The back is a major muscle group in your body, and targeting it with effective exercises can burn calories and boost your metabolism.

Benefits of adding the best back exercises of all time to your routine:

  • They strengthen your spine and neck for improved posture
  • They reinforce your body against getting hurt
  • They improve your core strength for everyday functional fitness

Muscles to target

Some of the muscle groups you’ll want to work include the trapezius in your shoulders and upper back; the latissimus dorsi (lats), which run from your armpit to your mid-back and down the outside of your ribs; the spinal erectors, which run the length of the spine; your rotator cuffs in the back of your shoulder; and rhomboids between the shoulder blades mid-back. To start, it is important to break down the back into different zones.

  • The most commonly focused on area are the lats. The lats are a large muscle group that get trained in every popular back workout. They can be hit with exercises like pullups, lat pulldowns, etc. Any exercise that adducts your arm and brings it into your sides is a good candidate for helping you build bigger lats. That said, you may feel a bigger stretch on the lats by performing an underhand version of the pulldown.
  • The teres major is a muscle that assists the function of the lats. This muscle is also important for filling out the thickness of the back by sitting just above the latissimus dorsi. You can train this muscle more specifically by widening your grip during a lat pulldown. Keep your hands as far apart on the pulldown bar as you can and you will feel the extra focus being driven towards the teres major.
  • The traps are by far one of the most extensive and largest muscles of your back. With fibers in the upper traps running in one direction and those in the lower traps running in a different direction, you can preferentially accentuate the work of each area by changing the position of the angle of pull. A good traps exercise therefore must position the arm at an angle while the lower traps can be hit nicely on the inverted exercise.
  • The rotator cuff and lower back are no less important to complete back development. See the best back exercises for hitting these areas and start not only building a bigger back but making sure that yours stays healthy for a long time.

Back workout – hit every muscle

Watch this video that shows you not only how important it is to train every major muscle in your back, but to not neglect some of the most commonly ignored muscles. With back exercise examples for how to attack each area, you’ll feel more prepared than ever to hit your next back workout with a new appreciation for back training.