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Full Back Workout: 12 Best Back Exercises for Women

10 mins read
Taisiia Dobrozorova
Written by Taisiia Dobrozorova on August 19, 2022
Davi Santana, M.Sc.
Fact checked by Davi Santana, M.Sc.
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If you think that rapid strengthening of the upper half of the body for girls is beyond their reach, you couldn't be more biased. We offer you ready-made strength training on the back for females. It's a good choice not only for the gym session but also for the regular at-home lineup!

Workouts to tone back for women

Woman performs at-home back workout with bottles
Woman performs at-home back workout with bottles
Back exercises are just as important as those related to the chest, shoulder, and abs. If you train effectively, your back will become stable and strong. Performing back workouts on the reg is a great way to pump muscles and lose body fat.
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For beginners, we propose to pay attention to the following types of strength-building exercises:

  • push-ups/pull-ups/chin-ups (more aimed at the upper body, so a good choice for those who also want to work the muscles of the arms and chest);
  • rows (rowing can enhance stamina, general fitness, and cardiac strength);
  • deadlifts (can activate your hip extensors, boost metabolism, reduce lower back pain, and activate your core);
  • push-downs/pull-downs/pull-overs (may build your biceps and triceps as well as improve your posture and spinal stability);
  • swings (it is one of the most effective workouts for weight loss and boosting your athleticism);

Regular trainings will give you a bunch of perks: build the muscle corset,, correct posture, and strengthen the spine.

Back muscles

Back muscles
Back muscles

The largest muscles in the back are the latissimus dorsi. They are activated in pull-ups (and vertical pulls), as well as in deadlifts and lower back pulls (horizontal pulls). Arms and shoulders (mainly posterior fibers) are also involved in any of these exercises. So you can vary your program with extra biceps, shoulders, or triceps sets. The combinations of these muscles in your routine will give you workout plans emphasizing specific muscle groups. For example, if you pump the back and biceps on the same day, it means that on the next day you will have to train the chest and triceps. The combination of back + shoulders is the least beneficial.

For example, if you pump the back and biceps on the same day, it means that on the next day you will have to train the chest and triceps - just like vice versa, the back + triceps combination implies that chest + biceps will follow. In turn, the combination of back + shoulders is the least beneficial.

How to lose lower back fat?

Proper nutrition is one of the major factors for cutting back fat
Proper nutrition is one of the major factors for cutting back fat

Fat folds on the sides just below the waist - a "barrel" or wings, float out from under the clothes and make the figure shapeless.

In addition to the love of sweets and buns, there are several reasons for this problem:

Disruption of the thyroid gland. Fat in the lower back can signal the need for an examination by an endocrinologist for the level of thyroid hormones.

Sedentary lifestyle. The muscles of the back get weakened.

Stress. In response to stress, our body produces cortisol, which causes fat accumulation in the abdomen and lower back.

To tackle this problem, start with lower back workouts at home or (if it's easier for you to organize yourself) at the gym. Gradually add to this proper nutrition and track all the possible biological risk factors listed above.

If you're doing a back workout, you can start performing these exercises one by one. If you prefer splits, take two exercises from each section and add them to your back workout day.

Pull-ups

Pull-ups
Pull-ups
  • Grasp the horizontal bar with your palms facing away; lower your shoulders, and bring your shoulder blades together.
  • Pull yourself up so that your chin is above the level of the horizontal bar, lower yourself back down and repeat.
  • At the top point, do not pull your chin up to reach the horizontal bar; at the bottom, keep your shoulder blades together.
  • Do 3-5 sets.

Kettlebell Swings

Kettlebell Swings
Kettlebell Swings
  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and place the kettlebell in front of your toes at a distance of about 30 cm.
  • Bend your knees slightly and lean forward with a straight back. Grasp the handle of the kettlebell.
  • Lift the kettlebell off the floor, then, keeping your back straight, bend at the hip joint and slide the kettlebell back between your legs for a swing.
  • Next, straighten the hip and knee joints sharply, giving the kettlebell acceleration.
  • Bring the weight to the level of the collarbone and lower it back. If you want to make the exercise more challenging, try to raise the kettlebell to your head level.
  • Do it for 6-8 minutes, divided into several sets.

Bent-Over Rows

Bent-Over Rows
Bent-Over Rows
  • Place your feet shoulder-width apart behind the bar and lean forward. Grab the barbell with your hands in a straight grip, hands on the sides of your legs. 
  • Take your pelvis back, and bend your knees slightly — support on the heels. The back is straight. 
  • Raise the bar off the floor, and hold it at the top of your shins.
  • Pull the barbell to the stomach along the hips and bend the elbows along the sides behind the back. Open the chest and bring the shoulder blades together due to the muscles. The body position does not change. 
  • Lower slowly, and repeat.

Chin-ups

Chin-ups
Chin-ups
  • Grasp the horizontal bar so that your hands are shoulder-width apart and your palms are facing toward you.
  • Slowly lift your chest towards the bar, engaging your upper back and core.
  • Freeze for a few seconds in the starting position and lower yourself down. Repeat several times.

Dumbbell Rows

Dumbbell Rows
Dumbbell Rows
  • Take a position near the bench, and take the dumbbell so that the bar is parallel to your body.
  • Due to the strength of the latissimus dorsi, pull the dumbbell to the belt. Try to lead your elbow up.
  • After holding at the top for 1 second, lower the dumbbell down.
  • Do 10 reps in 3-4 sets on each side.

Superman

Superman
Superman
  • Lie on the floor on your stomach, and stretch your arms along your body, but without touching the sides.
  • Lift your chest, shoulders, and legs off the floor simultaneously and lift them as high as possible. The neck should be in line with the back.
  • Hold the position for 15-30 seconds. Do not let the limbs drop to the floor until the end of the interval.

Barbell Deadlifts

Barbell Deadlifts
Barbell Deadlifts
  • Come close to the barbell and place your feet shoulder-width apart and parallel to each other.
  • Squat down and grasp the barbell with your hands slightly wider than your shoulders.
  • Breathe in deeply, and as you breathe out, begin to pull the barbell.
  • After the barbell passes the knees, fully straighten up and bring the shoulder blades together as much as possible.
  • Begin the downward movement by pulling the pelvis back. The loin is bent. The shoulder blades remain flattened.
  • Having passed your knees, sit down and lower the barbell to the floor.

Renegade Rows

Renegade Rows
Renegade Rows
  • Start in a plank position and put dumbbells wider than the shoulders on the floor.
  • The downward movement is performed while breathing in. Task: go down as low as possible to stretch the pectoral muscles. 
  • At the bottom point, hold a short pause, straightening your arms at the elbow joints as you exhale, and return to the starting position.
  • For better stabilization, you can place the legs wide apart.

Standing Lat Push-downs

Standing Lat Push-downs
Standing Lat Push-downs
  • Stand near the pulley machine and slightly bend your knees.
  • Grasp the barbell or band, hands slightly wider than shoulder width.
  • Looking down and keeping your back straight, push the weight down.
  • When the barbell reaches the level of the knees, slowly loosen the grip, returning the barbell to its original position.

Dumbbell Pull-Overs

Dumbbell Pull-Overs
Dumbbell Pull-Overs
  • Starting position - the dumbbell is raised vertically above the head.
  • Slowly lower the dumbbell behind your head and breathe in with your elbows slightly bent until your arms are parallel to the bench and in line with your body.
  • As you breathe out, return to the starting position.

T-Bar Rows

T-Bar Rows
T-Bar Rows
  • Securely fix one end of the rod or place it in a corner. Load the other end with the desired weight.
  • Feet shoulder width apart. Push your hips back and lift your chest. Hold the bar on a straight arm. This is the starting position.
  • Pulling the shoulder and bending the elbow, pull the weight to the upper abdomen.
  • Pause and lower the bar to the starting position.

You can do the same exercise using the equipment. Then you don't need to load only one arm at a time.

Lat Pull-downs

Lat Pull-downs
Lat Pull-downs
  • Attach a long handle to the pulley machine.
  • Grab the barbell firmly with a wide grip.
  • Lean back (about 20 degrees), open your chest, and keep your core tense.
  • Pull the bar down to your upper chest, squeezing your shoulder blades together.

Back exercises should not be overlooked, if your goal is to increase overall muscle mass and bone density. Back muscles are involved in almost all upper body movements and help keep your body healthy and beautiful for a long time.

Choose a goal, whether it's weight loss or bodybuilding, and select exercises. Training different muscle groups and consistency are usually the key factors in pumping strong and attractive rear!

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Unimeal does not diagnose or suggest treatments. Any description of the diet, training plan or supplement should be discussed with your current physician or nutritionist. This article does not address specific conditions and is simply meant to provide general information on healthcare topics. Following any advice is at your own initiative and does not impose any responsibility on the blog authors for your health and safety.

Sources:

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R. Pate, M. Oria, L. Pillsbury. (2012, December 10). Fitness Measures and Health Outcomes in Youth. Health-Related Fitness Measures for Youth: Cardiorespiratory Endurance. Committee on Fitness Measures and Health Outcomes in Youth; Food and Nutrition Board; Institute of Medicine. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK241309/
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S. H. Jeno; M. Varacallo. (2022, April 5). Anatomy, Back, Latissimus Dorsi. StatPearls. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK448120/