Back Exercises

This is a ‘how to‘ page for back exercises. Use this as a guide for your back workouts.

Barbell Rows

Barbell rows are one of the best back exercises you can do for mass. These are a must-do back exercise by many of the great bodybuilders throughout history, including Dorian Yates, Ronnie Coleman and Jay Cutler. Barbell rows will help build thick back muscles.

  • Start by pulling the barbell off the rack
  • With a slight arch in your lower back, slightly bend over
  • Pull the weight towards your stomach and flex your back muscles
  • Slowly lower the weight back to the starting position


Deadlifts are called the king of back exercises by many and there’s a good reason for that. They simply build muscle mass like no other exercise. Although this is a back exercise, deadlifts work your entire body.

  • Start with the barbell on the floor
  • Grab the barbell and use your legs and upper back muscles to pull the weight up to the standing position
  • Lower the weight back to floor
  • * Do not round your lower back on this exercise

Lat Pulldowns

Lat pulldowns are considered a foundational back exercise. You’ll find these is most every back workout because nothing builds width like lat pulldowns. This exercise really targets your lats. You can also use different bars and grips (ex: reverse grip, close-grip bar).

  • Start by grabbing the lat pulldown bar
  • Pull the weight down towards your upper chest

Seated Rows

Seated rows are a common back exercise. Most gyms have a version of this cable machine. This back exercise helps build thickness in your back. You can also use different grips and bars for this exercise. The close-grip bar is most common.

  • Pull the cables towards your stomach area
  • Get a good squeeze by pulling back as far as you can
  • Using controlled reps, release the bar back to the starting position making sure you get a good stretch

Back - Seated Rows

Hammer Strength Rows

There are Hammer Strength Rows to hit different angles of your back such as high rows, low rows, and the regular seated rows. This machine uses free weights (plate-loaded) and mimics the movement of free weight rows.

  • Grab the bars (these are usually uni-lateral) and pull the weight towards you
  • Contract your back muscles as you pull the weight in
  • Lower the weight out back to the starting position

Back - Hammer Strength High Pulls

Dumbbell Pullovers

Dumbbell pullovers are known as a classic bodybuilding back exercise. It’s often forgotten but it’s extremely effective at tying in those muscles between your chest and lats. Pullovers can be done with your chest or back workout.

  • Start by holding the dumbbell directly over your chest
  • Slowly lower the dumbbell behind your head
  • Use your lats and chest to pull the dumbbell back to the starting position
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