7 resistance band exercises to build a strong back

It’s not uncommon for a training plan to have a designated “arm day” or “leg day,” so why do we shorten the back?

A strong back is crucial for athletic performance and good posture, not to mention everyday activities – just try working out with someone who’s sore or injured. And nothing advertises your dedication to fitness like a set of traps.

But due to the limitations of an “out of sight, out of mind” mentality, many of us ignore the muscles in our back that we can easily see in the mirror.

Whether you take the time to look over your shoulder or not, your back is there… and it needs your attention!

To get a strong, artistic back, you need to challenge it with different movements.

Fortunately, you can build a dynamic workout around just one inexpensive piece of equipment: resistance bands.

Here are eight of the best resistance band back exercises.

1. Straight-arm lat pull-down

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  • Secure a resistance band with handles to a stable, immovable object just above head height. (A door works best if there are door anchors for resistance bands.)
  • Hold the handles extended in front of you and with your palms facing down. Move back until you feel tension in the band. This position begins.
  • Keeping your chest up, shoulders down and arms straight, simultaneously pull both handles to your sides. Pause, and then return to the starting position.

2. Band pull-aparts

  • Grasp the ends of a large resistance band with both hands, palms down. (If your band has handles, hold the actual band under the handles to create extra tension.)
  • Standing with your feet slightly apart, straighten your arms and raise them in front of you to shoulder height. This position begins.
  • Engage your core, open your arms at your sides and squeeze your shoulder blades together to separate the band.
  • Slowly bring your arms back to the starting position.

3. Reverse fly

  • Secure the middle of a resistance band with the handles of a stationary object about chest height.
  • Grab the handles of the band and straighten your arms in front of you with your arms facing each other while maintaining a slight bend in your elbows. Move back until you feel tension in the band. This position begins.
  • Engage your core and squeeze your shoulder blades together as you open your arms at your sides.
  • Slowly bring your arms back to the starting position.

4. Seated rows

  • Sit with your feet together on the floor and extended straight out in front of you. Loop the center of a resistance band with handles around the soles of both feet, then wrap the ends of the band around the center of each foot to create additional resistance.
  • Sit up straight, engage your core and, palms facing each other, squeeze your shoulder blades together and pull both hands toward your rib cage.
  • Release your arms, allowing your arms to return to the starting position.

5. Row of resistance

Resistance queue  Back workout

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart in the center of a resistance band with handles. Wrap one end of the band around the center of each foot and hold the handles so your palms are facing each other.
  • Bend your knees slightly and lean forward at the hips at about 45 degrees, keeping your back straight.
  • Keep your core engaged and your back straight as you pull your hands into your rib cage, squeezing your shoulder blades together at the top.
  • Release your arms and repeat.

6. Superman Lat Pull

Superman Lat Pull Down |  Resistance band back exercise

  • Holding the end of a light resistance band in each hand, lie on your stomach with your arms extended overhead, chest and arms off the floor, and palms facing down. This is your starting position.
  • Keeping both arms straight, trace a semi-circle with your right arm, extending it straight out to the side and down toward your right thigh. Your left arm should be straight up.
  • Reverse the move, slowly returning to the starting position.
  • Repeat with your left arm and repeat equally on both sides.

7. Bird Dog Press

Bird Dog Press  Resistance band back exercise

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart in the center of a resistance band with handles. Wrap one end of the band around the center of each leg.
  • With a handle in each hand, get on your hands and knees with your hands directly below your shoulders and your knees directly below your hips.
  • Extend your banded arm in front of you and your banded leg behind you, keeping your core braced and back flat. Pause, then return to the starting position.
  • Perform all reps on one side, switch arms and legs and repeat.

Work these resistance band back exercises into your existing routine or do them back to back (ha!) for an effective workout you can do anywhere.

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