Don’t overlook the importance of a strong and well-toned back. It plays a pivotal role in overall health and posture. A strong back not only supports your spine but also enhances your posture and contributes significantly to your overall strength. To attain this, incorporating back-focused exercises into your routine is essential.
According to Jashan Vij, a Health and Fat Loss Coach, performing a dedicated back workout helps to strengthen back muscles and spine, thereby reducing the risk of back and neck pain and preventing muscle imbalances.
“A strong back provides stability to the spine and bolsters the body during various movements, whether in daily life or physical activities.”
We have listed a few best exercises that you can perform both at home and in the gym to achieve a toned back and a stronger spine.
Back workout at home
Perform these 5 back workout exercises at home to tone and strengthen your back!
The Superman exercise is an excellent starting point for building back strength. It targets the lower back (lower back pain) muscles and helps improve posture. To perform this exercise, lie face down with your arms extended in front of you. Lift your chest, arms, and legs off the ground together, resembling a flying position. Hold for a few seconds, then lower back down. Repeat for a set of 12-15 repetitions.
While planks primarily work your core, they also engage your entire back, helping to stabilize and strengthen it. To do a plank, get into a push-up position with your weight supported on your forearms and toes. Keep your body in a straight line from head to toe, engaging your core and back muscles. Hold for as long as you can, aiming to increase your time gradually.
3. Push-up hold
The push-up hold is an isometric exercise that targets your upper back and shoulders. Begin in a push-up position, but instead of doing reps, hold the position with your arms fully extended. Focus on squeezing your shoulder blades together to engage your upper back. Hold for 20-30 seconds and repeat for 3-4 sets.
4. Dumbbell deadlift
Deadlifts are a classic exercise for building overall strength, and they particularly target your lower back and tone glutes. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keeping your back straight, bend at the hips and knees to lower the dumbbells toward the ground. Then, stand up straight, lifting the dumbbells back to the starting position. Perform 3 sets of 8-10 repetitions.
5. Bird dog
The bird dog exercise helps improve balance and stability while strengthening your lower back and core. Start on your hands and knees in a tabletop position. Simultaneously stretch your right arm forward and your left leg backward, maintaining a straight back. Hold for a few seconds, then return to the starting position. Repeat with the opposite arm and leg. Perform 10-12 reps per side for 2-3 sets.
Back workout for gym
Here are 5 back-toning exercises to perform at the gym that can help tone and strengthen your back:
Pull ups are a compound exercise that primarily targets the latissimus dorsi (lats), the large muscles on the sides of your back. To perform it, hang from a pull-up bar with your palms facing away in an overhand grip and hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Engage your core and pull your body upward until your chin is above the bar. Lower your body back down with control. You can also perform this exercise at home if you have a pull-up bar. Aim for 3 sets of 6-8 repetitions.
2. Dumbbell squat
Dumbbell squats, a dynamic exercise, are excellent for toning the back and strengthening the spine. To gain dumbbell squats benefits, stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder level. Bend your knees and hips, lowering your body as if sitting back in a chair. Keep your back straight, chest up, and knees aligned with your toes. Push through your heels to return to a standing position. Repeat for desired reps.
3. Lat pull down
Vij says, “The lat pull-down machine is another great way to target your lats and strengthen them.” To perform this exercise, sit at a lat pull-down machine and grip the bar with hands wider than shoulder-width apart. Keep your chest up and pull the bar down toward your chest while focusing on using your back muscles. Slowly release the bar. Aim for 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions.
4. Straight arm cable pull down
The straight-arm cable pull down targets your lats and engages your entire back. It helps develop the width of your back muscles and improves the mind-muscle connection. To do this exercise, stand facing a high pulley cable machine. Attach a straight bar or rope to the pulley. Grasp the bar or rope with an overhand grip, arms fully extended. Step back a bit to create tension. Without bending your arms, pull the bar or rope down in front of you while engaging your lats. Squeeze your shoulder blades together at the bottom of the movement and slowly release the bar back up. Perform 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions.
5. Weighted hyperextension
Vij says, “The weighted hyperextension exercise primarily targets your erector spinae muscles, which run along your spine and keep your spine strong.” Position yourself on a hyperextension bench, securing your legs and hips. Cross your arms over your chest or hold a weight plate against your chest. Hinge at your hips, keeping your back straight, and lower your torso toward the ground. Keep your glutes and lower back engaged. Lift your torso back up to align with your legs, avoiding overextension at the top.
Add these exercises to your daily workout routine and it will reduce the risk of back or spine pain, stiffness, and lack of mobility.