What Are The Best Bodyweight Back Exercises That You Need To Include In Your Workout

Have you ever experienced going to the gym with the plan of spending just an hour of your time there but when you get there, every single machine and bench are already taken, and you end up spending 2-3 hours in the gym just to get an hour of workout done? Well, we have a more time efficient solution for that—bodyweight back exercises!

Instead of wasting your precious gym time waiting for the gym addicts to finish using up the equipment and bench, you should do these bodyweight moves instead. If you are planning to train your back hard and effectively, there are plenty of back exercises that await you! Read on to discover everything you need to know about bodyweight exercises for your back.


What Are The Best Bodyweight Back Exercises That You Need To Include In Your Workout

Why Do Bodyweight Exercises?

Bodyweight Back Exercises

Many people are doubtful about the effects of bodyweight exercises but for your information, performing this type of exercises will actually provide you with plenty of benefits. Just like using weight machines, you can enjoy the usual benefits of building muscle mass, improving heart health, improving mood, maintaining cognitive function, and boosting joint and bone health. But bodyweight exercises are a lot better than machine exercises in various ways. Here are some of them:

  • It Is Much More Convenient

When you do machine exercises, you have to wait in line to use the machine. When you do bodyweight exercises, you no longer have to hit the gym, and you can do the exercises right at the comforts of your home, so it is much more convenient. Not to mention, accessible and easily modifiable.

  • Only Minimal Requirement Is Needed

You do not have to shell out money for gym memberships. All you need is a free space and your body, and you are good to go!

  • It Offers A Wider Range Of Motion

Since you will be using your body weight, it will be easy for you to engage multiple types of muscles simultaneously and because of this, you would have a wider range of motion.

  • It Is A Lot More Forgiving

Honestly, bodyweight exercises are a lot more versatile. Since there is no machine involved, you can easily taper the exercise to suit your physical ability level.

What Are The Best Bodyweight Back Exercises To Try?

So, we may now already have convinced you that bodyweight exercises are better than your usual machine exercises. But if you wish to train your back, what are the best bodyweight back exercises that you can try? Well, we have some excellent recommendations below:

1. The Stick Up

This back exercise targets the rhomboids and latissimus dorsi.

How to do this: Stand straight with your back against the wall. Raise your hands in a stick-up position. Slowly and gently bring your arms down. You should take four seconds to bring your arms down and do not forget to squeeze your shoulder blades as you do. Hold the position (with your arms down) for a second then take another four seconds to bring it back up. The back must be against the wall the whole time you are doing this.

2. Reverse Push Ups

This type of pushup focuses on working your l eg muscles, triceps and back muscles.

How to do this: Sit on an exercise mat. Place your hands behind your hips, about 6 inches away. Bend your knees and plant feet flat on the floor. Raise your hips a few inches off the floor by pushing your hands against the floor. From this starting position, lower your hips to the floor by bending your elbows. Just lightly touch the floor with your rear end then lift your hips back again and return to starting position.

3. Supine Planks

This bodyweight back exercises actually engages our least utilized muscles including obliques, hamstrings, glutes and lower back.

How to do this: Lie on your back. Place your forearms and elbows at the sides and keep your torso angled up. Plank into a straight line by engaging your glutes and shoulder blades. It is only your elbows and heels that must be in contact with the floor. Hold the position for 60 seconds.

4. Elbow Raise

This bodyweight back exercise engages the trapezius and rhomboid muscles.

How to do this: Lie on your back with your elbows bent and place your arms at slightly narrower than shoulder width apart. Shoulders and upper back should be flat on the ground. Slowly raise your shoulders and head off the floor. This is done by pushing your elbows into the floor. However, you must keep your feet flat on the floor but avoid pushing it against the floor. Hold the position for two seconds as you engage your rhomboid and trapezius muscles.

5. Superman

This simple back exercise targets the erector spinae and upper abdominals.

How to do this: Lie on your stomach, placing your arms on the sides, and your legs extended straight, and feet close together. Raise your legs and arms simultaneously off the floor. The core and hips must remain in contact with the floor. As you hold the position, concentrate on engaging and squeezing your rhomboids and lat muscles. As you raise your legs, you should be contracting your glutes. Hold this position for two seconds.


When it comes to making your exercises more time efficient, accessible and versatile, bodyweight back exercises trump the machine exercises that you are performing at the gym. It is better than your usual exercises as it offers a lot of benefits including convenience, minimal requirements, a wider range of motion and versatility.

If you wish to work out your back muscles, the best bodyweight back exercises that you can choose from are Superman, elbow raises, supine planks, the stick-up and reverse push ups. To protect yourself from injury, it is recommended that you practice proper precautions including wearing back brace for lifting, warming up and cooling down.

Do you have any questions? If you do, our comments section is wide open for you. Feel free to share all your concerns there!

Emily Brathen

Hi there! I'm Emily Brathen. I am a fitness and yoga instructor and a mom of one. Despite my hectic schedule, I still find time for doing the thing I love most - fitness and yoga. I love doing and teaching fitness and yoga because in my own little way, I am able to encourage people to take health and fitness back into their own hands.

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