When it comes to training the arms, chest or legs, most people have specific goals in mind that they are trying to achieve.
The back, however, is often forgotten about.
Perhaps this is because we do not see our backs as much as other body areas or because people do not appreciate the benefits of training this muscle group. Whatever the reason, you can be assured that training your back is an important part of any exercise regime.
In this post, we are going to tell you why you should be paying more attention to your back and advise you on the best way to train it at home.
Why you definitely shouldn’t skip a back workout
Your back muscles include your lats, traps, and rear deltoids, as well as your core trunk muscles. While the core muscles are not technically part of the back, it is important for back health to maintain a strong core. This is because our bodies will compensate for a weak core by using the back muscles, which puts undue pressure on the back and can heighten the risk of injury.
There are two main benefits to training your back, one of which is aesthetics and the other is functional.
From a visual point of view, you cannot ignore the back muscles while training other parts of your body because this will distort your physique.
If you have ever noticed anyone who has a hunched look, it is caused by training the chest without proper attention to the back. By training your back at home, not only will you avoid this slouchy look, but you will also create a ‘V’-shaped torso that will make your waist look smaller.
From a functional point of view, a strong back will, quite literally, support you throughout your life. Everything from getting out of bed on a morning to carrying food shopping in from the car requires a healthy back.
Building these muscles will protect against injury and back pain, something that many of us can otherwise expect to experience in our lives. Training the back is also a good idea if you work a desk job because extended periods of sitting and hunching over a computer (or your phone) heighten the risks of backache.
So how do you train your back at home?
There are a variety of options for training your back at home, so you can easily mix things up and keep your workout interesting. Here’s some of the simplest and best ways to give your back a good workout easily at home:
- Kettlebell swings
- Dumbell exercises
Deadlifts and pullovers can be performed with resistance bands or dumbbells or barbells; the superman move can be performed without any equipment or with resistance bands, and kettlebell swings do not necessarily require a kettlebell, you can always substitute for a single dumbbell. For the core, leg lifts are always a good go-to option.
If you want to challenge yourself, you could install a pull-up bar in your home.
They are relatively cheap and very easy to use. Be warned though, every pull-up is a challenge, and you might not even be able to perform one in the beginning! If this is the case, use a resistance band to assist you while you build up your strength. Gradated resistance bands will allow you to taper off the assistance, rather than going from assisted to non-assisted.
Training the back does not necessarily have to involve weight training though.
Rowing is excellent for conditioning the back muscles and building endurance muscles. This helps to facilitate movement and prevent injury. Rowing is also good for improving your posture because it builds the glutes, core and back muscles. This leads to a better dispersal of your body weight and reduces the risk of developing a sore back.
How do you train your back you’ve had back pain in the past?
Some exercises to avoid, and what you need to do
Suffering from a bad back is no joke, and it makes training the back even more important because strong muscles will help to prevent injuries and strains.
If you have back pain, avoid moves that will stress the back further. Do not do exercises that involve leaning forward, such as a bent-over row. Instead, opt for moves that involve pushing weights up, rather than bending down to lift them up.
If you spend a lot of your day hunched over at a desk (or on your phone), pulling exercises can help to undo the excessive amount of contraction that this posture creates.
There are also lots of ways to modify moves to avoid putting undue stress on the back. For example, you could incorporate a weights bench into a row by lying on it or by resting your knee and your hand on it. If you have ever performed a single-handed row, you will know the posture we mean.
Summary – home back workout takeaways
The more care and consideration you show for your back now, the better protected against back pain you will be in the future. Training the back really does payback!
- Spend time on training back – it will improve every other part of your training and you’ll have a more balanced physique too.
- Exercising your back helps prevent injury – and can stave off back pain from a desk job.
- There are many ways to train your back from home – from dumbbells to rowing.
- A good cheap bit of equipment – is a simple pullup bar
- Training your back doesn’t always mean weight training – There are many good exercises you can use to strengthen your back without touching a dumbbell.
- If you have back pain, all is not lost – But you’ll need to avoid certain exercises, or invest in a decent weight bench.