If you want to get a V-shape upper body, you should train your back to make it broad. But what if you have no chance of going to the gym and you cannot use the gym machines like the lat pulldown?
Do not worry since there many effective back exercises at home. You can do bodyweight activities and practices that only require a pair of adjustable dumbbells.
So, we are going to focus on these moves here.
Related: Best back exercise equipment for home training
Back exercises without weights at home
Before talking about them, let me tell you a story about myself. I used to pump iron in the gym, then I made a workout station, and I started calisthenics. Hence, I did only pull ups and chin ups for my back.
The results were terrific! My lats developed much better as if I were lifting weights. And, my formal gym goer friends could not believe that happened just by having only bodyweight training.
Why I told you this story is to prove to you that no weights are required to build muscles, in this case, a wide upper body. And, you only need a pull-up bar that you can fix to the door frame, or get a power tower which provides an even better workout.
Now let’s see the most powerful workouts of this kind.
1. Pull-ups & its variations
The pull up is said to be the king of the upper body strength training and for a good reason. It helps to widen your back and boost the strength of your lats. On top of that, since it is a compound exercise, it strengthens many other muscle groups as well such as your shoulders, arms, and core.
But it only works if you do it properly. So see out the following tutorial. (Do not use the momentum or swing. Bend your knees for better control. Focus on your back muscles by pulling your shoulder blades backward.)
What if you are a total beginner who cannot perform a single rep at all?
Then, you should strengthen your back with dumbbell exercises and other progressional calisthenics practices like inverted rows until you get strong enough.
And, what if these exercises are too easy for you? Hence, you know they will not support your development.
There many first-class variations that will help you to get progressive overload which is required for continuous development. A good example is the one arm pull up that needs incredible strength.
Learn more variations below.
Want to know more? Check the following posts from us to learn it inside out.
2. Chin up & its variations
While the pull up is among the best upper back bodyweight exercises, with chin-ups, you can focus on the lower parts of your lats. Besides, it as an excellent move to develop your biceps.
From my experience, the chin up is easier to complete than pull-ups, so it is maybe a better option for beginners.
Here is the tutorial on how to do it correctly.
There are also a few variations to do. For example, the one arm version for high-level trainees or with close grip your can improve your bicep muscles better.
3. What if you you do not have a pull up bar?
Don’t have a pull up bar yet? Don’t worry since there are still some powerful back exercises without equipment to strengthen your back just by using your own body weight. Check out the following video for these.
4. How to strengthen your lower back
Do not forget to strengthen your lower back as well. That part is vital for a healthy physique. A weak low end may lead to pain and stops you to perform various sports correctly and safely.
The back extension on the floor is an excellent alternative to the Roman chair, which is the best equipment for training that area.
But there are more activities you can do with the help of a pull-up bar.
Related: Best lower back exercises without weights
Now you know the most efficient bodyweight back exercises you can do at home, let’s check out the ones with dumbbells.
Back exercises with dumbbells
Adjustable hand weight are the most versatile pieces of exercise equipment allowing you to work out all muscles of your body. Since they are flexible, you can find the optimal load for your level.
Let’s see the best back exercises at home with dumbbells.
1. Rowing variations
There are various double and one arm dumbbell rowing you can choose from. All of them are great to develop your back, but the correct form is crucial to target the right areas. Hence, do not use too heavy weights if you are not familiar with the movements yet.
Plus, for single arm rows, you can use a chair or a flat workout bench to kneel on it. This way you will be able to control the motion better and focus on your back muscles.
Watch the following tutorial to learn various rowing exercises with dumbbells. The most important is to keep your back straight and do not rotate your shoulder when lift. For maximum effect, at the top position, hold the dumbbell for a second and lower it back to the starting position in slowly in a controlled way.
The barbell deadlift is among the best compound movements that work your entire body at once. If you do not have a barbell, use a pair of free weights instead.
Watch the tutorial below to see the correct form. Anyway, it works your legs as well since you need to squat at the starting position.
With Resistance Band
A rubber band is also top-notch equipment to strengthen your back if you do not like lifting weights or performing bodyweight exercises. Learn a few drills from the following video.
How to have a great at home back workout
Now you know many exercises for back, so it is time to put together a workout routine.
A plan is good if it works all parts of your back, so you need to pick the right type of exercises.
Let’s say you want to do both bodyweight and dumbbell exercises. I would have a similar program like this.
- Pull-ups: 3-4 × 6-10 reps (for size and strength)
- DB Deadlift: 3-4 × 10-15 (for the same)
- One arm dumbbell row: 2-3 × 8-15 (for shaping the lower parts of the latissimus dorsi)
- Back extension: 3-4 × 15-20 (for the health of lower back and spine)
Obviously, the number of repetitions, sets, and the rest between sets depend on your fitness level. Also, if you want to gain muscle mass use heavier weights and do more compound or advanced bodyweight training. If you are a beginner you may want to start with a back workout at home with dumbbells until you get string enough for pull ups.
Related topic: Bodyweight Exercises for a Strong Back
To sum up
I think, after reading this guide, you see that you can have a great workout without going to the gym. These are beneficial at home back exercises that can help you to build a more muscular upper body.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask below.