Back exercises are important to keep a strong core. Doing abdominal
exercises alone does not fully strengthen the back so you need to
include some strengthening and stretching exercises to keep your back
Are backs are used everyday with normal activies. As you reach or bend
for an item, you are using your back muscles.
If not properly conditioned, you could potential strain your back. This
can cause back pain and/or injuries.
While lower back pain is the most common, you want to ensure you
condition all of the back. Strengthening the lower, middle and upper
back can minimize risk of pain and injuries.
The primary muscles you will be targeting with these exercises for the
back include the Erector Spinae, Latissimus Dorsi and the Trapezius
Other muscles that will be strenthened and stretched with these
exercises include the Infraspinatus, Teres Major and Teres Minor
Each group is a series of six or more different exercises complete with
instructions and videos. You can start each group at the beginning, or
select a specific back exercise by clicking on the links.
Lower Back Strengthening Exercises
For the lower back strengthening series, you will need an exercise mat
for most of these.
You will also need an exercise ball for the back extension and a
stepper (or small stepping stool) for the straight leg bridge lift.
To start this series from the beginning, go the the lower
back strengthening exercise
If you want to go directly to a specific exercise, use the
links below. These are listed in the order of the video series.
Upper Back Strengthening Exercises
In this series you will be focusin primarily on the upper back muscles.
These are the Latissimus Dorsi and Trapezius muscles.
However, since the Erector Spinae runs the length of the spinal column,
you will also be strengthening this muscle as well.
This series uses both resistance bands and dumbbell weights. However,
if you don't have both of these types of exercise equipment, you can
just use what you have on hand.
The instructions can still be used regardless of the equipment you use.
Just alter the instructions to fit your piece of equipment.
To start these strengthening exercises from the beginning, go to the upper
back strengthening exercises
page. You can also go directly
to an exercise by
using the links below.
Back Stretching Exercises
The last of the back
exercises video series will stretch your upper and lower back muscles.
Stretching your muscles is as important as strengthening, so don't skip
this step in your workouts.
There are three stretches for the upper back and three stretches for
the lower back in this fitness video series.
To start from the beginning, go to the Back
To go directly to one of the videos, use the links below.
Major Back Muscles Expained
Below is a more detailed, and a bit scientific, explanation of the
various back muscles.
This muscle is a flat, triangular shaped muscle that
covers the back of the neck, shoulders and thorax. It is one of the
primary upper back muscles.
The Trapezius is used to tilt and turn the head and neck as well as
shrug and steady the shoulders. It is also used the twist the arms. It
elevates, depresses, rotates, and retracts the scapula.
The Latin translation of this muscle means broadest (latissimus) back
(dorsum). So this is the broadest of the back muscles.
This is more commonly referred to as the "lats" when talking about
exercising. This muscle helps with the internal rotation of the
shoulder joint and other shoulder movements.
This is a muscle group that extends the vertebral column. It is also
known as sacrospinalis in older texts and in more modern terms it's
called the extensor spinae.
This is not just one muscle but rather a group of muscles and tendons.
It is paired and basically runs vertically.
The erector spinae provides movements and postures.
It straightens the back and provides the rotation from side to
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Often people will skip the step to warm up or cool down and stretch.
However, these are important parts of any workout. Find out more about the benefits of stretching.
When talking about core muscles, these include the back and abdominal
muscles (plus a couple more). So don't forget to do some abdominal strengthening exercises in your
Refuel your body after your workouts. Read this article to learn more.