Best Back Exercises With Dumbbells
How to Use Dumbbells to Target Every Area of Your Back
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825捕鱼电玩城The movies glorify the so-called "beach muscles" (the chest, biceps and abs), but a strong, well-tapered back is the crowning glory of a man's physique. Even better: back training has the added benefit of correcting your posture (so that you'll stand taller and slouch less), helping to reduce or prevent that dreaded back pain.
RELATED: Build a Bigger Chest
Whether you’re working out with dumbbells by choice or for lack of a barbell, you’ll be glad to hear that dumbbells can actually provide an expedited route to muscle growth — and a broader, more muscular back. Working out with dumbbells requires a greater amount of stabilization, which activates more muscle fibers and increases muscle activity, says Daniel Giordano, D.P.T., C.S.C.S., co-founder of Bespoke Treatments Physical Therapy and Fitness.
“Dumbbells are also easier on your joints,” he says. “You have the advantage of fine-tuning the position of the weights, as opposed to being locked in place with a barbell.”
Below are eight back-building exercises – assembled by Dr. Giordano to cover your entire back, and light up your arms in the process — that require nothing more than a pair of dumbbells to perform. You don’t even need a bench.
What You'll Need
CreazyBee Barbell Set of 2 50 LB Hex Rubber Dumbbell
825捕鱼电玩城Simple yet effective, this dumbbell set will allow you to complete all the back exercises below, and then some. Built with metal handles and thick hexagonal-shaped rubber, this set is built to last – and it won't dent your floor! While this set includes two 50lb weights – for a total of 100 lb – sets are also available in 30 lbs, 20 lbs, 10 lbs, and 5lbs.
TELK Adjustable Dumbbells, 45, 65, 105 to 200 lbs
Racks on racks of dumbbells may look nice, but can take up loads of unnecessary space. This set comes with extra plates and collars so you can adjust the weight to suit your needs. TELK weights are available in sets of 45 lb, 65 lb, 105 lb and 100 lb.
Fitness First Urethane Encased Dumbbell Pairs
Fitness First dumbbell sets start at 5 lbs and go all the way up to 100 lbs so you can easily find a weight that suits your needs. The octagonal rubber ends allow the weight to stay put and not roll around when resting on the ground, and they won't leave dents in the floor, either. In addition, the textured chrome handle allows for an easy grip if you don't have spare grips on-hand.
Nordic Lifting Wrist Wraps
Wrist wraps can be a godsend for a guy who’s ready to get down with some serious weight. They improve joint positioning by preventing hyperextension and also provide support to the wrist. Essentially, that helps to better performance while decreasing wear on the wrist joint. Yes, please. These wraps come in eight different colorways and are machine washable.
Iron Bull Strength Alpha Grips
Get more from your dumbbell workouts by adding these thick-grip extensions to your dumbbells. The added thickness will torch your forearms more than the standard skinny grip, thereby making every exercise you do that much more difficult. This is probably the cheapest way to squeeze some extra gains from your standard workout.
Understanding the Anatomy of the Back
Dumbbells are a popular choice for back exercises because of their versatility. Unlike barbells, which are unwieldy and force you into fixed planes of motion, dumbbells can be manipulated in to give you greater control over which muscle fibers are contracting, allowing for more specific targeting of your muscles. And when it comes to back training, that's a big help, since your back is made up of multiple muscle groups, which perform a diverse array of functions.
825捕鱼电玩城The lower back, also known as the lumbar area, plays a crucial role in supporting your upper body's weight. That means it needs to be strong, since a weak lower back is a recipe for lifelong back pain and soreness. The lumbar area is also engaged any time you bend, rotate or extend your body from the waist, so training through these movement patterns will help to keep it in good shape.
825捕鱼电玩城The mid back, also known as the thoracic area, is involved in protecting your spine and enabling your body to twist and rotate. The major muscle group here is the latissimus dorsi, which also happen to be the largest muscles in your back, but the area is also comprised of the erector spinae and the serratus posterior. A wide, thick back that so many men desire can only be achieved by strengthening these muscle groups.
825捕鱼电玩城This region of the back retracts your shoulder blades, supports the weight of your head, stabilizes the shoulder girdle and helps retract your scapula. The major muscle groups involves here are the latissimus dorsi and trapezius, though we can also include the rear delts in the mix, since strong, prominent rear delts are one of the signals of a healthy back.
The best back exercises are those target a wide range of these specific areas, or that enable you to narrow your focus on one small muscle group to address any structural weaknesses you may have in your back itself. Some of the benefits of incorporating the below dumbbell exercises include:
- Better posture
- Reduced back pain
- Greater shoulder stability
- Improved range of motion throughout the lumbar spine
825捕鱼电玩城Whatever your training goals, you owe it to yourself to incorporate the following exercises into your back workout routine:
Best Back Exercises With Dumbbells
Best Back Width Exercise: Reverse Fly
Target: Posterior deltoids, posterior rotator cuff, upper back muscles
825捕鱼电玩城Set your feet shoulder-width apart, then hinge at your hips until your torso is almost parallel with the floor. The dumbbells should hang straight down from your shoulders, with your elbows slightly bent (not fully straight) and palms facing each other.
825捕鱼电玩城Keeping your core tight and back flat, pull your shoulder blades down and back (depress and retract), then raise your arms out to the side until your elbows are at shoulder height. Pause, then slowly return to the starting position.
Best Back Stabilization Exercise: Ys
Target: Lower trapezius, postural muscles
Set your feet shoulder-width apart, then hinge at your hips until your torso is almost parallel with the floor. The dumbbells should hang straight down from your shoulders, with your elbows slightly bent (not fully straight) and palms facing each other.
Keeping your core tight and back flat, pull your shoulder blades down and back (depress and retract), then raise your arms in front of you, thumbs pointed towards the sky, until your elbows reach shoulder height. Your torso and arms should resemble a Y. Pause, then slowly return to the starting position.
Best Back & Shoulder Exercise: Upright Row
Target825捕鱼电玩城: Upper trapezius, deltoids
825捕鱼电玩城Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, dumbbells hanging in front of your body with your elbows slightly bent (not fully straight) and palms facing you.
825捕鱼电玩城Pull your shoulder blades down and back, flex your elbows, and pull the dumbbells up towards your chin until the dumbbells cross your lower chest and your elbows are at shoulder height.
Lower the dumbbells back to the starting position.
Best Trap Exercise: Shrug
Target: Upper and middle trapezius, levator scapulae
Set feet shoulder-width apart. Allow the dumbbells to hang at your sides, palms facing each other, with your elbows slightly bent (not fully straight).
Pull your shoulder blades down and back. While maintaining this position, shrug your shoulders up towards your ears. Pause, then lower the dumbbells back to the starting position.
Best Exercise for Building Back Thickness: Narrow Row
Target: Latissimus dorsi, rear deltoids, rhomboid, trapezius
Grab the desired dumbbells.
Set your feet shoulder-width apart, then hinge at your hips until your torso is almost parallel with the floor. The dumbbells shall hang straight down from your shoulders, with your elbows slightly bent (not fully straight) and palms facing each other.
825捕鱼电玩城Keeping your abs contracted and back flat, draw your shoulder blades down and back (depress and retract them), pulling them together, and then row the dumbbells up until your elbows are in line with your ribcage. Pause, then slowly return to the starting position.
Best Exercise for Building Back Width: Wide Row
Target: Rear deltoids, rhomboids, trapezius
Set your feet shoulder-width apart, then hinge at your hips until your torso is almost parallel with the floor. The dumbbells should hang straight down from your shoulders, with your elbows slightly bent (not fully straight) and your palms facing you.
Keeping your core tight and back flat, draw your shoulder blades down and back (depress and retract), pulling them together. As you row the dumbbells up, point your elbows outwards, perpendicular to your torso. Pause once your upper arms are parallel with the floor, then slowly return to the starting position.
Best Total-Body Back Exercise: Romanian Deadlift
Target: Erector spinae, iliocastalis, longissimus, spinalis, glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings
Set your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold the dumbbells in front of your thighs with palms facing you.
Maintaining a tight core and flat back, hinge at the hips to push your butt back. With control, lower your torso until the dumbbells pass your knees or you feel a stretch in your hamstrings.
Thrust your hips forward, standing tall into the starting position.
Best Lat Isolation Exercise: Lat Pullover
Target: Latissimus dorsi, triceps, rhomboids, rear deltoids
Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, shoulder-width apart.
825捕鱼电玩城Grab the desired dumbbells and press them over your chest with your palms facing each other. Allow for a slight bend in your elbows. Maintaining a flat back, lower the weights toward the floor behind your head until your arms are in line with your torso. This is your starting position.
825捕鱼电玩城Engage your lats and, maintaining only a slight bend in your elbows, raise the weight until it is above your chest. Pause, then return to the starting position.
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