The 5 BEST Weight Bench Exercises for Back Work [2023]

Last Updated on August 27, 2023 by Patrick

A great weight bench is the first piece of gear you need for any great home gym.
If you’re serious about getting into great shape, check out our rankings of the 15 Best Weight Benches for Under $350!

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!

For this exercise, you’ll need to have a decent adjustable weight bench.

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

Best Weight Bench Exercises for Back - Lower Back Extensions
Best Weight Bench Exercises for Back – Lower Back Extensions

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?

Best Weight Bench Exercises for Back - Why Use a Weight Bench?
Best Weight Bench Exercises for Back – Why Use a Weight Bench?

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?”.

I agree.

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.

Best Weight Bench Exercises for Back - Get the Back You've Always Wanted!
Best Weight Bench Exercises for Back – Get the Back You’ve Always Wanted!

Avoiding Common Mistakes

Using Momentum Instead of Muscle Power

Swinging weights or using momentum cheats you out of the benefits of the exercise. Focus on controlled movements.

Neglecting Proper Warm-Up and Cooldown

Skipping warm-up and cooldown routines increases the risk of strains and sprains. Take the time to properly prepare and recover.

Overlooking Balanced Nutrition

Nutrition plays a vital role in muscle growth and recovery. Consume sufficient protein and maintain a balanced diet.

Skipping Rest Days

Rest days are essential for muscle repair and growth. Overtraining can lead to setbacks in your progress.

Advanced Techniques to Challenge Your Back Muscles

Drop Sets: Pushing Muscles to the Limit

After completing a set, immediately reduce the weight and continue the exercise to exhaust your muscles.

Supersets: Intensifying Your Workout

Perform two exercises back-to-back without rest to intensify the workout and save time.

Progressive Overload: Gradually Increasing Resistance

Consistently increase the weight you lift to ensure ongoing muscle growth and strength improvement.

The Benefits of a Strong Back Beyond Aesthetics

A strong back offers more than just an aesthetic appeal. It provides:

Improved Posture

Strong back muscles support proper posture, reducing the risk of developing a hunched or slouched posture.

Reduced Risk of Injuries

A well-trained back is less prone to injuries during daily activities and other workouts.

Enhanced Athletic Performance

A strong back contributes to better performance in various sports and physical activities.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

  1. What is the ideal frequency for bench back workouts? Aim to engage your back muscles 2-3 times per week, allowing at least a day of rest between sessions.
  2. Is it possible to perform these exercises without a bench at home? Certainly, many of these exercises can be adapted for home workouts, utilizing minimal equipment and creative modifications.
  3. Should I prioritize heavier weights or more repetitions for back exercises? Both have their benefits. Focus on a mix of heavier weights with lower reps for strength and lighter weights with higher reps for endurance.
  4. How long will it take to notice improvements in my back strength? Results vary, but with consistent effort and proper technique, you can start noticing positive changes in a few weeks to a couple of months.
  5. Can I combine back exercises with other muscle groups in a single session? Yes, incorporating a balanced workout that targets multiple muscle groups can lead to efficient and effective overall fitness.


Incorporating bench back exercises into your fitness routine is a smart move towards overall strength and well-being. Remember, consistency is key. By following the tips, techniques, and exercises mentioned in this article, you’ll be well on your way to achieving a powerful and sculpted back.

So what are you waiting for? Go build a strong back to support that jaw dropping front!

A great weight bench is the first piece of gear you need for any great home gym.
If you’re serious about getting into great shape, check out our rankings of the 15 Best Weight Benches for Under $350!

Further Reading

Did you enjoy reading our list of the best weight bench exercises for back ?

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