Back To Back: 4 Exercises For A Stronger Back

athletic woman with defined back

Each of the back exercises listed should be performed with proper form to not only avoid injury, but to also allow
the muscle to go through a full range of motion and get the most out of the exercise.

Pull Ups

1. Grab the pull up bar with an overhand grip that is slightly wider than shoulder width.
2. Allow your body to hang freely from the pull up bar with your arms fully extended.
3. Using your lats, pull yourself straight up as far as you can so that your chin reaches the height of the bar or above it.
4. Lower yourself back to the starting position (arms fully extended).

– This exercise can be done using a variety of different grips. Overhand or underhand, narrow or wide. And, while each way is effective, the overhand slightly wider than shoulder width grip is my personal favorite grip for pull ups.
– This exercise can also be weighted by either holding a dumbbell between your feet, or by adding weight to a pull-up belt (also called a dip belt).
– While pull ups are primarily a back exercise, they also recruit the use of the biceps secondarily. An underhand grip will recruit the biceps more so than the overhand grip. This is part of the reason why I prefer the overhand grip.

Lat Pull Down

1. Grab the lat pulldown bar with hands slightly wider than shoulder width with an overhand grip.

2. Sit down with arms fully extended overhead.
3. Pull the bar straight down either in front of or behind your head. (If in front, pull the bar to the top of your chest. If behind, pull the bar to the back of your neck.)

4. Return to starting position.

– Just like pull ups, this exercise can be done using a variety of different grips. Overhand or underhand, narrow or wide. Each way is effective.
– While the lat pulldown is primarily a back exercise, it also recruits the use of the biceps secondarily. An underhand grip will recruit the biceps more so than the overhand grip.