What are the best bodyweight back exercises to do at home?
Although there are tons of exercises to choose from, some are way more effective then others.
Read on, and I’ll show you THE BEST 9 exercises and one killer bodyweight back workout – that can be completed within the comfort of your own livingroom.
What are the Best Bodyweight Back Exercises to do at Home?
If you missed out on my massive guide on bodyweight exercises for beginners, be sure to check it out and bookmark it before reading on!
Okay, let’s work that back of yours!
The spine twist is a easy workout that allows you to tone your back muscles without any fuzz. In order to do this workout, all you will need s a floor to sit on.
Yeah, that’s really all!
The first step is to sit on the floor with your legs extended outward in front of you. Lift both of your arms at shoulder height (at the sides), and twist your body slowly to the left and then the right.
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Flex your core, ONLY your back should be twisting. The rest of your body should hold it’s position throughout the movement.
Complete this at least 8 times for each side.
Squats are the perfect exercise for both building strong legs and toning your back. They not only strength your back and leg muscles, but they will also work your core.
Squats are done by raising your arms in front of you at shoulder level. Stand with your feet apart the same distance, or width, as your shoulders.
Keeping your back and form as straight as possible, move downwards and get your hips as close to the floor as you can (as if you were about to sit in a chair).
If you’re worried that you cannot keep your form, you can place something behind your neck and across your shoulders. A broomstick would be perfect for this.
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Pro tip: If you need some additional weight: Either wear a weighted vest or fill you good ol’ backpack with the heaviest books from your shelf.
You’ve just added massive resistance!
Bed Sheet Inverted Row
The inverted row is an exercise that helps strengthen and tone your upper back.
If you do not go to a gym or own any gym equipment for at home workouts, you can complete this exercise by using a doorway and a bed sheet.
Doorway and a bed sheet you say?
Okay, let me explain..:
In order to do this, tie and knot the one end of the sheet and shut the end of the sheet in a door.
You will be on the opposite side of the door than the knot.Now you will see a large amount of sheet in front of you.
The next thing to do is grab the sheet with both hands and incline backwards at a comfortable and manageable angle. Using your strength and the sheet, pull yourself up as far as you can and return to the inclined angle.
Repeat this approximately 15 times.
Dumbbell Bent-Over Row
In order to complete this exercise, you will need to find weighted objects that will replace dumbbells.
A variety of household items can be used to replace dumbbells such as:
- cans of soup,
- bags of onions, rice, or potatoes,
- bottles of laundry detergent,
- milk jugs,
- and more………..
For this exercise, stand with your feet at shoulder-width and keep your arms at your sides.
With one weighed object in each hand, you will slightly bend your knees and push your hips back. Then, bend forward at your hips while keeping your back straight.
At this point, you can allow your arms and weights hand down beneath you (as if you were to touch the floor). Keep your hands at knee level, and ensure that your knuckles are outward.
Next, pull the weighted objects straight up to your sides and keep your torso straight (your arms will move as if you were doing a pushup in the air).
In this exercise, the only thing you are moving is your arms.
Keeping your back straight and your core tight, slowly lower the weights back to the original position, and complete 15 repetitions.
Bed Back Extensions
Back extensions strengthen and stretch your lower back.
Although there is equipment that is usually used for this exercise, there is a way it can be done without a gym or any equipment.
A household item that can be used to complete a back extension is a bed or something flat and sturdy to lay on.
The first step is to lay on your bed horizontally. You will lay with half of your body off the edge of the bed and half of your body on the bed (on your stomach) – usually your upper hip area is where you start to hang off the bed.
Criss-cross your arms in an X formation across your chest. The part of your body that is hanging off your bed will be angled towards the floor.
Using your strength and back muscles, you will go from this angle and lift yourself to be level with the bed.
Repeat this step 15 times.
NB! If not performed correctly, back extensions can inflict injuries to your back. Make sure to keep a good form throughout the whole movement, keeping your core engaged and back straight!
“The back extension exercise is a maneuver utilized to work the erector spinae and other smaller stabilizing muscles of the back. Strengthening these muscles is important for a variety of reasons. Performing the back extension exercise properly will reduce the likelihood of injury and ensure that the target muscles are being worked.”
Reference: livestrong.com – The Purpose of a Back Extension Exercise
Table Body Weight Rows
Another row movement which involves no use of exercise equipment -other than a table.
Lay yourself on your back on the floor, the highest point of your chest positioned paralleled with the edge of the table.
Raise your arms and grab the table edge. Your arms should be a little bit wider than shoulder with.
While exhaling, pull yourself towards the table until your chest touches the table edge. Hold for a second and gently lower yourself to the start position.
Make sure you stay in control of the movement from start to finish, keeping a tight core and good form.
Door Blade Pull Up
Too macho for those other exercises?
Well, then try some door blade pull ups!
Open a door and put a piece of wood or some other solid stuff under the edge of the door. This is to provide the door from going “crash” on you while supporting your bodyweight…
Face yourself towards the door and grab the top of the door blade, arms a little wider than shoulder with apart. Lift your feet and hang.
Now, the hard part:
While exhaling, pull your self up until your chin touches the top of the door. Hold for a second and lower yourself down.
As with all exercises, be sure to maintain a tight core during the whole exercise.
Repeat for as many repetitions as possible.
DO NOT LET YOUR FEET TOUCH THE GROUND UNTIL ALL THE REPETITIONS HAVE BEEN FINISHED!
The Weighted Vest Good Mornings
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Fill a back pack with a whole bunch of good ol’ books. Put on the back pack and make sure it’s fitted properly.
Stand up, feet shoulder width apart. With knees slightly bent, chest out and your tight forward, -slowly push your glutes back and bend forward at the hips.
Make sure your back is nice and flat, and continue to lean forward until your torso is parallel with the floor.
Pause and slowly and controlled return to upright position.
“31 million Americans experience low-back pain at any given time.”
Reference: acatoday.org – Back Pain Facts and Statistics
The No Equipment Bodyweight Back Workout Routine
Now, lets put these baby’s together and create a “no equipment bodyweight back workout day” (puh).
The exercises will be done according to the circuit principle. The sets in each circuit should be done with a 20 seconds brake between them. You are allowed the double, -40 seconds prior to start up of a new round. There will be a total of 5 intense rounds.
Warm up with some burpees, star jumps or any other movement kick-starting your blood flow.
Okay, lets look at the workout:
- Inverted rows with bed sheet 6-10 repetitions
- Back extensions 6-10 repetitions
- Body weight rows 6-10 repetitions
- Door blade pull ups 4-6 repetitions
- Squats 6-10 repetitions
I just love to do my bodyweight back exercises at home!
To be honest, these exercises will not transform you to Mr. Olympia. But if you’re looking for some exercises to do at home to strengthen and shape up that back of yours, -this is it!
Final Words: Now You Know How to Train Your Back at Home
Ready to try out your first bodyweight back exercises at home?
As with most other muscle groups of your body, you do not need any fancy-pansy machinery to strengthen your back.
Did the neanderthals have gym memberships?
And you don’t have to either.
Have a look around in your house and find the needed items as described in this article. Find your favorite training outfit, or even better, -strip down to your underwear…
And finally, START EXERCISE!
PS! If your interested in learning more about bodyweight exercise, be sure to check out my epic bodyweight workout plan for beginners for tons of inspiration!
Other Helpful Resources
- The Ultimate Resource to Strength Training at Home
- What Are The Benefits Of Doing Pull Ups? The Science Behind It’s Effectiveness
- The Popular Curvy Body Workout at Home Routine Revealed!
- The Push Up Academy: Push up Workout for Beginners
- What is the Best Dip Station for Calisthenics: Reviews and Top Picks
- The 10 Best Core Strength Exercises for Lower Back Pain