Knowing the best back exercises you can do will not only give you a more efficient workout, but you’ll also get your work done faster. So in this article, we have collected and presented to you the 5 best back exercises based on how many muscles they set in motion for their execution and how effectively they contribute to muscle growth.

Use the list below as a basis for your own workouts. And keep in mind, this list of the 5 best back exercises also applies to women.

1. Deadlifts

back exercises

Why: Technically it’s considered a back exercise, but actually it’s a movement that activates the entire posterior muscular system of the body, especially the latissimus dorsi and biceps femoris muscles. Deadlifts are one of the most demanding exercises out there, but if you learn how to perform them correctly, you will be able to lift your abs in pounds. As a result, you will be able to activate more muscles and your body will release more hormones that favor protein synthesis.

In Training: If you’re going for heavy sets (fewer than 6 reps), it’s best to place Deadlifts at the beginning of your workout when you’re fresh. If it’s to do more sets and therefore lighter weights, you can perform the exercise towards the middle of your workout.

2. Incline row


Why: This is the second-best back exercise in terms of the absolute weight you can lift and the multitude of muscle groups it activates at the same time. Like Deadlifts, this is another technically difficult exercise that requires a great form but pays off in the long run in muscle density throughout the upper back.

In training: Perform the Bent Row at the beginning of your workout or fairly early on for 3-4 heavy sets of 6-8 reps. The Smith variation of this exercise is a good alternative, but it “locks” the body into a certain position, which you should have found from the beginning of the movement so that you are sure to be more efficient.

If your first exercise is Deadlifts then it might be better to avoid doing the cap (or completely exclude from this workout) the Dead Row. We don’t play with our waists!


3. Pull Ups


Why: It’s always good to include an overhead movement in your back workout for a number of reasons. And of course, the best exercise for your money is none other than the good old pull-ups. Wide-grip Pulls ups emphasize the entire upper back muscle group (rhomboid, subs., trapezius) with an emphasis on the latissimus dorsi, or “wings.”

The biggest challenge for a beginner when doing this movement is to feel the pull being performed almost exclusively with the back, rather than pulling it with the arm muscles.

Perfect technique is extremely important here as it will determine how much of the muscles we really want to be activated. Half reps, shoulders that stay tight at the bottom of the movement, head that doesn’t reach barbell height, and body swaying are all signs of poor execution.

In training: Because the range of motion of the pull-ups is so large and because the deltoids play a key role here we always recommend a very good shoulder warm-up if you choose it as the first exercise. Also, for the same reason (because the shoulders are needed so much) we wouldn’t recommend leaving her until last.

4. Bent over row with one arm


Why: Why a variation of the same exercise you ask? Because it’s a great unilateral exercise that gives you a greater range of motion than Barbell Row. Also because this way you will be able to better target the weakest part of your back with 1-2 additional repetitions. And finally, because it offers much better support for the waist.

In training: Set the One-Handed Incline Row toward the end of your workout with as many pounds as you can lift in the 10-12 rep range. Also, since this is an isolation exercise you can do it until exhaustion for a good “swell” in the “wings” that you will be happy to see in the mirror!

5. Close grip pulldown


Why: It would be a shame not to take advantage of the gym’s pulley in a workout. But since we already performed a strong set on the barbell, here we’re going to change the grip by attaching a V-bar to the hook. The pulldown here allows us to have a greater range of motion and squeeze the lower back muscles hard to ‘squeeze’ as much as we can out of this movement.

In training: Closed Grip Pulldowns can also be a good shoulder warm-up with a light set at the start of your workout. For normal sets, it is best to place it towards the end using moderate weights for 8-12 slow and very controlled reps.

Bonus: Dumbbell pullovers

Why: Half chest, halfback, and one-third of shoulders, this exercise confuses most people as to where to classify it. Be that as it may, this exercise perfectly mimics the Pulley Adduction and with a moderate-weight dumbbell gives you the ability to completely isolate the latissimus dorsi with its very large range of motion (yes, it is a single-joint, so isolation exercise).

In training: Put the Dumbbell Pullovers on at the end if you want to completely “burn” the latissimus dorsi and feel a good “swell” for 12-15 slow repetitions.


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