13 Best Back Exercises for Women for a Strong and Sexy Back

Modern living puts our backs under a lot of strain. We spend a lot of time hunched over our computers and smartphones. Then there’s driving, carrying children and groceries, and many other activities that place significant demands on our backs. That’s why it’s so important to maintain a strong, toned back.

In this article, you’ll discover the 13 best back exercises for women to be able to maintain an elegant and perfect posture, and sculpt a strong and sexy back.

About Your Back

There are a lot of large muscle groups in your back. The trapezius is located in the upper back, forming a diamond shape between your shoulders and mid spine. Your rhomboids are also positioned in the mid upper back, tying into the deltoids.

The largest back muscles are the latissimus dorsi, which cover the outer sides and contribute to the athletic ‘V’ taper. The muscles of your lower back are known as the erector spinae, which runs down either side of your spine. Maintaining strong and toned erector spinae will ward off the lower back problems that are common to many women. It will also help to improve your balance and coordination.

Strengthening and toning all of the areas of your back will not only give you a tight, toned and terrific rear. It will also lift your chest. This will, in turn, lift your bust, contributing to your feminine shape.

Why Work Your Back Muscles?

  • It improves your posture
  • It gives you a stronger back
  • It will burn more calories
  • It will help to eliminate back fat
  • It prevents back pain and injury

5 Beginner Back Exercises For Women

Exercise #1: Back Lift

Muscles Involved:

  • Primary: Erector Spinae
  • Secondary: Rhomboids

Execution method:

  • Stand with feet in a split stance position with your right foot forward. Your left toe should be about 10 inches behind your right heel. Bring your arms up so that your fingertips are just above your ears. Pull your elbows back.
  • Tilt forward from your hips, maintaining a tight core and neutral (not rounded) spine.
  • Pulling from your core, lift your upper body up to an upright position. Tense at the top position, squeezing the muscles of your mid back.
  • Slowly lower back to the start position. Make sure that your abs are pulled in the whole time.

Exercise #2: Spreading Wings Lift

Muscles Involved:

  • Primary: Trapezius
  • Secondary: Rhomboids

Execution method:

  • Stand holding a light pair of dumbbells with feet shoulder width apart. Hold the weights on your sides with arms slight bent and locked at the elbows. Maintain a neutral spine.
  • Lift both arms out to your sides. Think of trying to bring your shoulder blades together, while maintaining a slight bend in your elbows. Stop when your hands are at shoulder level. Hold for 2 seconds.
  • Slowly lower the weights to the start position.

Exercise #3: One Arm Rowing (Dumbbell)

Muscles Involved:

  • Primary: Latissimus Dorsi
  • Secondary: Rhomboids

Execution method:

  • Stand alongside a bench with your left knee closest to it. Place your left knee on the bench. Hold a medium-weight dumbbell in your right hand and let it hang at your side with your palm facing toward your thigh. Rest your left hand on the bench. Your torso should be angled at about 30 degrees.
  • Pull from the upper back muscles to bring the weight up towards your armpit. Your elbow should come directly up, rather than out. Hold the top position for a two-second count.
  • Slowly lower to the start position. Repeat on the other arm after completing the required number of repetitions.

Exercise #4: Bow and Arrow

Muscles Involved:

  • Primary: Trapezius
  • Secondary: Rhomboids

Execution method:

  • Kneel on your exercise mat (or sit on an exercise ball) with a light pair of dumbbells in your hands. Alternatively, you can hold a resistance band in your hands. Extend your right arm out directly in front of you, with the palm facing in (hammer curl position). Your left arms should be pulled back to your left armpit. Both arms (and weights) should be at shoulder height.
  • Slowly change position, drawing your right arm back and extending your left arm. Do not let the arms drop down. Keep your abdominals tight throughout the movement.

Exercise #5: Back Arm Walk

Muscles Involved:

  • Primary: Rhomboids
  • Secondary: Deltoids

Execution method:

  • Kneel on your exercise mat on all fours. Your hands should be directly below your shoulders. Maintain a neutral spine position. Pull in your abdominal muscles and keep your hips stable.
  • Extend your right arm directly out in front of you to shoulder level. Keep the left hand firmly on the floor. With your abdominals pulled in, reverse the motion to bring the right arm down and the left arm up to shoulder level. Feel for the flexion in your back muscles as you do the movement.

5 Intermediate Back Exercises For Women

Exercise #6: Superwoman

07 Superwoman Planks HLF

Muscles Involved:

  • Primary: Erector spinae
  • Secondary: Deltoids

Execution method:

  • Kneel on your exercise mat on all fours. Your hands should be directly below your shoulders. Maintain a neutral spine position. Pull in your abdominal muscles and keep your hips stable.
  • Slowly extend your right arm out directly in front of you. At the same time extend your left leg directly out behind you. Make sure that both limbs are extended directly back, rather than dropping down or veering to the side. Hold for 3 seconds.
  • Slowly lower to the start position.
  • Repeat with the opposite limbs, alternating repetitions.

Exercise #7: Posture Perfect Lift

Exercise Tutorial - Superman

Muscles Involved:

  • Primary: Erector spinae
  • Secondary: Rhomboids

Execution method:

  • Lie face down on your exercise mat with your arms straight out in front of you. Your feet should be shoulder width apart. Your head and shoulders should be in a neutral position and you should look directly ahead.
  • Keeping your core down, slowly lift your arms and feet as you look up toward the ceiling. Hold the top position for 3 seconds.
  • Slowly lower back to the start position.

Exercise #8: Swimmer Lift

DoCFIT Fitness App - HIIT Bodyweight Workout - MMA-style Core Exercises - Swimming

Muscles Involved:

  • Primary: Erector spinae
  • Secondary: Deltoids

Execution method:

  • Lie face down on your exercise mat. Your feet should be shoulder width apart. Bend your arms and bring them up to shoulder level. Hold your hands shoulder width apart with palms facing toward the floor. Your head and shoulders should be in a neutral position and you should look directly ahead. Lift your head and shoulders and look in front of you.
  • While maintaining your elevated head and shoulder position, bring your arms directly out in front of you. The finger tips should meet in front of your head.
  • Draw your arms back. You will be simulating a swimming action (breaststroke)

Exercise #9: Bent Over Dumbbell Row

Muscles Involved:

  • Primary: Latissimus Dorsi
  • Secondary: Biceps

Execution method:

  • Stand holding a pair of medium-weight dumbbells with your feet shoulder width apart or together. Bend your knees slightly and angle your upper body forward at about 30 degrees. Maintain a neutral spine with a slight arch in the lower back. Keep a tight core.
  • With arms hanging down in front of your body, draw your shoulder blades down and together. Now pull the weight up to your rib cage. Keep your torso in a fixed position.
  • Hold the top position for a second or two, feeling the squeeze through the latissimus dorsi. Then slowly lower back to the start position.

Exercise #10: Back Sculptor

How to Do the T Pose | Back Workout

Muscles Involved:

  • Primary: Trapezius
  • Secondary: Deltoids

Execution method:

  • Lie face down on your exercise mat. Your feet should be shoulder width apart. Extend your straightened arms directly out to the side, with your palms facing out and your thumbs up.
  • Keeping your hips and feet down, lift your arms up and high out to the sides. As you come up, think about squeezing your shoulder blades together. Your head and shoulder should come up about six inches. Do not bend your arms.
  • Hold the top position and then slowly lower to the start position.

3 Advanced Back Exercises For Women

Exercise #11: Overhead Pullover

Dumbbell Lying Overhead Lat Pulls

Muscles Involved:

  • Primary: Latissimus dorsi
  • Secondary: Deltoids

Execution method:

  • Lie face up, with your knees bent and a dumbbell held between your palms. Extend your arms directly overhead. Tense your core muscles.
  • Without bending your arms, bring the weight overhead behind you all the way until it touches the floor behind you. In this position contract your lats.
  • Without bending your arms, bring the weight back to the start position, flexing the upper back muscles as your arms come back. Keep your core tight throughout the movement.

Exercise #12: Lat Pulldown

Lat Pulldown - Women

The Lat Pulldown is an exercise that is done on a lat pulldown machine which can be found in any gym. It is also a standard attachment to most home multi gyms. The exercise is the reverse motion of a pull-up. The pull-up is the best overall back exercise that can be done. However, it is very difficult. The lat pulldown is a very good transition movement.

Muscles Involved:

  • Primary: Latissimus dorsi
  • Secondary: Trapezius

Execution method:

  • Stand in front of the lat pulldown machine. Straddle the seat and grab the bar with both hands using an overhand grip. Your grip should be slightly wider than shoulder width.
  • Sit down, holding the bar above your chest with your arms extended. Place your knees under the pad to secure your upper body.
  • While maintaining a neutral spine (slight arch in your back), draw your shoulder blades down and together. Keep your chest lifted throughout the movement. Your elbows should come down and to the sides to point to the floor. Pause in the bottom position as you feel the squeeze through your lats.
  • Slowly return to the start position, feeling for a full stretch through the back muscles.

Exercise #13: Standing Straight Arm Pulldown

Straight-Arm Pulldown - Back Exercise - Bodybuilding.com

For this exercise, you will use the same lat pulldown machine as in the last exercise.

Muscles Involved:

  • Primary: Latissimus dorsi
  • Secondary: Trapezius

Execution method:

  • Stand with your feet hip width apart, about an arm’s length away from the machine. Grab hold of the bar at shoulder level with palms down. Your arms should be straight but not stiff. Maintain a neutral spine.
  • Draw your shoulder blades together and down. Contract your abs. Keeping your arms straight, pull the bar straight down to the front of your thighs. The pull should initiate from the latissimus dorsi muscles.
  • Hold the contracted bottom position and then slowly return to the start position. Do not round you back throughout the movement.

Getting Rid of Back Fat

You’ve got now a great collection of exercises to work your whole back. But what about that roll of fat that hangs over your bra strap? Will they get rid of it?

No.

Stored body fat will not be removed by doing the targeted exercises provided above. However, when you combine our exercises with regular cardiovascular exercise, you will burn fat from all parts of your body, including your mid back. A healthy, balanced diet is also necessary in order to ensure that the calories coming into your body will be used for energy and not stored as body fat.

Jogging, cycling, and using the elliptical trainer are good choices when working to reduce body fat. However, for a faster fat burn you should consider doing high intensity interval training (HIIT).

HIIT involves doing hard and fast exercise for a short period of time, followed by even shorter rest periods. As an example, you could do HIIT on an exercise bike by doing a two-minute warmup. Then cycle to your maximum ability for 30 seconds. Push to your maximum effort level. Then allow yourself 20 seconds to recover. Now do a second sprint for 30 seconds. Repeat this cycle 6-8 times.

Conclusion

The best back exercises for women described in this article will allow you to strengthen, tone, tighten and sculpt all of the muscles of your back. Select any three exercises to combine into your back workout. Perform three sets of 10 repetitions for each exercise. Do this twice per week, giving yourself at least two days rest between workouts. The following week choose different exercises. Within a few months you will have sculpted a back to be proud of.

Send this to a friend