Best exercise to build back muscles

The best back exercises are pulling movements when you constantly move your arms towards the body. You can pull horizontally, for example, with rowing movements, or pull vertically, for instance, with pull-ups.

These strength exercises are some of the very best for strengthening and toning your back. You will notice that they all have one thing in common; They involve all your traction muscles.

Barbell bent-over row

The bent barbell is a classic, simple but effective exercise for building muscle in the upper and middle back. It aggressively targets the upper and middle backs and requires isometric contraction of the lumbar spine.

Practice the hip hinge to get the most out of the curved row. The hip hinge refers to softening the knees and sending the hips backward. How effective this exercise depends entirely on the position of your hips, as casual as it sounds. Try making an upside-down “L” with your body.

Wide-grip barbell row

This exercise uses the same layout as the curved row, except that you extend the grip. Your grip should be wide enough for the barbell to rest on your hips as you get up. By extending the grip on the curved row, you will target the lats more significantly.

The width grip bar is more challenging than the standard grip bar for most people. Start with lighter weights and do a set of 10. Increase the weight if it feels light, and keep increasing until you find a weight that makes the last repetitions feel incredibly challenging.


Pull-ups have a reputation for being extremely challenging, even for intermediate to advanced exercisers. If you train consistently, you will eventually do a pull-up without help, which is an important marker of back strength! Fortunately, there are many ways to change pull-ups so that you can still achieve the same movement pattern and strengthen your back.

Change pull-ups by doing jump negatives (jump to get your chin over the bar and lower slowly), use a band to offset the resistance of your body weight, or by turning the grip with your palms facing your head.

Chest-supported row

Another row variation, the breast-supported manual row, removes all stress from the lower back and hamstrings – and puts it all on the upper back. Most people experience that they need to lower the weights for this movement due to the insulation element.

Set up an inclined bench so that you can comfortably rest your upper body on it. You may need to fix it a bit to get comfortable. Holding a manual in each hand, start with your arms fully extended and squeeze the shoulder blades together to complete the row.


Deadlift that seems so simple on the surface – pick it up put it down – ground lifting is quite complicated and, if done wrong, dangerous. But when done correctly, the deadlift is superior for building muscle and strength in the lower and upper back and the gluteal muscles and hamstrings.

Practice the movement with an empty barbell. Send your hips back first, then bend your knees. When standing up, focus on extending your hips and knees simultaneously. Do not let your back hurt.

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