When we think of working out our back muscles, we often think about using dumbbells, a weighted barbell or a pull-down machine.
However, you don’t necessarily need a gym to whip your back muscles into great shape. You can get a stronger, sculpted back by performing a few no-equipment exercises at home.
This back workout targets all of your major back muscles effectively, along with some less obvious ones, for ultimate toning. This is a back-focused workout, but you’ll find this routine also effectively works out the rest of your body, too.
Work these exercises into your at-home workout routine for some serious back toning and strengthening.
1. Pike Pushups
- Firmly plant your feet shoulder-width apart on the floor.
- Bend over with your butt high in the air and your palms flat on the ground.
- Walk your hands forward about a foot.
- Perform pushups with your legs still straight and your butt up high.
- Complete 10 push-up repetitions per set.
2. The Superman
- Lie face down on the floor.
- Extend your arms and legs so that your body forms a straight line.
- Lift your chest and legs up off the floor at the same time, extending your arms up and forward (like superman flying!). Keep all of your limbs straight.
- Hold the position for 15 seconds.
- For each 15 second hold, rest 10 seconds and count as one repetition.
3. Donkey Kicks
- Get into a standard push-up position.
- Bend your left knee forward toward your chest.
- Kick your left leg back, away from your body.
- Quickly return your left leg to the pushup position.
- Repeat the same motion with your right leg quickly.
- As you kick (like a donkey), count each leg’s kick as one repetition.
4. Tuck Jump
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Quickly jump up as high as you can.
- Tuck your feet up under your butt.
- Return to your feet and rest 10 seconds before performing another repetition.
5. Animal Crawl
- Begin at one end of a room.
- Laying flat on your stomach on the floor, tuck your arms beside you.
- Wriggle your body, without using any limbs, across the floor to the other side of the room.
- Now flip onto your back and raise yourself into a bear crawl.
- Bear crawl to the other side of the room.
- Switch into a crab walk position.
- Count each time you reach the end of the room as one repetition.
6. Flamingo Pose
- Standing near a wall (or something else you can steady yourself on), kick your right leg out behind you.
- While balancing on your right leg, lean forward, extending your left arm out in front of you and using your right arm for balance.
- Hold the position, with your back parallel to the floor, for 20 seconds at least.
- Return to a standing position and switch legs.
- Count each hold per leg as one repetition.
- Lay with your back on the floor.
- Extend your arms and legs so that your body is one straight line.
- Without bending your limbs, lift your arms and legs straight up.
- Raise your limbs and upper back until your body forms a “V.”
- Hold the position for 15 seconds.
- Lay back down and rest 10 seconds before performing another repetition.
8. Decline Plank Push-Up
- Place your feet on an elevated but stable surface, like a box or a chair.
- Get into a planking position with your feet still elevated.
- Hold the decline plank for five seconds.
- Dip into a push-up.
- Resume decline plank for another five seconds, counting a new repetition.
9. Side Bends
- Don’t be fooled by the name. Side bends help work your back muscles and tone your back and its sides.
- Grab homemade weights or dumbbells.
- Standing with your feet at shoulder-width apart, raise your right hand and dumbbell above your head.
- Let your left hand and dumbbell rest at your side.
- Lean towards your right side until you feel the stretch.
- Hold the position for 10 seconds.
- Switch arm positions and bend to the opposite side.
- Count each bend to each side as one repetition.
10. Upside Down Flys
- Generally you perform flys on your back. This time, lay on your stomach on the floor.
- Grab homemade weights or dumbbells that you can easily lift.
- Extend your arms out to your sides with dumbbells in hand.
- Arch your back toward the floor, raising your upper back into the air as much as possible without using your limbs.
- Slowly raise and lower your arms and weights three times.
- Rest for 10 seconds, count that as one repetition, and begin again.