Best Back Muscle Exercises, Correct Form, Tips, Muscles Used, Images


Image- Deadlift Correct Technique

1. Deadlift

Deadlift is one of the best compound exercises that work on multiple muscles at the same time and builds the perfect Upper body. It not only increases the mass and strength of back muscles but also builds overall body strength and structure. If you want to build huge arms, then this exercise will help to get them, as it is a compound exercise and involves forearms and biceps to a great extent. So you simply cannot afford to miss this exercise every time you hit the gym. But don’t get excited, reportedly this exercise has injured maximum bodybuilders. So correct form and few precautions are must for a perfect Deadlift.

Deadlift Exercise Mistakes

Avoid mistakes to Prevent Injury

Deadlift Correct Form:

Deadlift is a bit tricky to master, as it involves balancing and a lot of coordination and has a risk of injuries if incorrectly performed, requires following a step by step guide. Here they are:

  • The first and most important step is to achieve the right stance. You should place your hands over the barbell, shoulder width apart. Either normal overhand or alternating under/lower hand grip can be used. An alternate grip is preferred especially if you are a beginner.
  • Now adjust your posture by keeping your back straight and spine neutral. Bend down and lift the weight. Always start with light weight. Your feet should be less than hip-width apart.

Deadlift Exercise for Back Muscles Dos and Don'ts

  • Lift the bar up and keep your shoulders and back straight and arms tight on the bar.
  • Push up the weight with your legs while chest outwards at front. Keep your body aligned, hips bent backward and back straight at all times.
  • Now slowly lower the weight down, keeping your back straight, to the starting position. One repetition ends when the bar touches the floor.
  • Do 2-3 sets with 10-12 repetitions each.
Deadlift Exercise for Back Muscles

Deadlifts are excellent for Women too.

Tips and Precautions:

  • Always warm up properly prior starting up with Deadlifts. Lift light weights initially, especially if you are a beginner.
  • If you have back problems, avoid this exercise or use dumbbells instead of a bar.
  • To prevent injuries, don’t lift too heavy and always have a spotter near you.
  • Add variety. You may do Romanian Lifts or trigger the range of motions in Deadlift.

Muscles Used in Deadlift:

It works on a variety of muscles including Abdomen, Back, Legs, Hips, and Forearms.


2. Pull Ups/Chin Ups

Pull Ups Chin Ups Arnold

Arnold doing Pull Ups

Pull ups or Chin Ups being one of the oldest exercises is still undisputed king in the Back exercises. There are many variation to this exercise, but proper form of any of them gives the result. Though Pull Ups can be a bit difficult for beginners, but slowly and steadily one can gain strength and be able to perform it correctly. Pull Up for Back is rated:- 9.4 out of 10 –EXCELLENT.

Pull up can can activate every muscle of your back if done in the right way. So correct form really matters for this back workout.

Pull Ups vs Chin Ups

Pull-Ups vs Chin Ups Comparison

Chin Ups Correct Form:

  • Tightly hold the inside handles on the Smith Machine, palms facing towards you and your body straight.
  • You should use your forearms and biceps power to pull up.

‘Pull Ups / Chin Ups Do’s and Dont’s’


  • Exhale as you Pull yourself up, till your chin is inline with the bar.
  • Slowly inhale and go down to the starting position.
  • Ensure the correct position and no pressure should be put on your spine due to movement.
Pull Ups or Chin Ups for women

Chin Ups for Women


  • Your grip should be tight and movement should be smooth.
  • Do not swing while pulling yourself up.
  • Beginners may have a spotter to help chin touch the top.


Pull Up Muscles Used:

3. Seated Cable Rows


Cable Rowing

Seated Cable Rows is an excellent exercise to get your back in shape and build muscles. All you need is a rowing machine with a v-bar as shown above. This exercise focuses on your biceps, lats, traps, teres major and rhomboids muscles and is among best back exercises to develop the lats. Many people jerk too much or use too much body momentum, which can lead to many back injuries and no gains.

So correct form is very important for maximum muscle gain and to get your back in shape. Cable Rows is rated:- 9 out of 10 –EXCELLENT


Seated Cable Rows Correct Form:


Always use the correct form

  • Sit on the bench, lean and grab the v-bar. Keep your back stretched and straight. This is the starting position.
  • Squeeze your shoulders and pull the bar towards your abs. Always keep your back straight while rowing the cable.
  • Now as you go back to starting position, slightly inhale and bend your back for about 10 degrees to stretch your back muscles.

Cable Rows for Back

  • Keep your back vertically straight as you pull, and exhale slightly.
  • Repeat all the above steps. Do 3-4 sets with 10-12 reps each.


Muscles Used in Cable Rows:- Lower Back muscles, biceps, lats, traps, teres major and rhomboids.


See the Primary Muscles Worked in Cable Rows


4. Back Hyperextension


Hyperextensions Back Exercise

Hyper Back extentions is a lower back exercise targeting the lower back muscles. This exercise will help you in gaining strength, and correct body posture as well. It works on your lower back, buttocks, and hamstrings. Hyperextension is rated:- 8 out of 10 –EXCELLENT.

It is very effective back exercise amongst all other back exercises. Incorrect form of this exercise may lead to back pains and many back problems, so correct form is very important.


Hyperextenions Correct Form:



  • Place your thighs firmly against the pads of hyperextension machine.
  • You should not come up more than your straight body, assuming a long board kept on you, parallel to your legs, this should be the alignment.
  • Place your hands across your chest and start

Hyperextensions GIF

  • Lower your upper body at the waist until it is perpendicular to the floor.
  • Do not give jerks to your back while in motion change. Exhale as you go up and inhale as you swing down.
  • Your full body should be aligned as you go up to max.
  • You may do 4 sets, 10-12 repetitions each.



To add resistance to the exercise, you can hold a weight plate to your chest.



In hyperextension Muscles worked are spinal erectors, buttock, and hamstrings.

5. Lateral Pull Downs



Pull Down or Lateral Pull Down is one of the best exercises that work on your Back muscles. It works on the lats, rear deltoids, biceps, and forearms muscle group, but more pressure is put on the Lats and upper back muscles. Lat Pull Down is rated:-  8.5 out of 10 — EXCELLENT.

Many people tend to ignore the proper way and lay emphasis on the weight pulled. This can be very dangerous as it can cause lower back injuries and much-unwanted muscle stretching. So correct form of every exercise is very important.


Lateral Pull Down Correct Form:



  • Attach a bar to a high pulley and adjust your seat so as your feet touch the ground and your knees are locked under pads properly.
  • Grab the bar and hold a bit wider than your shoulder width. Wrap your hands properly on the bar
  • You should choose a moderate weight.
  • Pull the bar with your lats and bend slightly backward as you bring the bar near your chest, exhale as you bring it down.


  • Hold this position for a second to maximize the peak contraction.
  • Inhale as you move the bar to top at starting position.
  • Again straighten your arms to the top i.e. starting position.



For variety, vary your hand grip to work your back from different angles (i.e. wide grip, narrow grip, overhand, underhand, etc.).

In Lat Pull Downs, the muscles worked are lats, rear deltoids, biceps, and forearms.

Check the Muscle Map and Injury Prone Exercises for details of these muscles and position in the human body.

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