Back Exercises: See Pictures & Descriptions of Effective Back Exercises

Train your Lats with a variety of effective Back Exercises that will increase strength, mobility & muscle development...

Keep in mind that this page is meant to be a brief & quick guide to Back exercises, and thats why you won't see detailed instruction on proper technique or how many sets/reps to perform...

For a more detailed overview, see our Back Workouts & Training Tips. Also, we have a separate page on lower back exercises.

Barbell Bent Row

- Begin with barbell on floor in front.
- Stand with knees slightly bent and feet about hip distance apart.
- Bend forward at hips, keeping low back straight.
- Lift barbell up to abdomen.
- Lower and repeat.
Note: This is a high level lift. Do not perform until receiving one on one instruction with light weight to obtain proper form and technique.

Dumbbell Deadlift

- Stand with feet together, weights on floor in front of feet.
- Squat down placing chest against thighs.
- Tighten lower back muscles, grasp weights in hands.
- Keep head forward and back straight, and gently straighten knees until a gentle stretch is felt. Hold for several seconds.
- Slowly stand upright.
- Keeping back straight, reverse the motion and lower weights to floor, keeping knees as straight as possible and hold for several seconds, then bend knees, returning to start position.

Dumbbell Forward Bent Lunge

- Hold weights in hands at shoulders.
- Step forward in a lunge fashion and bend slightly at waist.
- Return to starting position and step forward with other leg.
- Repeat.
- Keep low back straight

Partial Kneel Bent Row

- Begin in position shown. - Right leg bent, toes forward, right arm on right thigh, left leg straight and extended back, toes pointed to left. Keep back straight, parallel to floor, with shoulders squared.
- Begin with weight on floor.
- Raise it up to abdomen, keeping elbow close to side.
- Lower and repeat.

Close Grip Lat Pulldown

- Sit at pulley system with Lat bar.
- Grasp bar with hands about 6 inches apart, palms facing to chest.
- Pull bar down to chest.
- Return to start position and repeat.

Dumbbell Prone Arm Lift

- Lie face down, arm at side, elbow straight.
- Raise arm up, past back.
- Lower and repeat.

Dumbbell Pullover

- Lie on back on bench.
Hold weight in hands with arms over head.
- Keep elbows slightly bent.
- Pull weight over head to chest.
- Raise back over head and repeat.

Dips

- Place hands on dip bars, elbows bent.
- Push down, raising body upward.
- Lower and repeat.

Incline Slide Lat Pullbacks

- Attach cables according to manufacturer instructions.
- Tall kneel on slide facing away from foot rest.
- Grasp hand cables, keeping elbows straight.
- Pull arms back past body, alternating arms while keeping body stationary.
- Repeat.

Machine Rowing

- Sit at rowing machine holding handles with hands.
- Place feet on foot plates.
- Push and straighten knees while pulling with arms like rowing a boat.
- Try to keep low back straight

Palm in Pull up

- Place hands on pull-up bar, palms in.
- Slowly pull chin up to bar and lower back down.
- Repeat.

Palm out Pull up

- Place hands on pull-up bar, palms out.
- Slowly pull chin up to bar and lower back down.
- Repeat.

Prone Dumbbell Shoulder Extension

- Lie face down on bed or couch with right arm hanging downward to floor.
- Hold weight in hand.
- Keep elbow straight and move arm back up toward hip.
- Lower and repeat.

Pulley Arm Hyperextension

- Secure pulley at waist level as shown.
- Grasp handle and pull arm backwards keeping elbow straight.
- Return to start position.

Prone Stability Ball Weighted Row

- Begin lying face down on ball, holding weighted balls in hands with arms forward as shown.
- Lift balls up and back while bending elbows.
- Keep upper body straight.
Return and repeat.

Lat Pulldown Behind

- Sit at pulley system with lat bar.
- Grasp lat bar with wide grip, about 4-6 inches wider than shoulders.
- Palms should be facing forward.
- Pull bar down behind neck to shoulder level.
- Return to start position and repeat.

Lat Pulldown Front Palms In

- Sit at pulley system with lat bar.
- Grasp bar with hands shoulder distance apart, palms facing to chest.
- Pull bar down to chest.
- Return to start position and repeat.

Pulley Shoulder Diagonal Down & Out

- Attach pulley to secure object as shown.
- Grasp handle with hand at opposite shoulder, palm inward.
- Pull arm down and across body, ending in palm outward.
- Return to start position and repeat.

Pulley Side Arm Pulldown

- Attach pulley to secure object at waist level.
- Grasp handle in hand.
- Pull arm inward, keeping elbow straight.
- Return to start position and repeat.

Straight Arm Pulley Lat Pulldown

- Grasp Lat bar in hands.
- Bend knees slightly, keep arms straight.
- Start with bar at eye level.
- Pull bar down to thighs, keeping elbows straight.
- Return to start position and repeat.

Pulley Rows

- Sit with straight legs at pulley system.
- Grasp row handle with both hands.
- Pull handles to mid chest keeping elbows close to body.
- Return to start position and repeat.
- Keep low back as straight & upright as possible.

Row Machine Vertical Handles

- Sit at Row machine.
- Use handles that position palms inward.
- Pull back, keeping elbows near side.
- Return and repeat.

Sled Pull

- Stand in front of weight sled.
- Grasp handles of sled.
- Keep back straight and tighten abdominal muscles.
- Slowly pull sled across floor.

Wide Tubing Rows

- Position arms out from sides, elbows bent to 90 degrees, as shown.
- Grasp elastic in hands.
- Pull back, bringing shoulder blades together.
- Return to starting position.

See Back Workouts & Training Tips

 

Major Back Muscles (excluding lower back)

Lattisimus Dorsi

Names:
Back (Middle, Outer)
Lats

Heads:
Latissimus Dorsi

Origin:
Ilium
- Posterior Crest
Sacrum (Posterior)
Vertebral Column (Lateral Surface)
- Lumbar Vertebrae (L1-5)
- Thoracic Vertebrae (T7-12)
Ribs (Posterior)
- Lower 3 or 4 ribs

Insertion:
Humerus (Proximal Anterior/Medial)
- Intertubercular Groove (Medial Side)

Related Muscles:
Teres Major

Teres Major  
Names:
Back (Outer)
Lats little helper

Heads:
Teres Major
Teres Minor

Origin:
Scapula (Posterior, Inferior)
- Inferior Angle (Posterior, Lateral)

Insertion:
Humerus (Proximal Anterior/Medial)
- Intertubercular Groove
-- Medial Lip

Related Muscles:
Latissimus Dorsi

Rhomboids  
Names:
Back (Middle)

Heads:
Rhomboids Minor
Rhomboids Major

Origin:
Spine
- Ligamentum Nuchae
- Cervical Vertebrae (C7)
-- Spinous Processes
- Thoracic Vertebrae
-- Spinous Processes
--- T1
--- T2-T5

Insertion:
Scapula
- Medial Border (Below spine)
-- Superior
-- Inferior

Related Muscles:
Trapezius
- Middle Fibers
- Lower Fibers
Levator Scapulae
Serratus Anterior

Movement/Joint Articulations

Adduction: moving the upper arm down to the side toward the body.

Extension: moving the upper arm down to the rear.

Internal Rotation: turning the upper arm inward.

Transverse Extension: moving the upper arm away from the chest with the elbows out to the sides.

See Back Workouts & Training Tips

Abdominals

Biceps

Chest

Neck

Lats

Lower Back

Back

Shoulders

Traps

Triceps

Calves

Glutes

Quadriceps

Hamstring

 

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