Working the Back Muscles, a Stronger Back makes for a Healthy more Enjoyable Life.

Part of the You Can Learn Weightlifting series.
By Ken Brown
September 6, 2004

     If you have ever over done it on the weekend, you know how painful a sore back can be. This section is all about the back What exercises should you do? What is the proper form? How many repetitions should you do? What muscles are affected by this exercise and where are those muscles? How many sets should the person looking for a slim trim body do compared to the serious weight trainer and hardcore bodybuilder?

It is all included in this tutorial about weightlifting exercises for the back. We will show you photos of each exercise and show you the proper form and technique so you get the best workout possible.
These exercises strengthen your back muscles, latissimus dorsi and trapezius. these workouts for the back are proven exercises designed to maximize your back muscles.

The next time you have to move a chair downstairs, you will be able to get out of bed the next morning. Work slowly but consistently toward a long term goal of strengthening your back and you will feel the rewards for many years afterwards.

As always, if you haven't exercised in a long time or you have long standing medical problems, be sure and see a doctor before starting this or any exercise routine.
Back Workout - Wide Grip Row
  • Stand over a barbell with your feet shoulder length apart hands far apart.
  • Slightly bend your knees to pick up the barbell and lift with your knees.
  • Bending over slightly at the waist, keep your back straight.
  • Lift the barbell toward your chest while trying to bring your shoulder blades together.
  • Hold for one second.
  • Slowly straighten your arms.
  • Repeat 6 to 12 times.
  • For conditioning and good health do 2 sets
  • BodyBuilders do 3 to 5 sets
Back Workout - Good Morning
  • This is an advanced exercise use caution
  • Place a barbell on your shoulders
  • With your feet slightly apart, your knees slightly bent and your back straight
  • Bend at the waist using your stomach muscles.
  • Then straighten your back using your lower back and stomach muscles.
  • Most people need to start very slowly with 1 to 3 repetitions until they become stronger.
  • For conditioning and good health do 2 sets
  • BodyBuilders do 3 to 5 sets
Back Workout - Toe Touch
  • This is the toe touch you did as a child only with weights.
  • Start by holding dumbbells at your side with arms slightly bent.
  • Feet should be a little wider than shoulder length apart.
  • Knees can be slightly bent.
  • using your back and stomach muscles, touch your left toe with the weight in your right hand.
  • Come back to full standing.
  • Touch your right foot with the weight in your left hand.
  • Repeat 6 to 12 repetitions.
  • Remember we are working the back muscles so start with low weights or no weights and work up.
  • For conditioning and good health do 2 sets
  • BodyBuilders do 3 to 5 sets
Back Workout - One Arm Dumbbell Row
  • Put your left knee and left hand onto a weight bench
  • Pick up a dumbbell with your right hand
  • Keeping your back straight
  • Lift the dumbbell straight up keeping your arm close to your body.
  • When it is touching your chest, hold for one second
  • Slowly move weight back down till arm is almost fully extended.
  • Repeat 6 to 12 times.
  • For conditioning and good health do 2 sets
  • BodyBuilders do 3 to 5 sets
Back Workout - Seated Row with Machine
  • Sit down on floor or on machine's bench facing tower.
  • Hold the lat bar with your hands over the top.
  • Keeping your back straight pull the bar toward you.
  • Try to pinch your shoulder blades together
  • Hold for one second.
  • Slowly straighten your arms, not fully extended.
  • Repeat 6 to 12 times.
  • For conditioning and good health do 2 sets
  • BodyBuilders do 3 to 5 sets
Back Workout - Dumbbell Swing
  • This is another very dangerous exercise if over done or done incorrectly.
  • Use caution.
  • It is a good exercise for the weekend warrior as it prepares you for weekend tasks.
  • Stand with your legs slightly more than shoulder width apart.
  • Bend down and pick up a dumbbell (Start with small weights.)
  • Keeping your back straight
  • Use your stomach and back muscles to slingshot the weight above your head, keeping your arms slightly bent
  • Hold weight above head for one second and slowly bring back down between your legs.
  • Repeat at first 1 to 3 times, then build up to 6 to 12 times.
  • For conditioning and good health do 2 sets
  • BodyBuilders do 3 to 5 sets
Back Workout - Lat Pull Down
  • Sit on the bench facing the tower.
  • Grab the lat bar with a wide grip, overhand grip
  • Pull the lat bar down to your chest, keeping your back straight
  • When it is touching your chest, hold for one second
  • Slowly move weight back to starting position
  • Repeat 6 to 12 times.
  • For conditioning and good health do 2 sets
  • BodyBuilders do 3 to 5 sets

Remember to start slow with small weights, just because you lifted 200 pounds as a 20 year old doesn't mean you have to begin at that weight. Try 10 pounds or 20 pounds and work up from there. The back muscles play such an integral part in everything we do, that you don't want to mess that up. If you haven't weightlifted in a long time or have never weightlifted, then start small. I can't stress that enough. These exercises can be very dangerous if not done correctly or with the proper weight.

These back workouts as presented above are proven winners. Back exercises that build the latissimus dorsi and trapezius muscles. Your muscles will benefit from these workouts for the back, designed for weightlifters, bodybuilders and people looking to tone their bodies.

I want to encourage you to have fun in your quest for a better, stronger, more fit body and back. Sometimes, you will have to take a day off. Listen to your body, after a long weekend doing yard work and playing with family and friends and your body is screaming for a rest, take a day off from your weightlifting routine and relax and let your body recover. Always think long term in your exercising goals.

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