7 Resistance Band Exercises to Build a Stronger Back

7 Resistance Band Exercises to Build a Stronger Back

It’s not uncommon for a training plan to have a designated “arm day” or “leg day,” so why do we shortchange the back? A strong back is crucial to athletic performance and good posture, not to mention everyday activities — just try to function with one that’s aching or injured. And nothing advertises your dedication to fitness like a set of chiseled traps. But due to the limitations of an “out of sight, out of mind” mentality, so many of us ignore our back muscles to focus on the ones we can easily see in the mirror.

Whether or not you ever take the time to turn around and glance over your shoulder, your back is there… and it needs your attention! To get a stronger, shapelier back, you need to challenge it with a variety of movements. Luckily, you can build a dynamic workout around just one inexpensive piece of equipment: the resistance band.

Here are eight of the best resistance band back exercises.

Want to make the most of your resistance bands? Get a full-body band workout with Joey Thurman’s Fast Results program on Openfit! Try it here for free.

 

1. Straight-Arm Lat Pull-Down

  • Secure a resistance band with handles to a stable, immobile object just above head height. (A door works well if you have a door anchor for the resistance band.)
  • Grab the handles with your arms extended straight out in front of you and your palms facing down. Step back until you feel tension in the band. This is the starting position.
  • Keeping your chest up, shoulders down, and arms straight, simultaneously pull both handles down to your sides. Pause, and then return to the starting position.

 

2. Band Pull-Aparts

  • Grip the ends of a large resistance band with both hands, palms facing down. (If your band has handles, hold the actual band below the handles to create additional tension.)
  • Standing with your feet slightly apart, straighten your arms and lift them up in front of you to shoulder height. This is the starting position.
  • Engage your core, open your arms to your sides, and squeeze your shoulder blades together to pull apart the band.
  • Slowly bring your arms back to the starting position.

 

3. Reverse Flies

  • Secure the middle of a resistance band with handles to an immovable object that’s about chest height.
  • Grab the handles of the band and, maintaining a slight bend in your elbows, extend your arms straight out in front of you with your palms facing each other. Step back until you feel tension in the band. This is the starting position.
  • Engage your core and squeeze your shoulder blades together as you open your arms to your sides.
  • Slowly bring your arms back to the starting position.

 

4. Seated Rows

  • Sit on the floor with your legs together and extended straight in front of you. Loop the center of a resistance band with handles around the soles of both feet, then wrap the ends of the band around the center of each foot to create additional resistance.
  • Sit up straight, engage your core, and, with the palms facing in toward each other, pull both hands toward your rib cage as you squeeze your shoulder blades together.
  • Release your arms, allowing your hands to return to the starting position.

 

5. Resistance Rows

resistance row demonstration | resistance band back exercises

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart on the center of a resistance band with handles. Wrap one end of the band around the center of each foot and hold the handles so that your palms are facing in toward each other.
  • Bend your knees slightly and hinge forward at the hips about 45 degrees, keeping your back straight.
  • Keep your core engaged and your back straight as you pull your hands up to your rib cage, squeezing your shoulder blades together at the top.
  • Release your arms and repeat.

 

6. Superman Lat Pull

superman lat pulldown demonstration | resistance band back exercises

  • Holding the ends of a light resistance band in each hand, lie on your stomach with your arms extended overhead, chest and arms lifted off the floor, and palms facing down. This is your starting position.
  • Keeping both arms straight, trace a half-circle with your right arm, extending it directly out to the side and down toward your right thigh. Your left arm should remain straight overhead.
  • Reverse the move, slowly returning to the starting position.
  • Repeat with your left arm, and do equal reps on both sides.

 

7. Bird Dog Press

bird dog exercise | resistance band back exercises

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart on the center of a resistance band with handles. Wrap one end of the band around the center of each foot.
  • With a handle in each hand, come to your hands and knees with your hands directly below your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips.
  • Extend your banded arm in front of you and your banded leg behind you, keeping your core braced and back flat. Pause, then return to the starting position.
  • Perform all reps on one side, switch arms and legs, and repeat.

Work these resistance band back exercises into your existing routines or do them back to back (ha!) for an effective workout you can do just about anywhere.

Jenessa Connor

About

Jenessa Connor has written for Men’s Journal, Shape, Runner’s World, Oxygen and other health and fitness publications. When it comes to exercise, she’s a bit of a dabbler, but she always comes back to running, CrossFit and yoga. Follow her on Twitter.

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