Women doing plank

What Calisthenics Exercises Build Back Muscle

Sculpt a strong and toned back with calisthenics – exercises that use the weight of your own body as resistance against gravity.

These bodyweight exercises are a highly effective way to build strength, endurance, and muscle mass, including in the back muscles.

In this article, we will be discussing some of the best calisthenics exercises specifically designed to target and tone your back muscles

Pull Ups

Pull-ups: One of the most effective calisthenics exercises for the back muscles is the pull-up. Pull-ups work the muscles in the upper back, including the latissimus dorsi (lats), the rhomboids, and the trapezius. To do a pull-up, find a bar that is sturdy and high enough that you can hang from it with your feet off the ground. Grip the bar with an overhand grip, hands shoulder-width apart, and pull your body up until your chin is above the bar. Slowly lower yourself back down and repeat.

Inverted rows

Inverted rows, also known as body rows, are a great alternative to pull-ups for people who are just starting out with calisthenics or who can’t yet do a full pull-up. To do an inverted row, set up a bar at waist height or slightly lower, and grip the bar with an overhand grip, hands shoulder-width apart. Walk your feet forward until your body is at a slight angle and your feet are on the ground. Pull your chest up to the bar, squeezing your shoulder blades together, and lower yourself back down.

Planks

Planks are a great calisthenics exercise for the back muscles because they engage the muscles in the upper, middle, and lower back, as well as the core. To do a plank, get into a push-up position, with your hands on the ground under your shoulders and your feet on the ground behind you. Hold this position, keeping your body straight and your core engaged, for as long as you can. You can also do variations of the plank, such as side planks, to target specific areas of the back muscles.

Superman

The Superman exercise is a great way to work the muscles in the middle and lower back. To do a Superman, lie on your stomach with your arms and legs extended. Lift your arms, legs, and chest off the ground, squeezing your back muscles as you do so. Hold this position for a few seconds, then lower yourself back down and repeat.

Bird dogs

Bird dogs are a great exercise for the back muscles, as well as the core and glutes. To do a bird dog, start on all fours, with your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Lift one arm and the opposite leg off the ground, keeping your body straight and your core engaged. Hold this position for a few seconds, then lower yourself back down and repeat with the other arm and leg.

Back bridges

Back bridges, also known as back extensions, are a great way to work the muscles in the upper and lower back, as well as the core. To do a back bridge, start by lying on your stomach with your arms by your sides and your legs extended. Lift your chest and legs off the ground, using your back muscles to hold yourself up. Hold this position for a few seconds, then lower yourself back down and repeat. You can make this exercise more challenging by lifting one arm and the opposite leg off the ground as you lift your chest and the other leg.

Push-ups with a row

Push-ups with a row are a great way to combine two exercises into one and work the muscles in the upper and middle back, as well as the chest, arms, and core. To do a push-up with a row, start in a plank position with a dumbbell in one hand. Lower yourself down into a push-up, then as you push yourself back up, row the dumbbell up towards your ribcage, squeezing your shoulder blade as you do so. Lower the dumbbell back down and repeat on the other side.

Swimmers

Swimmers are a great exercise for the muscles in the upper and middle back, as well as the core. To do a swimmer, start by lying on your stomach with your arms and legs extended. Lift your chest and legs off the ground, then alternate lifting one arm and the opposite leg off the ground, as if you were swimming through the air. Keep your core engaged and your body straight as you do this.

Scapula push-ups

Scapula push-ups, also known as protractions and retractions, are a great way to work the muscles in the upper back and shoulder blades. To do a scapula push-up, start in a plank position with your hands on the ground under your shoulders and your feet on the ground behind you. Push your chest forward, protracting your shoulder blades, then pull your chest back, retracting your shoulder blades. Keep your body straight and your core engaged as you do this.

Renegade rows

Renegade rows are a challenging exercise that works the muscles in the upper and middle back, as well as the arms, core, and legs. To do a renegade row, start in a plank position with a dumbbell in each hand. Lift one dumbbell off the ground, keeping your body straight and your core engaged, and row it up towards your ribcage, squeezing your shoulder blade as you do so. Lower the dumbbell back down and repeat on the other side.

Conclusion

Remember to always warm up before starting any exercise routine, and to listen to your body and stop if you feel any pain or discomfort. As you get stronger, you can increase the difficulty of these exercises by using a resistance band, adding weight, or doing more repetitions.

As with any exercise routine, it’s important to start at a level that is appropriate for your fitness level and to gradually increase the difficulty as you get stronger. It’s also important to listen to your body and stop if you feel any pain or discomfort.

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