15 Home Back Workouts You Can Do in 20 Minutes

15 Home Back Workouts You Can Do in 20 Minutes

Do you want to get a V-shape upper body? Then you should consider back workouts to make it broader. Or maybe you’re sitting on a chair for eight hours at work every day and simply want to prevent back pain? Back workouts are the best solution for your problem.

But what if you have no chance of hitting the gym regularly?

Not to worry! There is a number of effective back workouts you can do at home or even in the office, no matter what your schedule. Some of them don’t require any equipment other than your bodyweight, whereas others require only a set of dumbbells.

It’s time to pay maximum attention to your back and make sure it’s in top shape!

10 Home Back Workouts Without Equipment

1. Cobra Pose

This home back workout is very easy to learn and offers a great number of benefits. Besides working the back muscles, it also stretches the muscles in your abs, chest, and shoulders. In addition, it strengthens the spine, improves flexibility, and helps reduce belly fat.

How to do it:

  • Lie down on your belly and place your palms at shoulder level.
  • Keeping your legs straight and tightening your abs, press your body upwards.
  • Lift up your chest, arms and upper back, making sure you’re not arching your back.
  • Keep in this position for about 15 to 20 seconds, then release.

2. Cat Stretch

There’s a reason why this back workout is favorite among our feline friends around the world. If performed the right way, the cat stretch can help release the tension and pain in your back by mobilizing your spine from the pelvis into extension and flexion.

How to do it:

  • Position yourself on all fours.
  • Slowly arch your back by pushing your belly towards your spine.
  • Hold for a couple of seconds then slowly return down to starting position.
  • Repeat six to ten times.

3. Bridge Pose

Besides strengthening your back, the bridge pose also opens your chest and shoulders, stretches your thighs and hips, works your hamstrings and glutes, and increases the spine’s flexibility.

How to do it:

  • Lie on the ground with your knees bent.
  • Suck in your belly, then lift your buttocks and pelvis as high as possible, as you try and grab your feet with your hands.

4. Plank

The plank is a great way to strengthen the back, especially the lower back muscles, as it requires to engage the core. Newbies can go for the classic plank version, whereas more experienced exercisers can try the forearm version. Keep in a plank position between 30-60 seconds.

5. Kneeling Extension

This is a great strengthening workout that keeps the core muscles strong and helps to reduce lower back pain.

How to do it:

  • Kneel on all fours, with your hands beneath your shoulders and your knees below your hips.
  • Engage the core, then slowly lift your left arm, outstretching it to the front. Keeping your arm straight, slowly lift your right leg outstretching it back.
  • Keep the leg straight, with the toes pointing down.
  • Hold this position for 10 to 30 seconds, then slowly lower your arm and leg to starting position.
  • Repeat at least three times on each side, keeping the core engaged at all times.

6. Downward Dog Pose

Deservedly one of the most popular yoga poses, the downward dog offers a full-body rejuvenating stretch, including the lower back muscles.

How to do it:

  • Start in a kneeling position with your hands under your shoulders.
  • Spread your fingers wide, tuck your toes, and engage your abdominal muscles to push your body up so that only your feet and hands remain on the floor.
  • Using your arms, press the hips up and back, reaching your chest towards the thighs.
  • Lift up through the tailbone to keep the spine long and straight.
  • Your feet should be hip-width apart and your toes facing forward.
  • Press your heels into the floor to feel a stretch in the back part of the legs.
  • Make sure your legs are straight and your back is flat.
  • Hold this position for 4 to 6 breaths, then bend your knees and lower your hips back to starting position.

7. Dolphin Kicks

For this back workout, you’ll need something to hold onto, for instance, your kitchen table.

How to do it:

  • Place your upper body on a table. Your chest and forehead should be touching the table.
  • Engage your glutes and core to lift both legs together as high as you can, while keeping your torso still and in contact with the table.
  • If you can’t lift both legs at the same time, try lifting one leg at a time.

8. Superman

This back workout engages your abs and strengthens your back. Similar to the plank, the challenge here is to keep all involved muscles and limbs contracted for as long as you can. If you want to make the superman workout a bit easier, do it by raising an opposite leg and arm at a time.

How to do it:

  • Lay face down on a mat, with arms extended forward.
  • Make sure to keep your arms and hands straight throughout the workout.
  • Raise your legs and hands about 4 inches off the floor.
  • Hold for about five seconds, then return to starting position.

9. Aquaman

This is a variation of the Superman workout which strengthens your lower back and improves coordination. You can hold dumbbells in each hand to additionally work the shoulders and trapezius, or make it easier by only using your legs.

How to do it:

  • Begin by lifting your left arm and right leg as high as you can.
  • Then, bring them down, and lift your right arm and left leg.
  • Try doing the movements as quickly as possible

10. Squats

Did you know that squats use both your upper and lower back? This makes them a great workout for strengthening the spine.

How to do it:

  • Slightly bend the knees and move your hips back to lower your upper body.
  • Make sure your upper body is straight and your abs are tight.
  • Once your thighs are parallel with the floor, pause briefly, then return to starting position.

5 Home Back Workouts with Dumbbells

Dumbbell back exercises work the lower back muscles, as well as the lower and upper lats. Here are a few variations you can do at home.

1. Wide Row

Holding dumbbells in each hand, bend your hips and knees to assume a squatting position. Lift the dumbbells straight up, making sure your hips and knees remain fixed. Pause briefly, then lower the dumbbells back.

2. Bent Over Row

Stand up and bent over holding dumbbells in each hand. Raise the dumbbells until your upper arms are parallel to your body. Pause for a second, then lower the dumbbells back. Make sure your back is straight throughout the exercise.

3. One Arm Row

Bend forward in front of a bench (or coffee table), holding a dumbbell with one hand. Raise the dumbbell until your upper arm is parallel to your body. Pause briefly, then lower the dumbbell back. Alternate your hands when the set is completed.

4. Deadlift

Stand up, holding dumbbells in each hand. Bend your hips and knees to lower the dumbbells straight down, pause for a moment, then return to a standing position.

5. Bend to Opposite Foot

Stand up, bend down and grasp a dumbbell with your right hand just above your left foot. With your knees slightly bent, lift the dumbbell and return to a standing position. Pause briefly, then lower the dumbbell back down.

Final Thoughts

Begin by selecting a few of the bodyweight workouts to stretch your back, then proceed with the dumbbells workouts. Repeat each workout several times, increasing the number of reps as the workout gets easier.

In general, the number of reps, sets, and the rest time between sets will depend on your fitness level. If your goal is to grow muscle mass, focus on the dumbbell workouts using heavier weights.
If you are a beginner, focus on the bodyweight workouts that are easier to perform or use lighter weights for the dumbbell workouts. Try several workout combinations until you find your ideal home back workout routine.

If you've ever hurt your back or have health conditions like osteoporosis, make sure to consult your physician before doing these back workouts.


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