Do you pay more attention to the aesthetic, and sometimes neglect the functional? Has it happened to you to focus on your pecs, arms and abs, but when you get to your back day workout your technique isn’t the best? I’m sure you have.
Most traditional workout routines leave out some back exercises that are vital to getting the proper muscle activation.
Chances are you’ve had to reinvent yourself to train in your garage or living room, and back exercises aren’t the most intuitive or easy to execute.
Back workouts for men: Why are they so important?
We look for solutions to maintain balance and continue working the body in a global and functional way. For this it is essential that you work your back.
- First, because you have to have a good balance between the front and back muscles; and second, because regardless of your goal, the back muscles play a fundamental role in your day to day life.
- Most of our most natural, everyday movements involve our back muscles. We need it when we pull the car door, when we carry shopping bags and countless other basic actions.
- And what about the motorbike? Well, the same thing. Riders need their back muscles to provide them with the necessary strength, for example, when they have to pull the hooked bike or to maintain a correct posture, which allows them to ride for hours. It is this well-worked musculature that will keep us away from injuries.
What exercises strengthen your back? [without equipment]
Have you ever felt blocked thinking that you don’t have enough training equipment to do back exercises at home?
Here are the good news: your body is the main element. The only one that you can’t miss, and the best thing about it is that to work your back the base is in a good posture.
How do we get it? The key is in the scapulas. The scapulas (those two triangle-shaped bones that we have in the upper part of our back) must come together and generate your chest to come out.
At the same time, your shoulders should be separated as much as possible from your ears.
These two positions are what make up a correct form. You should maintain this form in all the weightless back exercises that we will recommend below:
What dirt bike discipline do you want to improve?
First learn to move and isolate this movement before increasing the resistance of the exercise. Bear in mind that you will need to use this movement to be able to do back exercises correctly at home:
Traction on table
Place yourself under a table, grab it with your hands and elbows at 90º and pull your body up, keeping it rigid as a board. With the simple weight of your body, you’ll see how much resistance you notice in your back.
The excuses are running out, because you can do these back exercises at home without weights without needing much space and having very little material.
Think of it this way: every drop of sweat invested in your preparation will be rewarded in valuable time by practicing the sports you like most, eliminating the annoying pain you feel at the end of the day or, if you are a rider, by riding the wildest roads.
Back workout for strength: The best options to do it at home
There is the possibility of demanding even more, raising the level and adding resistance. We can perform back exercises at home with dumbbells, or we can simply replace them with water bottles (as you can see, there is an alternative for almost everything).
The elements we have at home, whether they are dumbbells or a simple water bottle, will allow us to work what we call strength-resistance perfectly.
And if you don’t have dumbbells yet but were thinking of buying them to add to your home gym essentials , here are some good options:
Remember to work in a range that goes from a minimum of 12 repetitions to a maximum of 20, because that is the way to work this type of strength.
If you are wondering how to build back muscle, you should be looking for a high effort range between 8 and 12 repetitions.
For this you will probably need a heavier element, which will get you close to failure at this amount of reps.
The best back exercises at home with dumbbells or barbells and resistance bands are these:
Single- Hand Row with Dumbbell
This is one of the great back workouts you can do at home. You’ll grab the dumbbell and slightly bend your knees for a better base of support.
Pull while being aware that your core zone is activated and your spine is aligned. As you pull, be sure to retract your shoulder blades and your shoulders are as far away from your ears as possible.
In a movement very similar to the one-handed, you will seek to pull from slightly bent knees and a good positional base of your lumbar and neck. The more attention you pay to the activation of your scapular area, the more relaxed your trapezius will be and the strength will be done by the one who has to do it: your lats.
More options with resistance bands
Some of the best back exercises at home are the ones we can do with resistance bands.
If you don’t already have them, you’re going to need them to level up your workouts at home. You can buy them in your sports equipment center, but if you want to receive them directly at home, we have found these good options of resistance bands on Amazon:
Single Hand Row With Resistance Band
Place a resistance band tied to a post, railing or the closed door. Place your back straight and bend your knees slightly to get better support.
Grab the band with one hand and with your elbow at 90º and make a traction movement backward. You will notice a tremendous resistance with the rubber and you will be able to continue progressing.
High Row with Resistance Band
Place a resistance band attached to a pole, railing or on the closed gate. In a 3/4 squat position, with the trunk as vertical as possible, sticking out your chest and making scapular retraction prior to traction, pull the rubber band with the palm of your hand towards the floor. We keep our elbows away from the body with a shoulder abduction of about 45º.
Low Row with band: Place a resistance band tied to a post, railing, or to the closed door. In a 3/4 squat position, with the core as vertical as possible, pulling out the chest and making scapular retraction prior to traction, we pull the rubber.
We start the movement with the palm of the hand towards the floor and ending with it facing the ceiling, keeping the elbows close to the body.
Back exercises at home for women
No matter the gender, exercising the back is vital for men or women, since we all apply these movements and we will need that developed musculature to avoid current and future pain.
The exercises for men or women are the same. This may vary in the load, but here we should not be fooled, because the load or intensity of the exercise will not depend exclusively on whether it is a woman or a man.
Many well-trained women on a higher train can handle loads equal to or greater than many men who are not so well trained or whose build or training objective is not geared to a greater load.
It is not a question of skills, but there is a tendency for women to train their legs more than their torso.
Many even tend to think that working the upper muscles will give them more muscle volume and that is not necessarily true.
The reality is that if our goal is to force what we generate is not huge bodybuilder muscles, but a more powerful, functional, balanced and toned body.
So you know, there’s no point in having overworked legs and porcelain arms.
What are good lower back exercises? Put your core to work
When we think about the best back exercises at home it’s important to think about the durability of our body. The real hard workout doesn’t end when you get off the bike or finish the last strength exercise for your back.
Part of the hard work is doing those exercises that we often underestimate, but that will give our lower back tremendous strength.
That’s what core exercises give us. Our central part fulfills a thousand functions, and among the most fundamental is to take care of and strengthen our lower back.
If you learn the right techniques, a good activation of your core zone will work as protection for your back.
And it is not something distant or theoretical, if you exercise your core you will keep it activated when you practice sports or when you do any daily movement.
It will also help you when you do exercises that can demand and hurt your back if you don’t do them correctly. Like what? Deadlifts or squats for example.
These are two great exercises, but you must keep your core area tight. This way you will protect your back and get the most out of a good exercise without injuring yourself.
We recommend some exercises that will make your core a real rock:
Low Side Plank
Single leg High Front Plank
Front High Plank Left to Right
How do dirt bike riders train their backs?
The imbalance component on the dirt bike or bike increases considerably. Part of the charm of these disciplines, so linked to adrenaline, lies in the obstacles.
For this reason, we recommend another series of back exercises, where it is essential to maintain a very high postural control, because the instability factor is greater.
Here the most important thing is that we compact the central area and the gluteus so that we are stable on one leg.
In addition, the supporting knee must go in the direction of the toe, without collapsing or going inwards, and our back must remain straight.
The shoulder blades must come together every time we pull the rubber and our gaze must go to the front so that our neck remains aligned with the trunk.
Rowing on fitball
With core and glutes super activated you are going to keep your shoulders as far apart as possible from your ears and when pulling we bring the shoulder blades together.
Single leg TRX row
Core zone active to the maximum to maintain stability.
Keep the leg that is not resting on the ground well up, with the foot tense.
Core zone activation will keep our back straight and our hips up.
You must not let the hip drop and to avoid this your gluteus must also help and the supporting leg must push against the floor or the bosu ball in this case.
Rider, keeping your back muscles active and developed will put you in a better position to not arrive broken at competitions and finish races even worse.
A very specific detail for riders is that there is a clear tendency to pull the shoulders forward when riding.
That brings problems that complicate the state of your trapezius and upper spine. Working on your back won’t be the solution to all your ailments, but believe us, it will help you keep your shoulders in a better position.
Also, on the bike, tractions are very common movements and your back, along with other back muscles, must be prepared.
In our specialized training app for off-road riders, you will find routines, schedules and levels to work your back in a personalized way and prepare you for all kinds of goals.