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Calisthenics back exercises are a great way to build strength and tone your back muscles.
With just body weight, you can work on improving your posture, increasing your range of motion, and developing overall strength in the upper and lower parts of your back.
Calisthenics is an effective workout routine that requires no special equipment or skills, all you need is dedication and determination!
In this article, we’ll explore 10 calisthenics exercises for the back that will help you get stronger and more toned from home.
From beginner moves to advanced ones, these exercises will challenge anyone at any level.
Learn about their benefits as well as tips for making them even more effective so you can start building a strong and healthy back today!
Table of Contents
Top 10 Calisthenics Back Exercises
1. Regular Pull-Ups
- To perform pull-ups, grasp the pull-up bar with an overhand grip and hands slightly wider than shoulder-width.
- Keep your legs and arms straight and retract your shoulder blades.
- Then, pull yourself in a straight line toward the bar until your chin is over it.
- Reverse the motion until you’re in a dead hang, but keep your muscles tight.
- Repeat for 1-2 sets until failure
Pull-ups help to strengthen the back muscles, improve core strength and shoulder mobility, and build upper body strength and endurance.
Pull-ups also enhance coordination and balance and promote muscular symmetry and overall fitness.
In addition, they can increase flexibility and posture as well as reduce lower back pain.
When performing pull-ups, it is essential to keep the core engaged and the chest up.
This will ensure that the entire movement is completed correctly.
Additionally, it is important to find the right grip, as this can affect the angle of attack and targeting of different muscles.
Furthermore, using a resistance band or partner can greatly improve pull-up performance by providing assistance when necessary.
Lastly, performing pull-ups regularly will help to develop muscle memory for proper form.
2. Wide Grip Pull-Ups
- Grab the pull-up bar with your palms facing forward and about 1.5x the width of your shoulders.
- Straighten your arms so that your body is in a dead hang, then tighten your back and core muscles.
- Pull yourself up towards the bar in a straight line.
- Stop once the bar reaches about chin height and slowly lower back to the starting position.
- Repeat for as many reps as you can for 1-2 sets.
Wide grip pull-ups target the same muscles as regular pull-ups.
However, they rely less on the biceps muscles.
In turn, isolating the lat muscles more.
Make sure not to go too wide with this exercise, as it can place unnecessary stress on your shoulder joints.
Keeping your body tight and core engaged while maintaining a slow and controlled manner throughout the movement is key.
It’s also important to think about pulling up with your elbows, not just your hands.
This helps ensure that you’re engaging all of the necessary muscles throughout the movement.
- Grab the pull-up bar with an underhand grip at shoulder width.
- Begin by retracting your shoulder blades with your arms straight.
- From here, pull yourself up until your chin is over the bar.
- Then, slowly lower yourself until your arms are fully extended.
- Repeat for 1-2 sets until failure.
Chin-ups are an excellent bodyweight exercise that provides numerous physical and mental benefits.
Strengthening the muscles in your arms, back and core, chin-ups can be a great way to build muscle and increase upper body strength.
They also have the added benefit of improving flexibility, since they require multiple joints in the body to be extended while hanging from a bar.
Additionally, chin-ups engage your brain as well as your body, since coordination is needed to complete each rep with proper form.
Chin-ups tend to be much easier than pull-up exercises due to the extra recruitment of the bicep muscles.
Be sure to keep your elbows tucked close to your sides to protect your shoulders from injury.
It is important to complete each repetition slowly with a full range of motion to get the most out of this exercise.
If you struggle to complete a rep with your own body weight, try adding resistance bands to assist the movement.
4. Bodyweight Rear Delt Fly
- Stand up and lean your upper back against a wall with your lower body straight.
- Extend your elbows straight out to the sides with your palms facing the ground.
- Clench your fists then push your lower torso away from the wall while keeping your upper torso tight to the wall.
- Then return back to the starting point with your lower back against the wall.
- Repeat for 2-3 sets of 5-10 reps.
Rear delt flies are a common dumbbell exercise that engages the traps and rear delts.
The bodyweight version is an advanced move that allows you to build stability and improve muscular balance throughout the shoulders, arms, and chest.
To perform the bodyweight rear delt fly effectively, it’s important to start with good posture.
Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart, keeping your chest up and shoulders back.
Engage your core by drawing your navel towards your spine.
Then, extend your shoulders outward just below parallel to the floor and keep your elbows locked.
Control this movement as you squeeze your upper back muscles at the peak of each repetition.
5. Body Rows
- Using either neutral grip bars or gymnastic rings, lie on your back in between them.
- Extend your arms overhead and grab the handles so that your palms are facing each other.
- Make sure your legs are extended out in front of you on the floor and lift your upper body off the ground.
- Pull yourself towards the handles until your chest is even with your hands.
- Reverse the motion until your arms are straight while keeping your upper body elevated off the ground.
- Repeat for 2-3 sets of 5-10 reps.
This is a great exercise for someone who struggles to do regular pull-ups.
It will strengthen the three muscles primarily responsible for the pull-up motion including the latissimus dorsi, biceps, and core.
Good form is key, move from your elbows rather than just your arms, and keep the focus on the movement itself.
If you’re struggling with this exercise, try it with your knees bent.
Or if you need more of a challenge, use a chair to elevate your legs off the ground.
6. Reverse Snow Angels
- Lie down in the prone position with your face towards the floor and arms straight by your sides.
- With your hands facing downwards, lift your arms up about 3 inches off the ground.
- Rotate your arms towards your head like you’re doing a jumping jack.
- Stop once your hands are extended over the top of your head.
- Then move them back down by your sides.
- Repeat the motion for 2-4 sets of 15-20 reps.
This exercise helps to fortify the scapula, improve posture and reduce tension in the neck and shoulder area.
Reverse snow angels are easy to do and can be done anywhere in a small space.
Making it perfect for those who don’t have access to a gym or workout equipment.
During this movement try to keep a straight body position while lying on the ground.
If it is too easy you can add ankle weights to your wrists to increase the difficulty.
7. Scapular Wall Slides
- Stand up straight with your back against a wall.
- Place the back of your hands against the wall pointing upwards with your elbows bent.
- Slide your arms overhead until they are straight.
- From here, move them down the wall and slightly retract your shoulder blades.
- Then drive them back upwards until full extension.
- Repeat for 2-3 sets of 8-10 reps.
Scapular wall slides are a great way to improve shoulder mobility and stability.
They help to increase shoulder range of motion, reduce shoulder impingement, and improve posture.
The exercise can also help strengthen the rotator cuff muscles as well as activate muscles in the back that support and stabilize the shoulder blades.
To get the most out of scapular wall slides, make sure to start with your elbows bent and shoulder blades slightly down.
Try to avoid rounding your lower back or lifting your upper back away from the wall.
To get the full benefit of scapular wall slides, take your time and practice them in slow, controlled motions.
Also, be mindful not to let your shoulders creep up toward your ears as you move.
This will help you focus on engaging your delts and trap muscles.
8. Scapular Push-Ups
- Assume a standard push-up position.
- Retract your scapula without bending your elbows and squeeze for a second.
- Then protract your scapula.
- Repeat the steps for 2-4 sets of 8-10 reps
Scapular push-ups are one of the best bodyweight exercises for practicing scapular retraction and improving shoulder health.
Benefits include enhanced spine stability, improved posture, increased strength, reduced risk of injury, and improved performance when other exercises are attempted.
Keep your gaze straight at the floor, and your core tight throughout the movement.
Make sure to keep the elbows locked and ensure that your feet remain together with your toes pointed forward.
Pause briefly in the retracted phase before protracting back up as this will help build better form and muscle activation.
9. Wall Pulls
- Begin by standing in front of an open-ended wall or a wide door frame.
- Grab the wall with your hands at about chest height and feet a few inches away from it.
- Hang back by straightening your arms, this is your starting position.
- Now, retract your shoulders and pull your body forward until your nose is almost touching the wall.
- Then reverse back to the start and repeat for 2-4 sets of 8-12 reps.
This is another one of those specific exercises designed to help you progress toward doing pull-ups.
By focusing on pulling from a vertical angle, you can isolate back muscles and joints to enhance their strength and mobility without fatiguing as fast.
You may want to experiment with different grip widths or foot placements to adjust the difficulty.
Additionally, focus equally on pushing away from the wall and pulling towards it.
This will ensure that you are engaging all the necessary muscle groups.
10. Inverted Rows
- Set the bar in a squat rack or smith machine at waist height.
- Place weights on each side to keep it stable.
- Sit under the bar on your butt.
- Grasp it with a shoulder-width overhand grip.
- Extend your legs out in front of you and lift your back off the floor while facing the ceiling.
- Now, pull yourself to the bar until it reaches lower chest height.
- Then re-extend your arms until they’re straight, but keep your back elevated off the ground.
- Repeat this motion for 2-3 sets of 5-10 reps.
Inverted rows, also known as Australian pull-ups, provide many benefits.
To start, this exercise works the back, biceps, triceps, and core muscles.
In addition to strengthening these muscles, inverted rows improve posture and reduce stress on joints.
It is recommended that you keep your shoulders down and back, legs straight, chest up, and abdominals engaged throughout the exercise.
You should be able to hold each rep for 1-2 seconds before returning to the starting position.
Always ensure your upper and lower body is straightly aligned.
Lastly, be sure to perform each rep slowly and in control.
What Is Calisthenics?
A calisthenics workout uses bodyweight movements such as push-ups and pull-ups to build strength, flexibility, balance, and coordination.
It is a low-impact way to get a full-body workout, with many benefits for overall health and well-being.
Why Is It Important?
What makes calisthenics such a great form of exercise is that it can be done almost anywhere, with little to no equipment required.
This makes it an affordable option for those wanting to stay active.
Additionally, the low-impact nature of calisthenics provides a safe workout for individuals who are new to exercise or may have preexisting injuries.
Ultimately, calisthenics can help improve overall physical health as well as aid in stress relief and relaxation.
How To Incorporate Calisthenics Into Your Back Workout Routine
Start by focusing on one back exercise per session.
When doing the exercise make sure to use proper form, as incorrect form can lead to injury.
Additionally, take breaks between sets and stop if you begin to feel any abnormal pain or discomfort.
By doing a calisthenics back workout, you’ll gain more effective muscle growth while also improving functional strength.
You can also use these bodyweight exercises as part of a larger strength training or circuit training program.
FAQs for Calisthenic Exercises
How Do I Grow My Back in Calisthenics?
To grow your back with this unique street workout method, focus on building up your resistance with pull-ups, chin-ups, and bodyweight rows.
Incorporate rest days into your routine to allow your body to recover and build muscle.
Additionally, it is important to eat a healthy diet full of nutrient-rich foods.
Can You Build Your Back With Calisthenics?
Through a combination of bodyweight drills such as pull-ups, chin-ups, and rows, calisthenics can provide effective back development.
What Calisthenics Work the Lower Back?
Calisthenics exercises such as bird dogs, bridges, and back extensions are effective for strengthening the lower back.
What Is the Hardest Exercise in Calisthenics?
Some of the hardest exercises in calisthenics include the front lever, superman push-up, and human flag pole.
Closing Thoughts on Calisthenic Back Exercises
Calisthenics back exercises are an excellent way to strengthen and tone your back muscles.
With the right technique, you can perform these exercises in the comfort of your own home with minimal equipment or no equipment at all.
From pull-ups to rows, there is a variety of moves that will help you work out without ever leaving your house.
Whether you’re looking for something more challenging or just want a basic workout routine, try out some of these exercises.
They could be exactly what you need to achieve those strong and toned back muscles!