Best Exercise for the Back
If you want to look strong and toned, back exercises are essential. This area is made up of various muscles which require attention in order to make your back look great and to also enhance the definition of other areas such as arms. So, you should not leave back exercises out of your routine.
But what is the best exercise for the back? What do you need to consider when exercising? This area is not always addressed during training, so knowing the best way to strengthen your muscles is ideal, especially for beginners. Find out in this OneHowTo.com article the best exercise for the back.
Rowing with a barbell or pulley, a complete exercise
Rowing is a highly beneficial exercise and must be included in your routine if your goal is to strengthen and tone your back. You can do this in various ways, but OneHowTo recommends two basic and simple ways: performing movements using a barbell or pulley.
- Seated rowing with a pulley
Similar to the movement you would make if you were paddling on a boat, seated rowing with a pulley is a good alternative for those who prefer to strengthen their muscles with the use of a machine. This exercise works the trapezius, posterior deltoids, teres major, rhomboids and the latissimus dorsi muscles.
You must choose a weight that you can pull to exercise your muscles without overloading them. Your back should be straight and chest slightly out to perform the exercise properly. It is recommended that you do 4 sets of 15 repetitions.
- Rowing with a barbell
To perform this exercise, you need to bend your knees slightly, keep your buttocks tight and lean slightly forward. Take hold of the barbell by placing your hands at a greater width than your shoulders, lift it up to the height of your navel with bent elbows, return to the starting position and repeat. This exercise will work the trapezius, teres major, posterior deltoids, latissimus dorsi and the backbone of the spine, so it is a very complete exercise.
Perform 4 sets of 12 repetitions.
Deadweight for a strong back
The dead weight is one of the best back exercises and is an ideal choice for strengthening the lumbar region, as well as to work different areas of the legs.
To do this, you must stand holding a barbell that has a weight you can work with. Separate your legs a little, and with your arms at a similar width apart to your shoulders, squat down to grab the bar, allowing your back's weight to drop down. Hold onto the barbell and lift it up until you are stood straight, then repeat the crouching movement to place it back down on the floor.
When you squat, this exercise strengthens your lumbar muscles while working the glutes, hamstrings, semitendinosus and semimembranosus. When lifting the barbell, you also work the trapezius, rhomboid major, teres major and latissimus dorsi, which is a complete solution for the upper and lower body.
Perform 4 sets of 10 repetitions each.
Pull-ups, a classic
Pull-ups are one of the most classic and effective exercises for the back. However, they are not easy to perform with a simple bar, which is why you can find pull-up machines in gyms that allow you to work with less weight than your own body weight, thus making the movement easier whilst strengthening this area.
The most important thing is that your hands are well spaced apart and your jaw reaches the bar, before returning to the starting position. Since this exercise for the back requires you to lift the weight of your entire body with just the strength of your arms and back, this exercise can be tricky for beginners or those whose weigh is heavier. It is recommended that you use the machine to do 4 sets of 10 repetitions each.
The muscles used to perform pull-ups are the biceps, teres major and minor, infraspinatus, latissimus dorsi, lower trapezius and rhomboids.
Chest pull-downs, an alternative to pull-ups
If you absolutely can't do pull-ups with a bar and you don't have access to a pull-ups machine, then chest pull-downs or lat pull-downs are a good alternative which deliver results, although are not as effective as the exercise recommended above.
With your hands wide apart, hold the pulley bar and bring it towards the chest. For this movement, your elbows should move backwards and your chest should expand. It is important to lean slightly backwards to perform the movement correctly.
Chest pull-downs work the biceps, teres major and latissimus dorsi. It is recommended that you do 4 sets of 15 repetitions each.
Physical activities that help to strengthen your back
In addition to these exercises to strengthen the back, some activities can help to tone this area, for example:
- Doing yoga.
- Practising Pilates.
- Performing tai-chi.
Recommendations for exercising the back
To achieve the goal of strengthening your back, it is important you consider some basic recommendations:
- Like any other muscle group, the back should not be exercised daily. You must have at least one day of rest to avoid overloading the muscles involved and causing any discomfort.
- The weight load should be progressively increased as you gain strength, you should also work the muscles slowly and avoid lifting too heavy a weight.
- It is important that you carry out movements carefully and correctly, so as to avoid injuries in this area.
- Do not forget to eat properly and complete your training with a good weights routine and the best exercises for toning your arms.
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