6 Helpful Bodyweight Exercises for a Strong Back

A shirtless man doing bodyweight training inside

Are you wondering how to get a stronger back? Personal trainer Sven recommends trying the following 6 bodyweight exercises from the Runtastic Results app. You don’t need any equipment for these – just your own body weight.

“In general, bodyweight exercises often require a lot of core stability,” says Sven. The personal trainer adds, “To develop this core stability, your abs and back have to learn to work together. Because one can’t be strong or stronger without the other. That’s why besides exercises with additional weight like squats, deadlifts and pull-ups the following exercises are part of my basic training for a strong back.”

1. Low Plank

Fitnessathlete doing Low Plank

Starting position:

Lie on your stomach. Bend your elbows directly under your shoulders and place your forearms on the floor. Extend your legs and rest the balls of your feet on the floor.

How to do the exercise:

Lift your hips and thighs off the floor until your body is parallel to the floor. Engage your core and make sure that your body forms a straight line from your head to your feet. Tuck your pelvis under to ensure a flat back. Don’t let your lower back (lumbar region) sag or lift. In the thoracic region, pull your shoulder blades in and down.

2. High Plank

Fitnessathlete doing High Plank

Starting position:

Get on all fours. Place your hands shoulder-width apart directly under your shoulders. Keep your elbows slightly bent.

How to do the exercise:

Extend your legs and rest the balls of your feet against the floor. Your body should be diagonal to the floor. Engage your core and make sure that your body forms a straight line from your head to your feet. Tuck your pelvis under and make sure your back is flat. Don’t let your lower back (lumbar region) sag or lift. In the thoracic region, pull your shoulder blades in and down.

3. Bridge

Fitnessathlete doing Bridge

Starting position:

Lie on your back and rest your head on the floor. Bend your knees so your heels are directly under your knees. Keep your arms at your sides with your palms facing down.

How to do the exercise:

Tuck your pelvis under to ensure a flat lower back (lumbar region). In the thoracic region, pull your shoulder blades in and down. Raise your hips towards the ceiling until they are fully extended and hold this position for 10 seconds while squeezing your glutes. Then lower your hips – ideally, without touching the floor – and repeat the exercise.

4. Superman

Female fitnessathlete doing Superman

Starting position:

Lie flat on your stomach. Extend your arms forward, palms on the ground.

How to do the exercise:

Raise your upper body and then your legs to form an arch. Make sure that your knees and your chest do not touch the floor. Keep your head and neck neutral. Do not overextend your neck and keep your chin tucked. You can bend your arms slightly at the elbows as you extend them up and forward. You can increase or decrease your body tension by slightly raising or lowering your upper body and/or legs simultaneously.

5. Quadruped Limb Raises

Fitnessathlete doing Quadruped Limb Raises

Starting position:

Get on all fours. Place your hands shoulder-width apart directly under your shoulders. Bend your elbows slightly and place your knees directly under your hips. Your body should be parallel to the floor. Make sure that your body forms a straight line from your head to your buttocks. In the thoracic region, pull your shoulder blades in and down.

How to do the exercise:

Extend your right arm forward and your left leg backward while keeping your back straight. Hold this position for three to ten seconds and then lower back to start. Repeat on the other side.

6. Push-up

Fitnessathlete doing Push-ups

Starting position:

Get on all fours. Place your hands shoulder-width apart directly under your shoulders. Bend your elbows slightly. Extend your legs and rest the balls of your feet against the floor. Engage your core and make sure that your body forms a straight line from your head to your feet. In the thoracic region, pull your shoulder blades in and down.

How to do the exercise:

Lower your upper body and your hips simultaneously. Make sure to engage your core through the whole movement. Keep your elbows tucked close to your body and inhale as you lower down and exhale as you push up.

7-minute back workout

Interested in more? In this video, you can find a 7-minute back workout. Have fun with it!

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Sven Friedrich Sven has been working as a personal trainer, conditioning coach, and sports therapist for many years. He is also an expert on fascia and nutrition. View all posts by Sven Friedrich »

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