A strong back is pivotal not only for good posture and athletic performance but for everyday activities as well. Still, many of us have designated arm day or leg day but have yet to have a dedicated day for the back. We can argue here that's "out of sight, out of mind" mentality is at play as we focus exclusively on muscles that we can see in the mirror; it's still no reason to ignore the back.
With resistance band back exercises, you can get a more robust back with just one piece of equipment-the resistance band.
Resistance bands have gained significant popularity as versatile tools for a complete workout. Resistance bands provide an ideal solution for targeting the back muscles. Unlike traditional weights that use gravity and offer movement in a single plane, resistance bands offer a unique form of resistance that engages the muscles throughout the entire range of motion across any plane.
A resistance band back workout offers a challenge for back muscles with various movements without risk of injury. Free weights present a greater risk of damage during band workouts, particularly if you need to control the movement or have poor form. On the contrary, resistance bands offer complete control over the entire range of motion and low-impact resistance to challenge the back muscles. This dramatically reduces the risk of back injury.
Here we will explore the best back exercises with bands you can do at the gym or home. We have included exercises to target the upper back, lower back and the entire back.
8 Best resistance band back exercises
We have picked back exercises using resistance bands for both the lower and upper back because it's necessary for overall back strength, stability, and posture.
The back is a complex system of muscles working together to support the spine and maintain proper alignment. You achieve muscle balance by exercising both the lower and upper back muscles. While the lower back muscles stabilize the lumbar spine, the upper back muscles provide stability and support to the thoracic spine and shoulders.
Resistance band exercises for the upper back
1. Bent-over row
This resistance band back exercise targets lats, traps, and several smaller muscles like the rhomboids. It requires no anchor.
- Step at the center of the band with feet hip-width apart, and hold the handles firmly.
- Bend your knees slightly as you hinge your hips 45 degrees, and keep your arms extended.
- Keep your core engaged and spine neutral as you pull your elbows up using lats to stretch the resistance band.
- Pause at the top. Ensure you do not open your chest, then slowly get back to start.
- Aim for 12-15 reps in 3 sets.
2. Lat pulldowns
As aptly named, this exercise activates lat muscles. For this one, you have to secure the resistance band overhead. You can use a door anchor to secure the resistance band.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, facing the anchor point.
- Hold the handles with your palms facing forward.
- Pull the band down towards your chest and stop when your arms parallel the ground. Your lat muscles must feel the movement.
- Gradually release back to starting position.
- Do 10 reps for three sets.
3. Resistance rows
Another great workout for the upper back, resistance rows is one of the best back exercises with bands. It targets your traps and deltoid muscles.
- Standing at the center of the resistance band with your feet hip-width apart, wrap one end of the band around each foot. Hold the handles with your palms facing each other.
- Bend your knees slightly and hinge your hips 45 degrees, ensuring your back is straight.
- Keeping back straight, engage your core as you pull the resistance band up to your rib cage, squeezing your shoulder blades.
- Release your arms and repeat for 15 reps for 2 sets.
Resistance band exercises for the lower back
A classic exercise, Superman is one of the best resistance band exercises for the lower back. It targets your lower back (erector spinae muscles), abs, glutes, and hamstrings.
- Wrap the resistance band in a loop around each foot and lie facedown. Hold the handles and stretch the band bringing your hands to shoulder level. With your heels touching each other and toes turned outwards band should run along the sides of your leg.
- Lift your chest and legs off the floor as you extend your arms in front of you. Your legs must be straight and abdominal muscles pulled in to engage the core.
- Hold the position for a few seconds before returning to starting position.
- Repeat 5-10 times.
A great no-anchor resistance band back exercise, deadlift with resistance band gives your traps and lower back muscles a full workout.
- Stand at the center of the resistance band with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Bend your knees, hinge your hips, and keep your back straight as you grab the hands in each hand and stand up straight.
- Lower down again, hinging hips and bending knees while keeping the spine neutral and upper body stationary.
- Aim for 10 reps in 2 sets.
3. Bird Dog
A combination of leg and hand movement, this resistance band back exercise targets erector spinae, rectus abdominis, and glutes.
- Start by leaning on all fours with the resistance band looped around the right foot and held in the opposite hand.
- Keep your back straight and core engaged as you extend the right foot while reaching forward with your left arm.
- When fully extended, pause for a few seconds, and maintain a stable core.
- Return to the starting position.
- Do 10 reps before switching sides.
Resistance band exercises for the entire back
1. Seated Rows
You should include seated rows in your resistance band back workout to target upper back muscles, traps, and deltoid muscles.
- Sit on the floor, extend your legs in front of you.
- Loop the center of the resistance band around the sole of both feet. Keep your feet hip-width apart and grab the handles in each hand, palms facing each other.
- Sit straight and pull the handles towards your rib cage, engaging the core. Squeeze the shoulder blades as you pull the band.
- Release your arms to return to starting position.
- Do 12-15 reps in 3 sets.
2. Standing back extensions
It is one of the full-back resistance band-back exercises requiring a door anchor, as you must secure the band at the bottom. This exercise targets lower and upper back muscle groups.
- Anchor the band to the door securely. While facing the door, bend forward and grip a side of the band with each hand to maintain some tension in the band.
- Position your body away from the door at a distance such that when you bend, your head is close to the door but does not touch it.
- Stand straight, extending the arms, keeping them straight and back flat, and lean as you release the band.
- Return to the starting position in a controlled motion, and make sure your hips are stationary through the movements.
- Repeat for 10 reps in 2 sets.
Tips for effective resistance band back exercises
Resistance band back exercises are low-impact, so the risk of injury is minimal, but to make your workout effective, remember these tips:
- The focus should be on maintaining proper form throughout the exercises.
- To focus on muscle contractions, control the resistance band tension mindfully.
- Keep increasing the resistance level as your muscles gain strength.
- Resistance bands provide a complete range of motion, so include a variety of exercises to target different muscle groups.
What type of resistance bands should you opt for back exercises?
For back exercises, using loop resistance bands and resistance bands with handles is best. These bands provide stability and resistance variation that makes it possible to create a versatile resistance band back workout.
LIT Axis - The best resistance band for back exercises
Regarding quality, performance, and versatility, no other resistance band can match the superiority of the LIT Axis resistance band system. We created LIT AXIS resistance bands to overcome the limitations of conventional resistance bands.
It would help if you had complete control over resistance, muscle balance, time under tension, and movement for back exercises. LIT Axis features built-in sensors that monitor all these metrics and more to accurately measure your resistance band back workout. Made from durable material and offering ergonomic design and resistance up to 200 LBS, these resistance bands provide optimal comfort and grip during workouts. You can also access premium data and personalized coaching through the LIT app.
Resistance bands are an excellent tool for strengthening and toning your back muscles. By incorporating the resistance band back exercises shared here, you can effectively target your upper back, lower back, and entire back.
LIT Axis can provide all the assistance you need to maintain proper form, gradually increase resistance, and keep your workout engaging.
Are resistance band exercises effective for building back muscles?
Yes, resistance band exercises are highly effective for building back muscles and promoting growth by providing the constant tension needed throughout the movement.
Can resistance band exercises help improve posture?
Absolutely. Resistance band exercises help strengthen the muscles responsible for maintaining spine alignment, which ensures proper posture. Furthermore, check out these posture exercises that you can do with resistance bands.
Can resistance band exercises replace traditional weightlifting exercises for the back?
While resistance band exercises offer benefits similar to free weights, they should not necessarily replace weightlifting exercises entirely. At an advanced stage, you get the best results with a combination of both.
Can resistance band exercises be done at home?
Yes, resistance band exercises are perfect and even recommended by experts for home workouts. Portable, versatile, and easy to use, they are best for at-home strength training.
How often should I perform resistance band back exercises?
Your fitness level and goals decide the frequency of resistance band back exercises. Generally, 2-3 sessions per week are ideal. However, you must seek an expert opinion if you suffer a back injury.