Back Exercises
For a Tight and Well Toned Body


You can benefit from back exercises in many ways. Your back muscles are designed to provide stability and strength during bending, lifting, and moving through your daily life. An added benefit to exercising your back is a well toned look from the rear view...you may not be able to appreciate the look of your back, but others certainly can.

Are you ready to get started?

There are many exercises designed to tone your back. Follow these 4 simple rules to achieve success:

  1. Work your problem area first before all other muscle groups
  2. Use high intensity, short duration exercises
  3. Attack the muscles from different angles with a variety of exercises
  4. Pay attention to balance: if you’re targeting the back, make sure you work the chest equally as hard

Working the problem area first will help fatigue the muscles prior to them being used as secondary targets in your remaining exercises. Your back muscles are also engaged as secondary muscle groups when performing other upper body exercises such as seated shoulder press and bent lateral raise.

Using high intensity, short duration exercises will help get you in and out of the gym in less than one hour’s time.



There’s truth to the old adage: Variety is the spice of life. Working your back from different angles and using a variety of exercises during each workout will keep the muscles guessing and adjusting to the new routines. This will limit the tendency of your muscles to become accustomed to the same movement, workout after workout, enhancing your progress over time. And hey, adding variety to your workout will keep it fresh and keep you interested – so spice things up!

Balance is another important issue. For every movement there is an agonist and an antagonist. In the case of your back these are your latissimus dorsi and rhomboids (major back muscles) and your pectorals (chest muscles). Said another way, your back muscles are used during ‘pulling’ exercises and your chest muscles are used during ‘pushing’ exercises. While one muscle group is contracting its antagonist is stretching. In order to create balance, you need to work both sides of the equation, so don’t forget about your chest.

Below is a sample workout routine for your back: perform three sets for 10-12 repetitions each

  1. Wide grip chin ups
  2. Bent over barbell row
  3. One arm cable rows (incline motion)

But don’t stop there. For your next workout, switch to different back exercises:

  1. Lat pull downs
  2. Seated rows
  3. Incline bench pull with dumbbells

For your third workout, switch up the exercises once again:

  1. Full range-of-motion lat pull downs with cables
  2. Kneeling cable rows
  3. One arm dumbbell rows

Note: the intensity factor comes in when you use supersets for exercises 1 & 2.

Whether you’re working your back once or twice a week, this is a good way to mix things up and keep your muscles guessing.




Click here for details on how to perform each of the back exercises



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The contents of this site are the opinions of Michele Tse unless otherwise noted. The information on this site is intended for general informational and educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical or nutritional advice or treatment. Please consult your health care practitioner before beginning any fitness program.