Total Shape is a reader-supported site. Purchases made through links may earn a commission. Learn more.

The Best Back Exercises With Resistance Bands to Add to Your Workout

Tyler Sellers
Published by Tyler Sellers
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: August 9, 2021

Many people underestimate the importance of a targeted back workout.

With the improved posture and spine support, you can easily build up a solid foundation for increasing the amount of strain you can put the rest of your body under.

While there are many targeted exercises using free weights, many folks might be happier with resistance band exercises.

But before you just jump into a random selection of exercises, take a look at what our team recommends for clients who prefer using bands.

Our Top Resistance Band Back Exercises

With about 4 to 5 minutes allocated to each of the following exercises, you should be able to get the entire back workout completed in less than an hour.

1. Face Pull

man doing a face pull exercise

Start by securing the resistance bands close to the ground and grab the band at about waist-high with your arms stretched out straight and palms facing down.

Your feet should be about shoulder-width apart, and you should feel a bit of tension on the bands before you start.

Now, start the action. Pull the band up towards your face stopping a few inches in front of your nose.

Make sure you perform the movement slowly as this builds up more strain in your upper back muscles, including lats, and around your shoulder blades.

2. Bent Over Row

This is a great way to do some rowing exercises without having to invest in a costly machine. Simply start by standing in the middle of the band with your feet a few inches apart.

Bend forward slightly with your arms straight towards the ground and the palms facing each other.

Pull your hands up towards your chest and hold the tension at the top, which will also bring your shoulder blades together.

You should feel a lot of resistance pulling your hands back down, and this will bring on a bit of a burn.

Then, slowly return to the starting position before repeating the exercise for 8 to 10 reps.

Make sure you are not having any back pain doing this exercise, if you are having some you could possibly look into inversion tables.

3. Lat Pull-Down

seated woman doing a lat pull down

You’ll need to find a high enough anchor point for your resistance bands.

Ideally, this would be a hook at the top of a wall, but you can also modify the exercise a bit by using a door frame.

Either stand or kneel with your hands above your head, gripping onto the slightly stretched resistance band.

Your hands should be a bit further than shoulder-width apart, and you start this upper back exercise by pulling your arms down while keeping your elbows straight.

Slowly go back to the starting position and try to adjust the tension and how far apart your hands are to add some additional tension.

4. Single Arm Rows

Start in a sprinting position with your left foot out front and your knees bent. Then, loop each end of the band around your feet and ensure the band is stretched quite tight.

You’ll want to feel resistance right from the start.

Now, pull the band with your left hand up above hip level and hold for a few seconds. Repeat this up to 10 times and then switch to the right hand in the same way.

youtube

5. Pull Apart

female doing a pull apart resistance band workout

These look easier than they are, and you might not need the thickest exercise bands you can find.

Stand tall with your feet spread about shoulder-width while holding the band in front of your chest.

Now you pull the band apart at each end while gradually increasing the resistance and feeling the strain in your upper back muscle groups.

Form will be much more important than speed or the number of reps.

That means picking a band that you can stretch as far as you can reach rather than looking like a hero and only pulling a few inches apart.

6. Deadlift

Deadlifts are a great way to do some targeted strength training for your lower back, and you don’t have to spend a load of money on a fully kitted out barbell.

Get into a wide-stance position with the band looped around each foot. Bend your knees slightly, and reach down to grip onto the band.

It’s vital that you keep your back straight right from the start; otherwise, you could be facing some costly trips to a chiropractor [1].

Pull up the bands with your arms straight as you return to the starting position.

Other types of exercises:

7. Standing Rows

woman in pink doing a standing rows with a band

Find a place to anchor the bands at about chest high to an exercise machine or wall.

Grip onto the bands with your arms stretched out in front of you and a slight stretch already on the band.

Pull the band slowly towards you until your hands touch your chest. Then slowly release to the starting position and feel how this activates all of your upper back muscles.

You can do this back workout sitting down as well, but I find it’s easier to maintain a good posture while standing up.

8. Reverse Flye

Stand in the middle of your resistance bands and grip onto the end of the band in each hand. You’ll start off by leaning slightly forward and your arms hanging down in front of you.

In a wing-like outward movement, pull up your arms as far as you can. This will bring your shoulder blades together, and you should feel quite a lot of strain in your muscles.

Again, pick something lighter to start with as you want to get a full range of motion with good form over quantity [2].

“Some long-term trials have reported greater muscle growth after training with a full range of motion, or after training with a partial range of motion where the muscle reaches a longer length and is, therefore, more stretched.” - Chris Beardsley, Contributor at Medium.com.

9. Superman

woman doing a superman workout with resistance band

This is a slightly tricky resistance band workout as it requires a bit of coordination and balance.

So don’t worry if you stumble a few times and try it out with one of the thinner resistance bands first.

Start on all fours with the band attached to your right hand or wrist and left ankle or foot.

With a slight arch in your back, stretch your arm and leg, which will cause tension on the band along your body.

You should feel this in your shoulders and lower back as well, and as you gain more confidence with the workout, try to increase the thickness of the band.

And don’t forget to switch to your other arm and leg to target all of your back muscles.

10. Straight Leg Deadlift

With a standard deadlift, your legs are bent at the bottom of the move. But a more advanced way to increase strength in your lower back is to do deadlifts with a straight back.

You’ll often see bodybuilders do this with free weights, but it’s just as easy to activate the same muscles by using bands.

Same as with the deadlift, get into a wide stance with the band looped around your feet. Bend forward with a straight back and grip onto the band, and then slowly pull yourself up.

Other types of exercises:

Are You Going To Try These Resistance Band Back Exercises?

As a personal trainer, I always recommend resistance band exercises as a way to limit the chance of injury and increase my clients’ ability to work out at home.

Try out these resistance band back exercises for your next back training day and see how much of a difference they can make.

And don’t forget to let us know on social media how they worked out for you.


References:

  1. https://www.menshealth.com/fitness/a19540506/deadlifting-and-back-pain/
  2. https://medium.com/@SandCResearch/does-a-full-range-of-motion-always-produce-more-muscle-growth-5bf7fc6e4b55

About the author

You may also like

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *