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Bodyweight Back Exercises | 10 Movements to Get Started

bodyweight back exercises

Using just your bodyweight, it is possible to get in a good back workout. Maybe you don’t have access to weights, maybe you’re traveling, or maybe you’re just looking for something new to add to your routine. Either way, your bodyweight is more than enough to get in an effective training session.

We’ve put together a list of 10 bodyweight back exercises you can use to develop a stronger back anywhere.

Benefits of Bodyweight Exercises

Incorporating bodyweight exercises into your workout routine offers some unique benefits that you won’t achieve with weighted exercises.

  1. Mobility – Without additional weights present, our bodies can get into positions that promote a greater range of motion. Weights often prevent us from reaching a full extension.
  2. Balance – Weights can act as a stabilizer for many exercises. Bodyweight exercises encourage balance since you can only rely on yourself to keep your center of gravity while performing the movement.
  3. Increases Strength & Endurance – Many body weight exercises simultaneously enhance strength & endurance levels, so you can get more benefit from doing one exercise.
  4. Better Form – While learning movements, bodyweight exercises can be a good place to start to ensure proper form is used. If you don’t have correct form while doing bodyweight exercises, adding in extra weight will just make it worse.
  5. Convenience – Needless to say, since no equipment is necessary you can do them practically anywhere.

Why It’s Important to Strengthen your Back

Every time we move around, our back is engaged. Walking, standing up straight, and basically all other activities we do throughout the day rely on our back muscles in some capacity. Maintaining a strong back plays a critical role in preventing back pain and keeping your back healthy. A majority of people, about 80%, experience back pain at some point in their lives so it’s important to do what you can now to prevent issues down the road.

10 of the Best Bodyweight Back Exercises

The following 10 bodyweight back exercises are grouped into some example circuits. Feel free to tweak the reps and mix up your own routine as you see fit.

Circuit 1: Follow exercises 1-3. Then repeat.

  1. Toe Touches x 6 each
  2. Cobra x 10 seconds
  3. Kneeling T-Spine Rotation x 6 each

Toe Touches: Place your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart. Bring your arms up directly beside you so they are parallel to the ground. You should look like a star. Take your right hand and bring it to your left toe. Return to starting position. Now do the opposite with your left hand and right toe.

Cobra: This is a yoga mobility pose. Lay stomach down with your hands on either side of your pecks faced down. Slowly push up so your back will arch backward while your hips remain on the ground. Lift your chin to the sky.

bodyweight back exercises

Kneeling T-Spine Rotation: Start in table pose. Lift your right arm off the ground and place your hand behind your head. You will move your right elbow underneath your left arm towards your left knee. Then you will rotate outwards and point your elbow to the sky. 

Circuit 2: Follow exercises 1-3. Then repeat.

  1. Superman x 10
  2. Plank Row x 8
  3. Wide Pushup x 6

Superman: Lay on your stomach with your arms outstretched ahead of you and your forehead on the ground. Simply lift your legs and arms off the ground while arching your back. Your head will rise in line with your arms. Hold and then lower back down.

Plank Row: Get into a plank position with your hands on the floor. Take your right arm and bend your elbow so you row your elbow back to your hip and back down. Repeat with the left arm. 

Wide Pushup: This is like a regular pushup, except with your hands in a slightly wider position. You don’t want to be too wide as you will lose stability on your way down and up. If you need to modify you can always do it from your knees. 

bodyweight back exercises

Circuit 3: Follow exercises 1-3. Then repeat.

  1. Prone Pull x 8
  2. Reverse Fly x 6
  3. Dolphin Kick x 4

Prone Pull: This is like a superman, but instead of raising both your legs and arms you will raise just your arms. Pull your elbows back to pinch your shoulder blades together and form a 90-degree angle with both your arms. Bring your arms back in front of you, this is one rep.

bodyweight back exercises

Reverse Fly: Start with your feet shoulder with apart. Keep your back flat while you push your butt back with a bend in your knees. Your chest should almost be perpendicular to the floor. Start with your palms together and then move your elbows in opposite directions till they are level with your palm. You will immediately feel this in your back as you bring your arms up.

Dolphin Kick: This exercise requires a bench, but any type will do. Lie face down on the bench while gripping the sides. Ideally, your hips should be aligned with the end of the bench, but you can move your hips further up the bench if you’re having difficulty. Straighten your legs and lift them upwards as high as they can go. Hold the position for 5 seconds before brining your legs back down.

Recovery from Back Workouts

bodyweight back exercises

Every workout program needs a recovery routine. When it comes to keeping your body healthy, strength training is important, but recovery is what builds your body back up and allows you to keep going. The four pillars of fast and effective recovery are hydration, nutrition, active recovery, and sleep. Each one plays a vital role in your body’s recovery process. However, active recovery is the most overlooked since it requires the most additional effort. With Marc Pro, you can easily and conveniently achieve active recovery while sitting at a desk, watching TV, or traveling. Marc Pro integrates into activities that you already do, so you don’t need to dedicate any extra time for active recovery. Learn more about how Marc Pro can help you.

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