Back Workout Calisthenics: The back is an often overlooked body area for strength training. However, your back is one of the essential areas of your body that you need to train to avoid strain or injury and extend your longevity. Not only does your back support lifting heavy objects, but it also assists in everyday tasks such as lifting groceries, putting on a jacket, or even sitting at a desk.
The back must be explicitly trained because many smaller muscles within it respond well to targeted exercises. The trapezius, rhomboids, levator scapulae, and many smaller muscles make up the back as a whole. Working these individual parts will lead to more robust posture, better performance in sports, and even more impressive gains from all other strength training areas—especially if you’re looking forward to hitting new PRs soon.
Why Exercise is an Important Component of Good Physical Fitness
How to Build a Strong Back With Calisthenics
Calisthenics exercises are ideal for building a more robust back because they are often multi-joint movements incorporating more than one body part at once. This allows you to overload the muscles in your back more than you would with a single-joint back exercise, increasing the amount of strength they can produce. Two areas of your back that will benefit from these multi-joint movements are the rhomboids and the latissimus dorsi. Both muscles are responsible for pulling your shoulders back and your arms towards your body, making them crucial in calisthenics exercises.
Benefits of a Stronger Back: Back Workout Calisthenics
Better Performance in Sports
Both your core and back muscles are crucial for success in any sport. When you have a strong back and core, you can perform better movements such as squats or lunges and prevent injuries from occurring.
Sitting at a desk all day, slouching while lifting weights, or even playing a sport can lead to poor posture. A stronger back will help you stand or sit up straight, improving your posture to avoid pain and unnecessary strain.
Stronger Gains: Back Workout Calisthenics
In other areas of strength training building a stronger back will lead to stronger gains in other areas of strength training.
Stronger Core: Back Workout Calisthenics
Building a stronger back will help to strengthen your core more efficiently.
Better Support for Lifting Heavier Objects
The back is one of the areas of the body that supports heavy objects, so having a stronger back will help to support heavy boxes, bags of groceries, or even a heavy barbell.
Having a strong back will help to prevent injury, enabling you to train for longer and harder. In turn, this will help you progress quicker in your journey to improve your strength.
Exercises to Build a Stronger Back
Certain exercises are more effective for building a stronger back than others. Certain exercises are more effective for building a stronger back than others. The following exercises are some of the best back exercises to build a stronger back.
Bent-Over Row: Back Workout Calisthenics
The bent-over row is a great movement for building strength in the back of the body (the lats, rhomboids, and lower trapezius). This compound exercise can be done using a dumbbell, barbell, TRX, or even a resistance band to target the back using multiple angles.
The bent-over row is often done with the barbell, but it can also be done with a single dumbbell, which allows for more focus to be put on one side of the body. If you’re looking to work the back, the bent-over row is a must in your routine. The bent-over row can also be used to help with posture, which is essential as you get older. As you age, the discs in your spine start to shrink and can cause the spine to curve into an exaggerated S-shape.
Regularly performing bent-over rows can help alleviate some of these issues by strengthening the muscles in your back. You can also use the bent-over row as a warm-up exercise or as a finisher at the end of your workout.
Tuck Jump and Tuck Jump Shrug
The tuck jump is often used in place of a vertical jump to training explosiveness and power. Jumping with a tuck jump will engage the hamstrings more than a vertical jump but will still challenge the quads quite a bit. The tuck jump also places less stress on the knees due to the lowered impact compared to a vertical jump.
The tuck jump is an excellent substitute if you’re not looking to compete in any abrupt jumping events. Using a tuck jump to perform a tuck jump shrug will heavily target the trapezius, rhomboids, and even the lats. The shrug is often used to help with posture but can also help with injury prevention. This movement can be used in place of a regular shrug but will hit the smaller muscles of the back a lot harder.
Bodyweight Deadlift: Back Workout Calisthenics
The bodyweight deadlift is a full-body movement that targets the hamstrings, glutes, and lower back. Itis a great exercise to perform as a warm-up for your more insufficient body training or even as your primary, more downward body movement.
The bodyweight deadlift can also be done with a barbell or a dumbbell. The barbell variation is best done inside a power rack, while the dumbbell variation will target the core more. Regardless of the variation you prefer, the bodyweight deadlift is an essential exercise that can be done anywhere.
The bodyweight deadlift can also be performed with a deficit. Where you’re standing on a raised surface or box to make the movement more challenging. This variation can be done with a barbell or dumbbell (if you have one available).
One-Arm Push-Up: Back Workout Calisthenics
The one-arm push-up is commonly used as a skill or strength test in many sports. These are such as football, rugby, basketball, etc. The one-arm push-up is a unilateral movement that is designed to be done on a relatively narrow surface for better balance and control. A close-grip push-up is often used as an alternative for those who are unable to perform the one-arm push-up.
The one-arm push-up is a compound movement that heavily targets the chest and front deltoids but also works the core and the smaller muscles of the back. The one-arm push-up is often used to help increase one-arm push-up numbers but can also be used as a skill training exercise. If you’re looking to increase your strength and ability during one-arm push-ups, the one-arm push-up is a great exercise.
The one-arm push-up can also be performed on a dumbbell, which will emphasize the core muscles more. This variation can also be done on the ground, where you place the dumbbell on the floor and place your palms on top of the bell.
Wall Slide and Shrug: Back Workout Calisthenics
The wall slide and shrug is a unilateral movement that can be done with a barbell, TRX, or resistance band. Unilateral training is designed to work the muscles of the core, upper and lower back, and shoulders. The unilateral movement can also be done with a band or TRX in a variation that targets the core more by rotating the body to face the TRX or band.
The wall slide and shrug is a great exercise to help with injury prevention and improve posture. The unilateral movement also allows you to focus simultaneously on one side of the body. The wall slide and shrug are often used as a warm-up exercise but can also be performed as a finisher.
You can also read: The 21 Best Calisthenic Back Exercises
Beginners should start with lighter weights to focus on form and slowly increase the weight as they get stronger. If you’re new to strength training, you should start with one or two back exercises. These will like the bent-over row and bodyweight deadlift. Then gradually add more activities as you become more comfortable with the movements. As with any other lift, you should always start with lighter weights and focus on mastering form.
The back is a large muscle group. So getting a good stretch at the beginning of each set is important to avoid overstretching and pulling a muscle. Once you get stronger and lift heavier weights. You can add more exercises like the one-arm push-up to challenge yourself even further!