Lifting weights and incorporating dynamic bodyweight exercises is a surefire way for men to strengthen their back and core muscles. The exercises included are basic movements that are focused on different aspects of the back and core that will build on and improve muscle gains.
1. Bent-Over Barbell Row
This exercise will effectively strengthen and build your upper back muscles.
- Start in a hip-width stance with knees slightly bent.
- You should be holding your barbell with a grip that is a little wider than shoulder width.
- Make sure that your wrists are locked on and your back, head, and neck are in neutral positions.
- Slowly bring the bar up to your chest and squeeze your upper back muscles at the top before slowly lowering back down for one repetition.
Pullups work the middle back with the use of your own body weight.You can use bands to modify the movement or weighted vests to make it more challenging.
- Place your hands on the bar a little farther apart than shoulder width with your palms facing away from you.
- From a straight-arm hang, pull straight up so that your head rises above the bar.
- Slowly lower back down to the starting position for one repetition.
- Avoid shrugging your shoulders up and creating unnecessary tension around the shoulders throughout the movement.
- Start in a hip-width stance.
- Squat down to grab the bar in a shoulder-width grip.
- Hold the bar in a standing position with head, neck, and back in neutral alignment.
- Slowly lower down keeping the bar close to your body.
- Stop when your hamstrings become taut and then rise back up into the starting position.
- Make sure that your knees have a slight bend in them throughout the movement.
This move works your lower body along with your traps and middle back.
4. Spiderman Plank Crunch
This move targets both the core and the obliques.
- Start in a plank position and bring your right knee up to your right elbow as you lower down into a pushup.
- Come back up into the plank position and bring your right leg back and then repeat the same crunch and pushup sequence on the left side.
- The spiderman plank crunch is a dynamic move that uses the entire body, especially the core.
5. Stability Ball Rollout
- Grab a stability ball and rest your forearms on it while you are in a kneeling position.
- Feel free to use a mat under your knees for more comfort throughout the exercise.
- The stability ball should start out close to you.
- Roll it out at a steady pace using your core to control the ball.
- Once you get to a fully extended position, use your core to bring the ball back to the starting position.
6. Hanging Leg Raise
This move works the entire core using your body weight.
- Hang from a pullup bar and keep both legs straight and raise them up together to form a 90-degree angle with your body.
- You can modify this move by just bringing your knees up together.
7. Renegade Row
The renegade row works your entire body, but specifically your upper back and core.
- Start in a plank position with a dumbbell in either hand.
- Maintain a stable position as you bring your right elbow straight back into a row with the dumbbell in hand.
- Lower it back down to the plank position before using the left arm to row straight back.
- Continue alternating in this pattern. Feel free to throw in a pushup in between each row to emphasis the chest muscles as well.
It’s important to maintain a stable core and straight, head, neck, and back throughout the movement. Don’t let the weightedrow on either side pull you away from your centered plank position.