Feeling like training your back at home? With resistance band back exercises you won't leave anything behind.
You can train all the back muscles like at the gym with this complete back workout.
From lumbar muscles, to lats, rhomboids and traps...with just a pair of elastics we can target each of these muscles and here we're going to see how.
Back muscles are one of the biggest muscles in our body and they deserve good training right?
With resistance bands back exercises we can focus the workout on specific areas of our back:
- Bent Over Rows
- Seated Rows
- Standing Rows
- Lat Pulldown
- Straight Arm Pulldown
- Reverse Fly
- Upright Rows
- Lumbar Extension
Are you impressed? You should be...these are ten really good exercises to strengthen your back and build muscle without any expensive equipment!
Compound Resistance Band Back Exercises
Yes, there are quite a few compound resistance band back exercises that we can comfortably do at home, and we don't need dumbbells, barbells, expensive machines or home gyms.
Along with squats, deadlifts is the second most complete exercise that I can think of.
It is considered mainly a back exercise (if we have to pick a category), but it works our legs too. Let's see how to do it with resistance bands.
First you need to grasp the two handles and step on the elastic. Then you squat down like in the picture, keeping your back rigid, nice and straight as you stick your butt out. Keep your chin up all the time, don't start looking down at your feet.
The elastic has to be short to provide some good resistance because it has to be in tension as you hold the handles just a few inches from the floor.
To do this, you can either wrap the band around your feet a couple of times, or step on it near the two end, leaving the rest loose behind.
Your feet should be flat on the ground, shoulder wide or even less.
From that squat position extend your legs first (while you're still bent forward). When your legs are extended it becomes a lower back exercise.
In fact you have to extend your lower back to go to the upright position. At that point you can throw in a shrug for your traps.
To return to the initial position you do the opposite movement: first you bend forward, then you lower your body squatting down.
Your back is rigid the whole time, don't make the mistake of curving it.
With resistance band back exercises we have the chance to also train the lats with the lat pulldown workout, which helps building the body V shape.
We need a high hook, top of the door is perfect but you need the door hook.
Then you have to go down on your knees, face the door and grasp the handles. Your back should always be rigid, slightly arched forward.
Then, pull down to your chest, squeezing the shoulder blades.
Return to the initial position.
Bent Over Rows
Same for bent over rows, you need to make the elastic short for the initial position.
You need to step on the elastic and bend over as you grasp the handles, and keep your back rigid and chin up.
From there you just pull the handles straight up and stop when you feel the squeeze in your shoulder blades. Then you return to the initial position.
Please note that your knees are slightly bent.
The same type of exercise (that works the middle back muscles, and biceps as secondary muscles) can be done in a seated position.
Imagine to just rotate your body of 90 degrees counter clockwise.
That means you seat on the floor with the elastic wrapped around your feet a couple of times, and pull like this.
We conclude the row resistance band back exercises with the last form which is executed in standing position.
You need to anchor the elastic to a mid-height hook, and the door anchor comes very handy here. In my demonstration I just used the railing, but even a column in the house or in your basement can do it.
You need to be at a certain distance to make the tension in the band and extend your arms forward as you hold the handles.
Slightly bend your knees and pull towards you. Squeeze the shoulder blades as always, then return to the initial position.
With standing rows I am sure you will also feel the burn in your upper back (traps) and remember, the higher the hook, the more you will feel it...especially if you keep your palms facing down like me here, and elbows up.
Standard standing rows should be done with palms facing each other, and elbows close to your sides.
Resistance Band Back Exercises for Traps
Let's move on to demonstrate how to work our traps with elastic bands.
There are two exercises for this purpose (beside the deadlifts, if you do the shrug in the end).
I am talking about upright rows and shrugs.
Upright rows with resistance bands are straightforward. In the initial position you step on the elastic and grasp the handles. Your back is upright and your knees slightly bent.
The movement is simple, pull the handles up to your chin, but keep your elbows high.
That's it, then return to the initial position.
Note: I grab the opposite handle to make it a crossed upright row exercise, it actually makes the movement "smoother".
Shrugs is the simplest of all the resistance band back exercises and it's clear to see why.
Grasp the handles and step on the elastic. The closer you step to the handles the more resistance you make.
Then, just raise your shoulders as much as you can and feel the squeeze in your traps...do you need more explanation?
Just look at the pictures below...
Lumbar Resistance Band Back Exercises
Let's not forget to train our lower back with this extra exercises for lumbars.
Bent Over Lumbar Extension
If you have a door hook I would suggest to use it, and anchor your resistance band to the bottom of the door.
If you don't have one, you can step on the elastic like you do for bent over row, for example.
Anyway, once the elastic is anchored to the bottom hook, step back and bend over (don't hit the door!).
With this exercise we actually have to grasp the elastic itself, close to the hook. If you do it without the hook then you can wrap the elastic a couple of times around your feet and actually grab the handles.
Your legs should be extended, or very slightly bent.
The movement consists in extending your lower back till you get to the upright position.
Keep your chin up, don't look down, and don't curve your back...keep it rigid instead.
Other Resistance Band Back Exercises
There is one more resistance band back exercises that I want to mention, and it is the straight arm pulldown.
It works the lats too, but I left it last because it's not a compound exercises but an isolation one.
Straight Arm Pulldown
The straight arm pulldown is the opposite of front raises for shoulders.
You keep using the high hook like for lat pulldowns, but you stand up now. Grasp the handles and keep your arms straight in front of you.
Now pull down always keeping your arms straight.
It is important to find a good stable position, and I suggest to bend your knees a bit, and slightly bend forward as well (if you use high resistance).
Oh, I forgot to say that your palms face down the whole time.
If you need advice choosing the right elastic bands, trust me and go with these stackable ones. They come in a set with door hook (which allows us to do so many more resistance band exercises) and ankle straps.