This back workout is designed to hit any and every back muscles that you have from top to bottom. The high row, seated rows, and bent over barbell row will help target your upper and mid back, while the dumbbell deadlift and hip thrusters will target your lower back and hips. Hip thrusters are a great way to improve your overall stability and can help prevent future hip issues.

Pull ups, in general, are one of the best workouts you can do. It’s a compound exercise that thoroughly activates so many different muscles groups. If you’re having issues doing pull ups, try putting one or both of your legs on a chair or stool to assist your pull up. As you get stronger take one foot off, or just use your toes to support yourself. If you have a gym membership you can also utilize the assisted pull up machine that has counterweights to help you pull up.

This is a pretty intensive workout so you shouldn’t need more than 1 – 3 sessions per week while allowing a day or two rest in between sessions. Note that many back movements also utilize your biceps, so you may want to add a few bicep exercises to this workout session or skip a day after this workout before hitting a bicep workout.

Exercise no. 1

High Row Machine

4 sets of 10 reps

The high row machine is a great workout to work on some of your lower back muscles.

  1. Begin by adding the desired amount of weight to each side of the high row machine.
  2. Sit down at the machine and adjust the padding so it’s right at the top of your knees and will help keep you legs/knees down. Grip both handlebars with your palms facing the ground.
  3. Exhale while pulling the handle bars down as far as your can. You should feel your shoulders moving backwards and you back contracted inwards. Pause for 1-2 seconds before inhaling while bringing the handles almost to the starting position.
  4. Right before you reach your starting position pull the handle bars back down for another rep.
  5. Repeat for the desired amount of reps.
Exercise no. 2

Seated Rows

4 sets of 10 reps

There are a few variations to this exercise based on the equipment that you have. Some gyms have pulley systems set up with seated rows that have a flat bench with a place for your feet, others don’t.

  1. Start by attaching a V bar to the lower or mid to lower setting of the pulley. If you’re on a fixed seated row machine that has a place for your feet you can simply leave the pulley as is. If there is no seated pulley row machine, bring a seated bench about 2-3 feet from the cable machine.
  2. Sit with your feet planted against the feet pads or firmly planted. Hold the V Bar firmly in front of you with your arms extended, but relatively straight. Lean back slightly while keeping your torso straight.
  3. Pull the V bar towards your chest, while trying to keep your elbows close to your body. You should feel your back muscles contracting towards each other. Exhale through the movement.
  4. Pause for a moment then slowly release the weight back to the starting position. Inhale through the movement.
  5. Repeat for your desired number of reps.
Exercise no. 3

Pull Ups

4 sets of 10 reps

Pulls Ups are one of the best bodyweight workouts you can do. As you get better at them you can add weights to challenge yourself even further.

  1. To start, approach a pull up bar. You can use a pull up bar that’s straight or curled. Grab the bar with your palms facing away from you. Based on the muscle groups you’re working you can either grip the bar wide, medium, close together. For the purposes of this demonstration and for most basic pull up exercises, default to a wide or medium grip.
  2. Pull yourself up slowly until your head is level with the bar. Breath out during this movement and keep your torso straight and elbows as into your body as possible. As you’re doing this movement your chest should stick out creating a nice curve in your lower back.
  3. Breathe in while slowly letting yourself back down.
Exercise no. 4

Bent Over Barbell Rows

4 sets of 10 reps

  1. To begin this exercise, hold a barbell with a pronated grip (palms facing down), bend your knees slightly and bring your torso forward, by bending at the waist, while keeping the back straight until it is almost parallel to the floor. Tip: Make sure to keep the head up. The barbell should hang directly in front of you as your arms hang perpendicular to the floor and your torso.
  2. While keeping the torso stationary, exhale and lift the barbell to you. Keep the elbows close to the body and only use the forearms to hold the weight. At the top contracted position, squeeze the back muscles and hold for a second or two.
  3. Breath in and slowly lower the barbell back to the starting position.
  4. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Caution: This exercise is not recommended for people with back problems. A Low Pulley Row exercise is a better choice for people with back issues. When in doubt, always use less weight.

Exercise no. 5

Dumbbell Deadlifts

3 sets of 12 reps

  1. Choose a pair of dumbbells that you can do the desired amount reps with. Stand with your feet should width apart and your knees slightly bent and the dumbbells at your side. Typically, you would use an alternating grip on the dumbbells.
  2. With your grip and feet set, take a big breath and slowly lower the dumbbells in front of your legs. Keep your chest up, look forward with your back arched. Begin driving through the heels to move the weight upward.
  3. Once the dumbbells pass your knees, aggressively pull them back upwards. Pull your shoulder blades together as you drive your hips forward into the dumbbells.
  4. Keeping the dumbbells in front of you repeat for the desired number of reps.
Exercise no. 6

Hip Thrusters

3 sets of 12 reps

  1. Load a desired amount of weight onto a barbell and position this barbell over your legs. Sit on the ground with your back against a flat bench or a sturdy box or platform. Tip: Use foam or a mat on your legs to comfort the load when pushing the barbell.
  2. Move the barbell onto your hips, then lean your shoulders on the bench and while exhaling, push your hips up towards the ceiling accelerating the barbell up. Your feet should be firmly planted throughout this entire motion.
  3. Go as high you can and pause, before bring the barbell back down as you inhale. Be sure to keep your back relatively straight throughout this movement to prevent injury.

Kiyan Sheikh

My goal is to inspire others to reach their fitness goals and become a confident, better version of themselves. Being fit doesn’t just mean going from fatty to lean, people that are lean also need help increasing things like their cardio or endurance.
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Sandra Nguyen

I'm a 100% plant based (vegan) athlete and trainer, and I want to prove that you can accomplish your fitness goals the way you want to and without having to give up your beliefs. Come train with me!
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