How to Work out Your Back Without Weights

Performing back exercises will strengthen your back and it will also help you to support your body and carry it more efficiently. A stronger back may promote better posture and prevent back pain. There are many varieties of exercises you can do to work out your back without weights. Many exercises that target the back muscles can be performed at home using few or no items.


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    Try Superman exercises. Lay on your stomach, with your arms extended out in front of you, palms down. Your legs should be straight back behind you. When ready, tighten your core and lift your arms and legs off the floor by arching your back. Once here, you have two options:
    • Easier: Slowly return down to the floor, repeat for three sets of ten.
    • Harder: Hold this position for one minute, rest one minute, then repeat.[1]
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    Work on your Planks. Lay on the ground on your stomach. Push yourself up on your toes (soles of your shoes rather than laces) and hands. You should be in "push-up position;" arms should be shoulder-width apart and feet can be anywhere from shoulder-width apart to almost together (whatever works best for you). Your back should be flat, making a fairly even platform (or plank) from your shoulders to your heels; in other words, you back should not be arched or slumped towards the ground. This will help to keep your abs and back muscles engaged. A modification to this is, rather than staying up on your hands, drop down onto your elbows. Hold this position for 30-60 seconds.
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    Experiment with bridges. Lay on your back with your arms relaxed at your side, knees bent and feet on the ground, about hip-width apart, heels directly beneath your knees. Focusing on using your lower back, bring your hips up until they create an even platform from your shoulders to your knees. This should be a slow controlled movement. Resist the urge to push with your legs and focus on pulling with your back and glutes. Hold at this spot for a few seconds before slowly lowering back down.
    • Do three sets of eight to ten reps.
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    Try doing leg raises using a stability ball. Lie down across the stability ball facing the floor, with your hips placed over the ball and legs extended. Place your hands on the floor in front of you, shoulder-width apart. Lift your legs upward, both at the same time, as far as you can without pain and hold the position for three seconds. Then slowly lower yourself back down to the ground and repeat.
    • Repeat the motion for eight to ten repetitions.
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    Do pull-ups. The classic pull-up is one of the best back exercises you can do. Use the wide grip (palms facing away from you, hands wider than shoulder width) to focus more on your back muscles and less on your chest and biceps. While difficult, there are few better exercises to do for you back. Do as many as possible, starting with one to three reps per set, and work your way up to three sets of ten reps.[2]
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    Try seated rows using resistance bands. Tie the resistance band onto a sturdy object that is about the height of your elbows. You can sit in a chair or on the floor, but your legs must be fully extended in front of you and your spine straight. Grasp both ends of the band with your arms extended towards your feet, then pull the band close to your chest, keeping your back straight.
    • If you are sitting on the floor you can wrap the band around your feet.
    • Try to do three sets of 12-20 reps. Tie off more of the band if they are too easy.
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    Perform a rolling ball pull using a stability ball. Place a stability ball in front of you and kneel down in front of it. Place your forearms on top of the ball shoulder-width apart. Roll the ball with your forearms slowly away from you, allowing your body to drop towards the floor, as far as you are able to extend. Hold the position for three seconds, and then roll the ball towards your body to return to the starting position.[3]
    • Repeat the movement for eight to ten repetitions.
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    Try doing eight to ten repetitions of lower-trap dips. Place two chairs next to each other, with enough space for you to fit in between them. Put a hand on each chair, extending your legs and keeping your arms bent so that you are only touching the ground with your heels and holding most of your weight with your hands. Press your body upwards, extending your arms while keeping your legs parallel to the floor, then slowly lower yourself back down.
    • Try three sets of eight to ten reps.
    • Spread the chairs wider to dip lower and make the exercise harder.[4]


  • Focus on performing the exercises slowly while keeping your back straight.


  • Do not perform any back exercises that are uncomfortable or cause pain.

Things You'll Need

  • Elastic resistance band
  • Stability ball

Article Info

Categories: Sports and Fitness