No More Backaches: 15 Great Moves for a Stronger Back

You’ve probably experienced a backache at some point in your life. Every movement you make will affect your back, so a hurt one can mean that your body is out of alignment.

Your back muscles should be strengthened to prevent injuries. This will ensure your body is able to move smoothly during your daily activities and exercise.

There are so many back exercises online that you can choose from, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. We have compiled a list of 15 top back exercises that will improve your overall strength and performance.

Let’s get started:

What muscles should we be focusing on when we speak about the back? The following are the primary muscles of the back:

Each of the exercises below targets a combination of these muscles.

The warmup

To get your blood pumping, do 5-10 minutes of moderate cardio. This will awaken your muscles and get your heart rate up. Next, do a five minute stretching sequence to prepare your back for specific exercises. This routine is a great starting point. If you feel pain from any of these moves, you can stop and take a break.

25 Days of movement for strength and mobility

The free Move Your Body Challenge from Wellness Wire provides step-by-step instructions to perform one simple exercise per day. This will help you create your own movement routine.

To create your own back exercise, choose three to five of the following exercises. You can do these twice weekly (or more) in order to reach your goals. To ensure a well-rounded routine, aim to complete all 15 exercises in a span of two weeks.

 Resistance band pull apart

The resistance band pull apart is a great way to get your back moving. It’s simple and effective. You should choose a resistance band that will allow you to do 2 sets of 15-20 reps while maintaining good form.

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Directions

Keep your arms extended. Keep your arms extended and a resistance band in front of yourself.

Keep your arms straight and pull the band towards your chest. Then, move your arms to your sides. Start this movement by extending your arms straight out from your back and squeezing your shoulders.

  • Keep your spine straight and join together, and slowly return to the beginning.

 Row of quadruped dumbbells

This exercise will get you back to basics and fix many form issues such as over-rowing at top, overstretching at bottom, and compensation for lower-back. This exercise should be done before you do any other rowing movements.

Directions

Place a dumbbell in each hand on your back and get up onto your fours. Keep your back straight and ensure that your hands are below the shoulders. Your knees should be below the hips.

Your right arm should be raised and your elbow lifted. The dumbbell should then be brought to your armpit. Throughout the movement, keep your elbow down. This will help you to keep your balance.

Continue to extend your arm and return the dumbbell to you. Then, repeat the process on the left.

Do 3 sets of 12 reps each

Lat pulldown

If you are using a machine, place the pad so that it touches your thighs. Standing up, grab the bar at a distance that is not more than your shoulders and then sit down.

Start by pulling the bar towards your chest. Bend your elbows to direct the bar to the ground. Throughout the entire movement, engage your upper back and mid-back. Do not allow your back to tilt.

Do 3 sets of 12 reps.

Wide dumbbell row

You will need to hold a dumbbell in your hands and hinge at the waist. Your upper body should be aligned with the ground at a 20-degree angle. Your palms should face your thighs. Your neck should remain neutral. Let the dumbbells hang in front of your face.

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Row with your elbows bent at 90 degrees. Pull your elbows up towards the sky. At the top, squeeze your shoulder blades together.

Continue to do 12 reps, returning to the beginning.

Barbell deadlift

Standing behind the barbell, place your feet shoulder-width apart.

Keep your chest up and begin to hinge at your hips. Slowly bend your knees to grab the barbell. With your palms facing up, grab the bar in an overhand grip.

Keep your feet flat on a hard surface and push back upwards to get back to the starting position. Throughout the entire movement, your back should be straight. Your shoulders should be straight.

You can return to the original position by pushing your hips back, bending your knees and bringing the barbell to the ground.

Do 3 sets of 12 reps.

Hyperextension

Place your abdomen on the ball and lie down on it. To keep your balance, press the balls of both your feet into ground.

Spread your arms out in front. Slowly raise your upper body towards the sky by bending at your waist. Engage your core and glutes. Keep your feet on and off the ground.

When you reach the top, pause and then slowly descend.

Do 3 sets of 12 reps.

Good morning’

Good mornings is another lower-back-targeting exercise. The movement mirrors bowing to say hello. This is a more difficult exercise, so don’t start with weight.

Directions

 Single-arm dumbbell row

To really engage your back muscles, you can stabilize yourself on a bench and perform a single arm row. You can challenge yourself to add weight, but you should still be aware of your form.

Directions

Renegade dumbbell row

This move will test your core by asking you to hold a plank as you row.

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Directions

Wood chop

The wood chop is a triple whammy for your core and arms. Start with 10 pounds of dumbbells or medicine balls.

Directions

TRX row

The TRX row requires you to be able to balance and maintain your weight. It’s easy to use and suitable for all abilities.

Directions

Superman

Supermans can be deceivingly hard.

Directions

Reverse fly

The reverse fly moves strengthens the posture muscles, which are so vital for everyday health.

Directions

  • With a dumbbell in one hand, hold the dumbbell in the other. Keep your torso at a 45-degree angle to the ground. The dumbbells will hang from your chest, palms facing the other. Keep your elbows slightly bent.
  • Engage your core and lift your arms upwards, reaching your shoulders high.
  • Slowly return to your starting position while maintaining control over the weights. Do 3 sets of 12 reps.

Pullup

The unassisted pullup is a classic back exercise that requires strength. If you aren’t strong enough, bring in reinforcements by using a pullup belt to help with the exercise.

Directions

  • Place your hands slightly wider than shoulder width apart on a pullup bar.
  • Place your feet on the floor or in the assistance band. Then, hang your body from the bars by benting your arms and pulling your elbows towards the ground.
  • When your chin touches the bar, raise your arms and lower your body.
  • Do 3 sets of 10 reps.

Plank

Planks are often thought of as a core exercise, but they can be used to strengthen your entire body. To hold the position, they engage the deep back muscles (the erector Spinae).

Directions

  • Place your elbows on the ground, forearms extended and your legs extended in a plank position. Support your weight with your forearms and toes.
  • From head to toe, your body should be straight. To ensure that your hips don’t sag

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