The Best Weight Bench Exercises for Back
Besides being human, one of the common experiences that joins professionals throughout the world is surprisingly back pain. Luckily, that is a problem that can be fixed.
Wait, don’t leave – we won’t be talking about how to puff up your back into some inhumane shape. You’ll experience the benefits of having healthy back muscles – less back & shoulder pain, improved posture and increased strength after you’ve gone through the top five recommended exercises for your back with a little help from your friendly weight bench.
Remember, sometimes it’s what is behind the veil that possesses the actual power.
The 5 Best Weight Bench Exercises for Back
1. Reverse Dumbbell Fly
Easily one of the best weight bench exercises for back, the reverse dumbbell fly is a great exercise for targeting your rhomboids, deltoids, and trapezius. Plus, you have the added benefits of working out your arms a little!
To start off, set up your weight bench at a 45 degree angle and put your chest up against the raised surface while extending your legs backwards in a V-shape (maintaining contact with the floor of course!). Next, grab some dumbbells and with your arms dangling just above the floor raise them up to your shoulder level (or beyond, just take it slow). Lastly, relax as you bring them down slowly.
Check out this video from BodyImpress on Youtube!
That’s it! You’ve just mastered the first exercise towards a healthier back. If you want to increase the difficulty level then you can simply add more weight. But there’s a catch – if you’re bending your elbows then you’re not targeting your back anymore, you’re relying on your arms as well, which doesn’t make sense in a back workout.
2. Dumbbell Row
This is a classic exercise and one of the best weight bench exercises for back that has stood the test of time simply because it works. Not only does it strengthen your back but also builds up those muscles.
You want to start off by placing one hand on the weight bench and the same side knee on the lower part as well. Next, with one foot firmly down you want to grab a dumbbell and slowly lift up to your shoulder level (or if you’re just starting out – as far as you can). Then just come back down slowly.
Make sure that you don’t use your biceps here! The dumbbells are acting as a weight for your back muscles – so don’t grip them too tightly.
3. Lower Back Extension
If you’re looking for an exercise where you don’t need anything, then this is the one for you! This is absolutely one of the best weight bench exercises for back, but you can just use a yoga mat or even just a carpeted floor if you want!
You’ll want to start by lying with your face against the floor on a comfortable surface such as a yoga mat (or a weight bench). Next, place your arms behind your head (kinda like you’re getting arrested, haha) and then slowly extend yourself towards the sky all the while maintaining your toes on the ground.
You might feel like your legs shouldn’t move at all, but it’s completely normal to let them “pop up”. Then, just slowly come back down and relax. Repeat for a strong back!
4. Lat Stretch
Okay, things are going to get a bit weird. The positions of the lat stretch may seem like you’re a 6-year-old having a temper tantrum but unlike that situation, there’s actually something productive going on and this is actually one of the best weight bench exercises for back.
So first things first, raise your weight bench to a 45 degree angle and stand towards the raised side. Now, place both your arms in such a way that you are griping the bench with your palms and face the floor while slightly bending your knees.
The next thing you want to do is rotate from side to side a little bit so that you’re really stretching out those lat muscles. Hold this position for 30 seconds or the appropriate time for your needs. Be sure to take it slow though – there’s no redundancy when it comes to backs!
5. Pelvic Tilt into Bridge
This is another classic exercise. It’s kind of like the inverse of sit-ups. Instead of pushing in, you’ll be expanding outwards!
First, you’ll want to lie straight on your weight bench with your feet placed firmly on the ground. Next, with your arms placed beside your waist gently start raising your lower back so that your core is “expanding” towards the sky.
You can do this two ways: go for a consistent number of reps or hold the position. If you’re just starting off, then go for the former and the latter if you’re looking for a challenge.
6. (Bonus!) Prone Bench Row
Oh, what’s this? A bonus exercise? You bet!
This one is actually similar to the Reverse Dumbbell Fly. You lie down with your chest against the weight bench that is raised at a 45 degree angle while making sure your feet are placed firmly on the ground. Next, you want to grab some weights and /pull up/. That’s the key difference here – with the reverse dumbbell fly you /pulled outwards/ as opposed to the prone bench row where you’re /pullling up/.
Again, make sure that you’re actually using your back muscles and not relying on your elbows and biceps too much. And when it comes to weights – grip don’t clench!
Why Use a Weight Bench for Back Exercises?
There might be a question jogging inside your mind right now. Like: “These exercises are great but can’t I just run around, stretch & do some core exercises and get it over with?”.
Here’s a thing that many people don’t know about: your back is actually divided into two parts. That’s because each part is responsible for different types of activities.
Your lower back is responsible for lifting, carrying and supporting your posture while your upper back is responsible for supporting your neck and head.
As you can guess, both play an equally important role. Now just imagine if you don’t take care of your back – you can be the smartest person in the room but fail to support your head, fail to carry around office supplies (like coffee!) and most importantly won’t be able to lift your loved ones around from time to time.
So what are you waiting for? Go build a strong back to support that jaw dropping front!
Did you enjoy reading our list of the best weight bench exercises for back ?
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Hey I’m Patrick!
I built my first home gym in 2012, when I decided I was tired of waiting in line for the squat rack and I started GGC in 2020 to help people find the info they need to improve their fitness and their lives.
I’m passionate about fitness, especially when it comes to working out at home. I’ve learned a lot over the years about what to do and what not to do, and my mission is to share that knowledge with the world!