of your upper back, but it also provides an additional workout for your core muscles.

This exercise engages various muscle groups throughout the body including the latissimus dorsi, trapezius, rhomboids, abdominals, shoulders, arms, and legs.

Renegade dumbbell row


  1. Adopt a high plank stance with one hand on each dumbbell. Make sure your body is in a straight line from head to toe and that your core remains engaged throughout the exercise.
  2. Using your right arm, row by pulling your elbow upward towards the ceiling while keeping it adjacent to your body. After that, lower the dumbbell back to its initial position on the ground while ensuring that your hips remain parallel to the floor.
  3. Perform the same action with your left arm. Switch between arms and complete a total of 20 repetitions for either 1, 2 or 3 sets.

13. Reverse fly

Reason for its inclusion in the list: The reverse fly is a great exercise for strengthening postural muscles, which are crucial for maintaining everyday health. It is recommended to begin with light to moderate-weight dumbbells, around 5 pounds and gradually increase the weight as you progress. However, if you experience lower back pain or weakness, it’s advisable to be cautious while performing this exercise.

The muscles focused on during this exercise are the rhomboids, trapezius, and posterior deltoids.

Reverse fly


  1. Take a dumbbell in both hands, then bend forward at the hips until your upper body creates a 45-degree angle with the ground. Let the dumbbells hang down in front of you with your palms facing toward each other. Keep your elbows slightly bent.
  2. While contracting your abdominal muscles, elevate your arms upwards and sideways, applying pressure to the scapulae at the apex.
  3. Gradually move back to the initial posture. Carry out 1-3 rounds consisting of 8-12 repetitions.

14. Pullup

Reason for inclusion: The unassisted pullup is a timeless exercise that targets the back muscles, but it demands considerable strength and may pose a difficulty. If you haven’t attained that level yet, you can utilize a pullup band as an aid to execute the exercise.

The muscles targeted by this exercise include the latissimus dorsi, trapezius, rhomboids, pectoralis major, shoulders, forearms, erector spinae as well as obliques.



  1. Hold onto a pullup bar using an overhand grip, positioning your hands at a distance greater than the width of your shoulders.
  2. Elevate your feet above the ground, or position them within the support band, and suspend yourself from your arms.
  3. To lift your body up to the bar, use your arm muscles to bend and bring the shoulder blades towards the ground.
  4. To complete a full repetition, it is necessary to lower your body down once your chin passes the bar.
  5. Perform 1 to 3 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions.

15. Forearm plank 20 Great Exercises for a Stronger Back 2023

Reason for inclusion: Planks are often considered a fundamental movement, but they actually engage your entire body. By utilizing the erector spinae muscles in your back, planks effectively target and strengthen these deep muscles, allowing you to sustain the position.

The entire body is engaged in this workout, with specific focus on the core muscles such as the rectus abdominis, obliques, transverse abdominis and erector spinae. Additionally, the upper body muscles including trapezius, rhomboids, latissimus dorsi, chest and serratus anterior are targeted along with shoulders, arms and legs.

Forearm plank


  1. Assume the plank position by placing your forearms and elbows on the ground, extending your legs, and balancing your weight on your toes and forearms.
  2. To maintain proper form, ensure that your body forms a straight line from head to toe. It’s important to engage your core muscles to prevent your hips from dipping.
  3. Keep the position for half a minute and gradually increase it to 60 seconds or more.

16. Smith machine row

Reason for inclusion: This particular exercise, much like a barbell row, effectively works out your upper back muscles. The Smith machine is a popular choice among many as it helps balance the weight, enabling you to concentrate on utilizing your upper back muscles while lifting.

The primary muscle group focused on by this exercise is the latissimus dorsi; however, it also aids in developing strength in the trapezius and posterior deltoids.

Smith machine row


  1. Assume a position behind the Smith machine bar with your feet positioned at shoulder width distance from each other.
  2. Bend forward at your hips, with a slight bend in the knees, while keeping your spine in a neutral position.
  3. Position your hands on the bar using an overhand grip, slightly broader than the width of your shoulders.
  4. To lift the bar towards your chest, contract your shoulder blades together instead of relying on your arms to do the majority of the lifting.
  5. Gradually bring the bar back to its initial position.
  6. Complete 8 to 12 repetitions in 1 to 3 sets.

17. Seated row 20 Great Exercises for a Stronger Back 2023

The reason why this exercise is included in the list is because seated rows maintain constant tension on your muscles, which effectively contributes to the development of a robust back.

Targeted Muscles: This particular workout is highly effective in focusing on your latissimus dorsi and rhomboids muscles. Additionally, it also engages other muscle groups such as the trapezius and biceps.

Seated row


  1. Ensure that the height of the cable row seat is adjusted in such a way that the handles are positioned at the level of your chest.
  2. Assume an upright posture and position your feet on the ground or on the footrests.
  3. Take hold of the handles and keep them in front of you while extending your arms.
  4. Draw your elbows back and squeeze your shoulder blades as you pull the handles towards your chest, making sure to keep your elbows close to your body.
  5. Gradually and carefully move back to the initial position.
  6. Execute 8-12 repetitions in 1-3 sets.

18. Chest-supported row

Reason for inclusion: The chest-supported row is an excellent variation of the traditional row exercise. It involves leaning against a bench and primarily engaging your lat muscles to pull the weight towards you, potentially allowing you to lift heavier weights.

The primary focus of this exercise is on the latissimus dorsi muscle.

Chest-supported row


  1. Arrange the exercise bench in a way that the inclination of the backrest is set at 45 degrees.
  2. Pick up a set of dumbbells and position yourself on the bench so that your chest is directed towards the backrest.
  3. Place your feet firmly on the ground, activate your abdominal muscles, and gradually incline forward until the front of your torso touches the rear of the chair.
  4. To begin, grasp a dumbbell in each hand and straighten your elbows while allowing your arms to hang downwards. This will be your starting position.
  5. Simultaneously, contract your shoulder blades and flex your elbows to pull the dumbbells towards your rib cage.
  6. Gradually revert the motion to go back to the initial stance.
  7. Execute 1 to 3 series of 8 to 12 repetitions.

19. Dumbbell pullover

Reason for its inclusion: This complex exercise is ideal for individuals seeking an additional difficulty to enhance their back and chest muscles. Furthermore, it serves as an excellent approach to enhance shoulder flexibility.

To avoid the difficulty of the move, it is advisable to opt for lighter dumbbells and focus on refining your form. Selecting weights that are excessively heavy can elevate the likelihood of injuries and hinder your ability to execute the exercise accurately.

The dumbbell pullover is an exercise that focuses on working out the chest muscles and latissimus dorsi..

Dumbbell pullover


  1. Choose a pair of dumbbells that weigh less (beginning with lighter weights is advisable to ensure proper form and increase the range of motion).
  2. Assume a supine position on an exercise bench, with both feet in contact with the floor and clutching a dumbbell in each palm firmly against your chest.
  3. Initiate by activating your core muscles and reach upward with your arms towards the ceiling while positioning them in front of your chest. Ensure that the dumbbells are held close together, with slightly bent elbows and palms facing inward. This marks the beginning stance.
  4. Gently stretch out your arms to move the dumbbells towards the back and above your head. Be mindful not to go beyond your ear level, while still keeping your arms visible from the side view. Make sure to maintain contact between your ribs and the bench throughout the exercise.
  5. Take a moment to pause, and then gradually return the dumbbells to their initial position.
  6. Execute 8-12 repetitions in 1-3 sets.

The bottom line 20 Great Exercises for a Stronger Back 2023

There are numerous advantages to strengthening your back, with the primary benefit being its ability to shield you against various types of back pain. The following exercises will equip you with all the necessary elements to improve your overall functioning and enhance your strength.

As you advance in these workouts, it’s important to push yourself by incorporating additional weight or resistance. However, it is crucial to exercise caution and discontinue the activity if you feel any discomfort or pain. If you have a prior history of back issues, it’s advisable to seek medical advice from your doctor or a physical therapist before continuing.

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Mostly Asked Queries About 20 Great Exercises for a Stronger Back 2023

Is 4 back exercises enough?
To achieve your fitness objectives, performing 3-4 exercises in a workout session is adequate. However, exceeding 4 exercises could be counterproductive if your workout regimen is not well-planned. It’s essential to prioritize the six major movement patterns while picking your exercises.
What is the king of all back exercises?
The deadlift exercise still holds its position as the most effective exercise for the back, as it involves activating the lat and core muscles for stabilization while engaging all of your muscles in the posterior chain. It is highly recommended to lift heavy weights during this exercise, and as you progress with stronger pulls, you will notice significant development in your back muscles. It’s crucial not to neglect deadlift day!
What back muscle is most important?
The latissimus dorsi, commonly known as “lats”, is a significant muscle group located in your back that plays a vital role in moving your shoulder joint. It originates from various points including the thoracolumbar fascia, the spinous process of thoracic six through 12, the iliac crest, and the lower three ribs.
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