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9 Resistance Band Back Exercises for Any Fitness Level

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9 Resistance Band Back Exercises for Any Fitness Level

Everyone experiences back pain at some point in their lives. If you're lucky, you might just have some occasional lower back tweaking. If you're really unlucky, you end up with severe pain regularly that impacts standing, walking, and your general ability to move around in the world. I've you have ever seen someone who has thrown their back out, you know the pain is real.

Back workouts are often treated like the annoying little brother of a training routine. You'll do the bare minimum effort required to get them off your back (heh), but they're not nearly as fun as pulling huge weights like you would with your chest or legs.

Many of us have jobs that involve sitting all day which can wreak havoc on our back muscles. These muscles provide a ton of spinal support and help to keep you standing, literally. A well-built set of back muscles are pretty visually pleasing too. And who doesn't want to look a little more fit?

Here, we've built an easy and effective back workout with resistance bands. Without needing traditional weights, it's easy to perform these back exercises at home or the gym.

Why use resistance bands?

Resistance bands have been used in physiotherapy and rehabilitation for years - and with good reason!

  • They are a fantastic way to workout from anywhere. They are virtually weightless, making them easy to transport from the gym to home and even to take traveling with you.
  • The cost is low compared to other workout equipment.
  • They prevent injury by not adding pressure to joints like traditional weights do. This also makes them great to use on muscle groups that may have been previously injured to restrengthen.

Pullup assist bands work great for these exercises and are fantastic for assisted pull-ups to help your build your way up to the real deal.

9 Back Exercises with Resistance Bands

For this resistance circuit you will perform each exercise for 12-15 repetitions, back to back, or with as little rest between each exercise as possible.

Perform each exercise slowly and with control while visualizing the muscles you're working. Focus on fully extending them through the movement.

Repeat the entire circuit 3 times total for a stronger and happier back body. Do this workout 2-3 times a week on alternating days for the best results.

1. Lat Pulldown

  • Wrap your band to a bar slightly above head level while standing. Face toward the bar.
  • Grab an end in each hand and walk backward away from the bar until it is no longer loosely hanging. You should be holding the band above head level. Keep your back straight and slightly tuck your hips under to protect your lower back.
  • Keep your shoulders down and back. Elbows should be at shoulder level and remain there through the entire movement. Pull back on the bands and bring your hands into your chest, until your elbows are fully bent.
  • Return to the starting position and repeat.

2. Back Fly with Band

  • Wrap your band around a bar at chest level. Face toward the bar.
  • Grab an end of the band in each hand and walk backward away from the bar until you've removed the slack from the band. Your arms should be facing toward each other, straight out in front of you. Tuck your hips slightly.
  • Keep your elbows at shoulder height throughout the movement. Pull your arms back and out to the sides until your elbows are behind your shoulders. Keep a slight bend in your elbows to protect your joints and ensure your chest is proud and you're not shrugging your shoulders - down and back is the name of the game.
  • Activate your back throughout the exercise. It should feel like you are tucking your shoulder blades into their sockets when your arms are fully extended.
  • Return to the starting position and repeat.



3. Bent over Rows

  • While standing, grab your resistance band and hold it in the starting position for jump rope. Step both feet on top of the band. The band should lie under the middle of each foot while a hand holds each end.
  • Switch the band into the opposite hands, so that the loose part of the band makes an X.
  • Hinge at your hips and stick your bum out. Tuck your hips under and tighten the abdominals to ensure you're not overextending and protect your lower back. Keep your spine, neck, and head in line with your hips.
  • With your palms facing each other, pull back on each end of the band until your arms make a 90° angle and your elbows are at your sides, or slightly behind you.
  • Keep your elbows tucked in close to your body during the entire movement - don't let them come out. Your arm should follow a straight line back to your body throughout.
  • Return to starting position and repeat.

4. Lat Pulse with Bands

  • Lay face down on a yoga mat or the floor, with the band under your hips. Your body should be in a straight line from head to toe. Slightly lift your head off the floor, but keep your gaze at the floor to avoid any strain on your neck or upper back.
  • Grab each end of the band with your hands. Palms should be facing up, arms should be straight and elbows should be facing in.
  • Keeping your arms tight to your sides throughout the movement, activate your back muscles to lift the arms off of the ground.
  • This is a difficult movement so the range of motion may be small, which is totally okay!
  • Return to starting position and repeat.

5. Banded Face Pulls

  • Wrap your band around a bar at shoulder height and face the bar. The starting position is the same as the back fly exercise.
  • Grab the band in each hand and back away from the bar to remove slack. Keep your hands facing down. Arms should be straight out in front of you.
  • Keep your posture, tuck your hips slightly under and pull the band toward your face. Hands will slightly separate once they are close to your face and come to either side of your temples.
  • Keep elbows in line with your shoulders during the movement. Don't let them drop below that shoulder line, and let them bend fully. At the top of the position, the upper arm should be straight out from your shoulders with the elbows fully bent.
  • Return to starting position and repeat.

6. Single Arm Row

  • Make your band into a loop and step both feet through the loop.
  • Bend both knees and get into a lunge position. Hinge at the hips slightly, lean your hand onto one knee for support and grab the loop with your free hand.
  • Tuck your hips under, engage your ab muscles, and row back as you did in the bent-over row exercise.
  • You will want to keep your elbow tucked into your side and pull until your arm is bent to 90° at your side.
  • Return to starting position and repeat.

7. Standing Row

  • Wrap a band around a bar at shoulder level, grab each end of the band and face the bar.
  • Back away from the bar until the band is no longer hanging. Keep arms straight out in front of you with your hands facing in toward each other.
  • Keeping your elbows tight to your sides, row your arms back to 90°.
  • Return to starting position and repeat.

8. Superman Kneeling

  • Get onto all fours in the center of a yoga mat. Loop the resistance band around your left foot and your right hand.
  • Tuck your hips slightly under, keep your head down, and lift your right arm in front of you and your left leg behind you. Your body should be in one straight line.
  • Return to the starting position. Once you finish a set on one side, switch the band to the opposite arm and leg and repeat.

9. Band Upright Row

  • While standing, grab your resistance band and hold it in the starting position for jump rope. Step both feet on top of the band. The band should lie under the middle of each foot while a hand holds each end.
  • Stand up straight, with arms down and palms facing inward to your body. Lift your arms, leading with your elbows. Your hands should follow a straight line up your body and finish around your armpits. Your elbows will be straight out at your sides and slightly above your shoulders.
  • Return to the starting position and repeat.

If you are looking to strengthen your back at home or in the gym, these resistance band workouts will have you seeing results in no time!

Katherine Holden

Katherine Holden

Katherine is a CrossFit expert with humble origins. Starting out on a ranch, ever since she was nine, she spent most of her life roping and competing in team roping. After finding bodyweight exercises interesting she sought after a career in CrossFit and dedicated her life towards achieving the body of her dreams. Today Katherine is a personal trainer that loves to travel the world and change the lives of her clients.

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