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When was the last time you intentionally worked out your back? It’s common to prioritize exercises that work on the body parts you can visibly see in the mirror, but this could mean you’re neglecting your back! 

Strengthening your back muscles are essential for improved posture as well as proper form in nearly all other workouts. 

Diagram of the muscles in the back.


There are 4 major muscle groups that make up your back. When working out your back, the main four muscles to target are:

1. Latissimus Dorsi (Aka your Lats)

Your lat muscles are located below your armpits and run down the sides of your back.

Exercises that fire up your lats include: 

  • Lat Pulldown
  • Overhead Lat Pull (in video)
  • Pull-ups
  • Bent-Over Row (in video)
  • Deadlift (in video)
  • Renegade Row

2. Rhomboids (Mid-upper Back)

Your rhomboid muscles can be found at your upper back between your shoulder blades.

Exercises that fire up your lats include: 

  • Wall Slides
  • Scapular Retractions
  • Rear Delt Flys
  • Superman Pull (in video)
  • Prone Snow Angel (in video)
  • Face Pull
  • Front Raise (thumbs up)

3. Trapezius (Aka your Traps)

Your trap muscles run from your neck down to your mid-back.

Exercises that fire up your traps include: 

  • Farmer Carry
  • Pull-Up Shrug
  • Barbell Shrug
  • Lateral Raise
  • Bent-Over Row (in video)
  • Overhead Carry
  • Superman (in video)

4. Erector Spinae

Your erector spinae are the muscles that run down either side of your spine.

Exercises that fire up your erector spinae muscles: 

  • Deadlift (in video)
  • Bent-Over Row (in video)
  • Good Mornings
  • Back Extension
  • Hip Bridge
  • Superman (in video)
  • Kettlebell Swings
  • Frog Lifts (in video)

Now that you have a library of exercises to pull from, you can easily add some into your workouts! 

If you want to try a quick back-focused workout that strengthens all 4 major muscle groups, check out the video below. It’s a simple and super effective sequence to try from anywhere! For the weighted exercises, use a kettlebell, dumbbell, or anything else you have on hand.

WORKOUT:

Complete 2-3 rounds of the following exercises:

  1. Deadlift (20 reps)
  1. Bent-Over Row Right (10 reps)
  1. Bent-Over Row Left (10 reps)
  1. Overhead Lat Pull (20 reps)
  1. Prone Snow Angel (20 reps)
  1. Superman Pull (20 reps)
  1. Frog Lifts (20 reps)
  1. Bonus: Hip Bridge or Wheel Pose (30-second hold)

Your back deserves just as much love and attention as the rest of your body! Don’t forget to intentionally fire up your lats, rhomboids, traps, and erector spinae every once in a while!

Try out these 6 exercises to strengthen all major back muscles:

  1. Deadlift
  2. Bent Over Row
  3. Overhead Lat Pullover
  4. Prone Snow Angel
  5. Superman Pull
  6. Frog Lifts

You might also be interested in: To Foam Roll Or Not To Foam Roll?

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Posted 
Apr 23, 2020
 in 
Health & Wellness
 category

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