Back training with minimal equipment

Training at home is challenging at times. At the gym, you have access to all sorts of awesome equipment that makes training everything so much easier. But at home, where you may be limited to bodyweight only, how do you incorporate back training and get a good training effect for those all important back muscles? You know, the ones you can’t see in the mirror but are responsible for good posture, building a strong base to work from and generally making your home training program about 500% better.

woman with back muscles

Unless you are lucky enough to have a reasonably well kitted out home gym set up, you’re going to be limited to either bodyweight only, or maybe adding in some resistance bands for added tension. So let’s assume we only have bodyweight for now. Here are 6 great exercises you can add to your workouts right now.

 

Inverted row

These are great for training the lats, but they are challenging to set up without traditional gym equipment. But I saw this variation on Ben Brunos Instagram feed and it works well. The only downsides I could find are my chairs are too slidey, because they are plastic, and my monkey arms meant I couldn’t get full arm extension at the bottom.

Training tips:

Set the chairs up so they are just wider than your grip.

Move slowly and steadily to limit slippage.

If you can’t get full ROM, use what you can, maybe bending your knees to make it easier.

Keep your butt and abs tight to stop yourself arching your low back.

Reverse plank

These are deceptive! It looks like I’m barely moving, mostly because I’m barely moving, but these hit your mid back and rear of your shoulders hard. Your goal is to lift your torso off the floor, either holding the top position for a set time, or do them as reps with a short pause at the top.

Training tips:

Set the books/ blocks a little wider than your torso, so that you can have your elbows out at about 45 degrees.

Tight abs and glutes, again limiting how much you arch through your low back.

Drive hard in to the block to lift yourself up.

Start with 3-4 sets of 5-8 lifts with a pause at the top, and gradually increase time or reps.

Hinge Y-T

I really like the Y and T movements when they are done well. Kepping your shoulders down, away from your ears, means you really target the rhomboids and mid/ lower traps to drive the movement, making these wonderful for improving your posture.

Training tips:

Go into a hinge position, allow your knees to bend a little more since we’re not looking to target your legs and just finding a suitable positon.

Pull your shoulders away from your ears, reset this each rep if necessary.

T’s go straight out to the sides, not slightly back. Y’s go up and out at 45 degrees.

At the bottom position, reach for the floor to pull your shoulder blades forwards and around your ribcage.

Sets of 10-12. If you want to, you can add some light weight, such as a couple of bottles of water, since this exercise doesn’t need a lot of weight to make it super challenging.

Broomstick press

These suck. In a good way.

Training tips:

When you are setting up, just as before, keep your abs and ass tight to stop overarching through your low back.

As you press out, try to lift the broomstick higher if you can.

On the pull down, squeeze your shoulders away from your ears, and if you find it too difficult to get the stick behind your head, just come down to the top of your head.

Hands off the floor

 

 

While this requires some strength between your shoulder blades to keep your arms off the floor, it’s goingg to challenge the back of your shoulders more.

Training tips:

Do I need to say it? Ok. Keep your abs and ass tight to limit arching in your low back.

Palms down while your arms are overhead, rotating to have your palms up as you pas the half way point.

Keep your hands about 4-6 inches off the floor througohut. This is easier if you don’t do it on a slope…

 

Add these into your home workouts and you’ll feel the benefits almost immediately.

Stay healthy,

Dave

 

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