9 Best At-Home Back Exercises (From a Trainer)

Isaac Robertson
Published by Isaac Robertson | Co-Founder & Chief Editor
Last updated: December 28, 2023
Our content is meticulously researched and reviewed by an expert team of fact checkers and medical professionals. They ensure accuracy, relevance, and timeliness using the latest reputable sources, which are cited within the text and listed at the end of the article. Before publication and upon significant updates, we confirm factual accuracy, committed to providing readers with well-informed content. Learn more.

I've worked as a fitness trainer for many years, and I consistently advise my clients that they don't necessarily have to go to the gym to strengthen their backs.

Knowing that establishing an effective back workout routine at home can lead to a strong and toned back without the need for fancy equipment, I dedicated a week to researching and consulting with other experts to identify the best back exercises you can perform at home.

This article presents a list of easy and impactful home-based workout exercises targeting all the essential muscles in your back, from the upper to the lower areas.

Quick Summary

  • The best back exercises you can do at home include the low plank, dumbbell good morning, dumbbell bent over row, glute bridge, and superman.
  • Strengthening your back is important because strong upper body muscles, especially the back muscles, can help protect you from lower back pain, injuries, and poor posture.
  • A study published by the National Institute of Health revealed a 32 percent decrease in back pain among individuals who performed home exercises for the back.
  • In my experience as a fitness trainer, I've discovered that back exercises efficiently target all major back muscles, and the best part is that you need minimal to no equipment.

9 At-Home Back Exercises For A Strong Upper Body

Many exercises here use just your body weight, a pair of lightweight or medium-weight dumbbells, or a mat. If you lack weights, you can use a can or a wine bottle.

As a fitness trainer, I recommend keeping your back flat and maintaining a long spine to alleviate tension in your neck. Make sure to perform these exercises with focused control to effectively engage your back muscles.

Related: Best At-Home Exercises: Supercharge Your Workout Gains

1. Low Plank


According to Harvard Medical School, the low plank targets various upper body muscle groups, promoting good posture and providing protection against back pain [1].

Here's how to do it:

  1. Lie on your stomach and place your forearms on the floor.
  2. Bend your elbows directly below your shoulders, extend your legs, and rest the balls of your feet on the ground.
  3. Lift your hips and thighs off the ground until your body is parallel to the floor.
  4. Engage your core to create a straight line with your body.
  5. Tuck your pelvis under to maintain a flat back, avoiding any sagging or lifting in the lower back.
  6. Pull your shoulder blades in and down.
  7. Hold the plank position for 30 seconds.

2. Dumbbell Good Morning

dumbbell good morning

The Dumbbell Good Morning is a quick, compound movement that strengthens your lower back, hamstrings, and glutes simultaneously.

Here's how to do it:

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold one dumbbell across your shoulders, positioned behind your head.
  2. Keep your knees slightly bent and your torso straight.
  3. Slowly hinge your hips forward until your upper body is nearly parallel to the floor.
  4. Hold for a few seconds, then return to the starting position.
  5. Complete 10 to 12 reps.

3. T Raises

T Raises

For an effective at-home back workout, grab lightweight dumbbells and stand with feet hip-width apart.

Here's how to do it:

  1. Grab lightweight dumbbells, stand with feet hip-width apart.
  2. Shift your hips back, lowering your torso almost parallel to the ground.
  3. Bring the weights together, palms facing forward.
  4. Lift the weights to shoulder height and lower them down, keeping arms straight.
  5. Ensure your core and glutes stay engaged.
  6. Complete 10 to 12 reps.

4. Push-Up Hold

protracted push up

This back workout will help improve your core stability and control.

Here's how to do it:

  1. Start in a push-up position, hands slightly wider than shoulder-width.
  2. Keep feet hip-width apart, maintaining a straight line from head to heels.
  3. Bend elbows, lowering body a few inches above the ground.
  4. Hold for one deep breath.
  5. Push halfway up and hold for one deep breath.
  6. Lower back down, holding at the lowest point for one deep breath.
  7. Complete five reps.

5. Quadruped Limb Raises

quadruped limb raises

The quadruped leg raise is a great back workout that stabilizes your core and strengthens the entire abdominal region as well as your glutes and hamstrings.

Here's how to do it:

  1. Start on all fours, hands shoulder-width apart under your shoulders.
  2. Slightly bend elbows, keeping knees directly under hips.
  3. Ensure your body forms a straight line from head to buttocks.
  4. Extend right arm forward and left leg back, maintaining a straight back.
  5. Hold for three to 10 seconds, then lower limbs to the start position.
  6. Repeat the movement for the other leg and arm.
  7. Complete eight reps on each side.

6. Seated Reverse Fly

seated reverse fly

The seated reverse fly targets the rear shoulders and the major upper back muscles, helping improve your posture and balance. You may add resistance to this back exercise by using dumbbells.

Here's how to do it:

  1. Sit on a chair with legs bent, feet flat, and torso tilted forward at 45 degrees.
  2. Lift arms to the sides and toward the ceiling.
  3. Keep the rest of your body still.
  4. Complete 10 to 12 reps.

7. Dumbbell Bent Over Row

Dumbbell Bent Over Row

This is an excellent at-home back workout for working your lats and increasing your width.

Here's how to do it:

  1. Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand at your sides.
  2. Hinge forward at the hips, forming a 45-degree angle with the floor.
  3. Allowing the dumbbells to hang below your shoulders with wrists facing in.
  4. Pull the dumbbells up next to your ribs, drawing elbows back and keeping arms tight.
  5. Lower the weights with control.

8. Glute Bridge

Glute Bridge

Apart from the glutes, this exercise works your hamstrings, lower back, and abs. It also helps decrease lower back pain.

Here's how to do it:

  1. Lie on your back, knees bent with heels under knees, arms at your sides, palms facing down.
  2. Tuck your pelvis, keeping a flat back, and pull your shoulder blades together and down.
  3. Raise your hips toward the ceiling, holding for at least 10 seconds.
  4. Lower your hips without touching the floor, then lift them back up.
  5. Complete 10 to 12 reps.

9. Superman

resistance band superman

This last exercise is a great workout for strengthening the erector spinae muscles that support the spine.

Here's how to do it:

  1. Lie on your stomach, arms bent at 90 degrees.
  2. Keep elbows in line with shoulders, and forearms on the floor.
  3. Keep legs extended with the tops of your feet on the mat.
  4. Contract core muscles, lifting head, chest, and arms a few inches off the floor.
  5. Keep your neck long and extend arms straight forward, bringing biceps to ears.
  6. Reverse the movement to return to the starting position.
  7. Complete 10 to 12 reps.

Why You Need To Train Your Back

shirtless man showing his back while flexing arms

Consistently exercising your back muscles is a highly effective method to prioritize the well-being of your upper body.

Here are several reasons why you should focus on strengthening your back.

  1. Healthy and strong upper body muscles—back muscles, in particular—protect you from lower back pain, injury, and poor posture.
  2. A strong back is essential for supporting your abs and core muscles.
  3. Your back supports your entire body, allowing you to stand, bend over, and perform basically all necessary human actions.

In my opinion as a fitness trainer, cultivating a stronger back not only results in broader shoulders but also contributes to a more attractive physique overall.

According to exercise physiologist Kelli Calabrese:

"The muscles of the back help to keep you upright, and if the muscles are strong, they don't fatigue as quickly, (so) you're less likely to get injured when lifting or bending."


  1. https://www.health.harvard.edu/pain/posture-and-back-health
Was this article helpful?

About The Author

Isaac Robertson
Co-Founder & Chief Editor
Learn more about our editorial policy
James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
James Cunningham, BSc, CPT holds a BSc degree in Sport & Exercise Science from University of Hertfordshire. He's a Health & Performance Coach from London that brings a unique blend of academic knowledge of health supplements and practical exercise experience to the table for his readers.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Dr. Harshi Dhingra, MBBS, MD is a published peer-reviewed author and renowned physician from India with over a decade of experience. With her MBBS from Bharati Vidyapeeth and an MD from Rajiv Gandhi University, she actively ensures the accuracy of online dietary supplement and medical information by reviewing and fact-checking health publications.
Learn more about our editorial policy

You May Also Like

Write a Reply or Comment

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

Our scoring system is the result of objective testing data and subjective expert analysis by a team of fitness coaches and medical experts. Our scoring factors are weighted based on importance. For more information, see our product review guidelines.