Workout Wednesday: The Best Back Workout for You

A strong, toned back is not only pretty to look at, but when worked right, it can also be a vital component in improving your overall well-being and fitness level. If you want to give your whole back some specific TLC yet aren’t quite sure what that looks like, well… keep reading!

A balanced back workout consists of three essential movements:

  • a pull IN motion (rows)
  • a pull DOWN motion
  • a pull OVER motion

As a baseline for a solid back workout, pick two different pull IN movements, two different pull DOWN movements, and at least one pull OVER movement.

The more varied the better, but remember that grip, apparatus, and angle are contributing factors in making two different exercises (i.e. if doing two pulldown exercises, then one could be close grip cable pulldowns and the other wide grip cable pulldowns). Do 3-5 sets per exercise at 12-15 reps per set.


Rep range: When resistance training for repetitions, you are no longer doing a basic exercise until it is tiring. You are now doing an exercise until you can no longer do it. If you get to the end of your rep range and could keep going without too much difficulty, then you need to increase the weight. For some, there will be a lot of guessing and checking, but once you find your strength level, it becomes much easier to get right since you’ll know your weight range.

Exercise Examples

  • Pull in exercises: Cable rows, TRX rows, dumbbell rows, barbell rows, machine rows
  • Pulldown exercises: Cable pulldowns, machine pulldowns, body weight pull-ups, TRX pull-ups
  • Pullover exercises: Standing cable pullovers, lying down dumbbell pullovers, kneeling band pullovers

Back Workout Example

What muscle is your favorite to work out?

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Josh is a massive weight loser. A journey that started when he was very young and battling depression, eating disorders, and bullies. His life’s mission is to always have an arm outstretched to those who are looking for a helping hand. He leads with the most important tools he has: heart and soul.