12 Best Back Exercises At Home You Can Do Anywhere

Published by Roshan S Pillai on

There are many of us, who have busy lives and can’t go to a gym for many reasons. But you can do various back exercises at home whenever you are free.

So here, I will talk about the 12 best back exercises you can do at home, park, or at any convenient place. These bodyweight back exercises will help you to build strength, size, and give you that proper shape to your back. These exercises will be for the entire back (upper, middle, and lower).

There is also one back workout at the end which you should You can do at home very easily as it is a bodyweight exercise and is very effective. So first let’s talk about the exercises.

Back Exercises at Home

1. Snow Angels

This is a great exercise for your upper back. It will make your posture correct and give you that strong and stable upper back.

Targeted Muscles- latissimus dorsi, rhomboids, posterior deltoids, lower back

How to do

Lay down on a flat surface. Raise your upper and lower body by raising your hands and legs. Your hands should be raised in front. Make sure to squeeze your glutes when you lift the legs. This will be your starting position

Now start moving your hands to the sides as a swimmer does. While moving your hands, squeeze and feel all those upper back muscles getting pumped.

Go slow with this movement. Your main focus should be to do as many slow reps as possible while maintaining the right position and tension on the right muscles.

2. Reverse Snow Angels

This is similar to snow angels but there is a slight change in the movement which will strengthen your internal rotators.

Targeted muscles- Latissimus dorsi, rhomboids, teres major, subscapularis, lower back

How to do

Lay down on a flat surface. Your starting position will be the same as snow angels. Make sure to squeeze your glutes and upper back.

Here, rather than moving your arms with the palm facing forward, you will rotate your hands as you take it backward and come back straight forward while rotating your arms.

This small rotation will make this exercise a lot different than the snow angels. Tell me what difference you found with that rotation in the comment section below!

3. Bird Dog

These in home back exercises are very effective for beginners. I will recommend this exercise to those who have a weak posterior (back) chain.

Targeted muscles- traps, erector spinae, lower back

How to do

Start from a quadruped position where your hands and knees will be on the ground, like a dog. Your wrist and shoulder should be in line. This will be your starting position.

Take your hands and the other leg up slowly by squeezing your back and glutes. You can either stay there for long seconds as a static hold or doing as many reps as possible by taking your hands and legs back down.

Make sure to squeeze your glutes as this will reduce the extra tension on the lower back.

4. Prone Cobra

Another great exercise for your scapular strength and stability. This will help you in maintaining a stable scapula during a heavy workout. If you have rounded shoulders, then this is a great exercise to correct muscular imbalances.

Targeted Muscles- latissimus dorsi, posterior deltoids, lower back, and rotator cuffs.

How to do

Lay down prone on a ground or a mat. Place your hands straight down with your palms facing down. This will be your starting position.

Raise your hands by squeezing your lats and stop to the position where you can feel your lats working the most. Simultaneously, you can raise your legs by squeezing the glutes to reduce the lower back pain.

Stay there for 3 seconds come back down and repeat the movement. Don’t take to much rest in between.

5. Prone Airplane

This is a great exercise for your upper back. It will help you to improve your posture and keep your shoulders healthy and stable.

Targeted Muscles- latissimus dorsi, mid and lower traps, rhomboids, lower back

How to do

Lay down prone on a ground or a mat and take your hands straight to the sides. From there, lift your hands straight without bending your elbow. Don’t lookup. Make sure that your neck is straight.

If you feel pain on the lower back, then lift your legs by squeezing your glutes (hips) at the same time when your hands go up. Hold that position for 5 seconds and come back down. Do 8-10 reps of these.

Don’t lift your neck during the exercise. Make sure that your neck stays neutral. You should go slow with the movement and feel your back muscles getting worked.

6. Standing Y’s

I love this exercise because it is not only good for your back muscles but also the posture and longevity!

Targeted muscles- Middle and lower traps, rotator cuff

How to do

Stand with both feet at shoulder’s width apart. Now bend down by taking your hips back without rounding your back. Place your hands in between and from there, raise your hands slowly with your thumb facing the ceiling.

Raise up and away as if you are making a Y. Take your hands up to the head position where both hands should be away from each other. Come back down slowly to the starting position.

You can start adding resistance by holding a dumbbell or a water bottle. Don’t go for heavy dumbbells as it is not suitable for this type of exercise.

7. Inverted Rows at home

If you don’t have access to the gym, then this will be a great alternative to the seated rows. It’s a good compound exercise to build strength and size of the back. So try it out !

Targeted muscles- latissimus dorsi, traps, rhomboids (middle back)

How to do

Find a table or a desk where you can go beneath and perform this exercise. Go beneath the table and hold the edge of the table with your palms.

With your shoulders back and chest up, pull your body upand touch your upper stomach at the top. Make sure that your elbows and wrist are in line with each other. Go back down and repeat the movement.

You can make it harder by pulling it with both legs straight like in this video above. if you don’t have an access to a table , then next exercise will be another great option for you.

8. Bedsheet Rows

If you don’t have access to the gym, then this will be a great alternative to the seated rows. It’s a good compound exercise to build strength and the size of the back. So try it out!

Targeted muscles- latissimus dorsi, traps, rhomboids (middle back)

How to do

Find a table or a desk where you can go beneath and perform this exercise. Go beneath the table and hold the edge of the table with your palms.

With your shoulders back and chest up, pull your body up and touch your upper stomach at the top. Make sure that your elbows and wrist are in line with each other. Go back down and repeat the movement.

You can make it harder by pulling it with both legs straight like in this video above. if you don’t have access to a table, then the next exercise will be another great option for you.

9. Slick Floor Pullover

You don’t need dumbbells or cables to perform the pullovers, you can do it at home. You only need a towel or a sheet which everyone has at home.

Targeted muscles- latissimus dorsi, rhomboids, teres major

How to do

Take a towel and put it beneath the knees so that you can slide to do pullovers. Your hands should be down and straight.

Start sliding back with the help of your knees without moving your hands from the ground. Then slide back slowly by squeezing your lats.

Make sure that you are not using a lower back too much during the movement. You should use your lats to slide you back and forward.

It’s not an easy exercise so beginners should not go too far back. In the beginning, you should only focus on small movements by concentrating on your lats and feel those back muscles getting involved. Slowly after some time, you can increase the range of motion.

10. Door Pull Ups

Pull-ups are the best exercise for your upper body strength. As we all have access to the door so we can’t give an excuse for not doing the pull ups.

Targeted muscles- latissimus dorsi, rhomboids, teres major, lower traps

How to do

Look for an open door and place a used book or anything so that it doesn’t move too much and stay steady. Place any towel or cloth at the top just like in the above video.

Now grab the edges of the door at the top and start going up. Always keep in mind that you are squeezing your shoulder blades down before going up. This will engage your lats more during the movement.

11. Sliding Floor Pull Ups

Another good option if you can’t do pull ups. It’s not so easy as it looks. So try it out

Targeted muscles- latissimus dorsi, rhomboids, traps, and lower back

How to do

Lay down on a floor with your chest down. Make sure the floor is slippery which allows you to slide. Place your hands up. Your hands should be placed away from each other.

Now start pulling your body up with the help of your hands and back. Stop when your hands are in line with the shoulders go back down.

You should not use too much lower back during the movement. You can avoid it by squeezing your glutes while you move. Keep the tension on your lats all the time and always do the exercise with full focus and concentration for better gains.

12 Cobra Floor Pull Ups

All these variations will give you more options to do pull ups in different ways. This is another best variation of a pull up exercise. I want you to try this and share your views in the comment section below.

Targeted muscles- latissimus dorsi, rhomboids, traps, and lower back

How to do-

Lay down on a flat slippery surface. Place your hands up straight. Your hands should not be too much away, keep it slightly away from the shoulder width. Your knees should be bend and legs should be up with both feet touching each other.

Now move your body up without moving your hands. As you move forward, take your upper body and chest up and squeeze your lats. Your elbows should be in.

Make sure that your glutes are squeezed when you move your body. If you are feeling pain in your lower back or any joint, then discontinue the exercise.

Workout For Back At Home

Now I will share one back workout with you which you can do at home very easily. This workout will target your middle, upper, and lower back and will give you a thick and nice shape. I have already discussed each exercise so scroll up whenever you have any doubt about any exercise. So let’s begin.

Warm up

Always start your exercise with a warm-up. Do bird dog- 3 sets of 15 reps. This will give you that start before jumping on to the main set.

Main Set

1. Snow Angels –  Do 3 sets of 15 reps. You should not go fast with this exercise. Take 30 seconds rest in between.

2. Door Pull ups –  Do 3 sets of 10 reps. If you can’t do this exercise then you should do sliding floor pull ups instead. Take 1-2 minutes rest in between each set.

3. Standing Y’s –  Do 3 sets of 15 reps. Make sure to not round your lower back. Take 45 seconds to rest in between sets. Make sure to hold at the top for 1-2 seconds for more stimulus.

4. Bedsheet Rows- Do 3 sets of 12 reps. Your shoulders should be back and chest should be up as you do the exercise. Take 1-2 minutes rest in between each set. You can also do inverted table rows

5. Prone Cobra- Do 2 sets of 40 seconds hold. Make sure that the tension is more on your lats and mid-back and less on the lower back. You can increase the time of hold each week.

Beginners guide – You don’t have to do complete reps in each exercise. Remember that it’s all about the quality reps over quantity. So even 4-5 reps will also give you the benefits.

It is always recommended to consult with the physician and health professionals before starting any exercise.

Also Read-

  1. 12 Back exercises with dumbbells + sample back workout
  2. 12 Best dumbbell exercises for shoulders with a dumbbell shoulder workout


Roshan S Pillai

Roshan Pillai is an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer with more than 6 years of experience in lifting weights and guiding people to get fit. He is the owner and editor of fitnessproworkout.com, and has worked as a fitness coach in gyms and is passionate about fitness and helping people to get in shape.

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