Building a muscular back.

Back training at home – without weights

These are some difficult times we are living in right now with the covid pandemic going on, with more people trying to stay at home and keeping themselves distanced from others, it can be a challenge to get a good workout in, but there is definitely the option of training at home and not everyone has access to free weights or weight machines in their own home, so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to introduce back training at home without weights.

Back training is a very rigorous type of workout that can take a lot of energy. So in today’s post I will be covering some back training exercises that you can do in your own home without weights, the only additional apparatus you will need is a door-jam bar.

The type of chinning bar that I use is a door-jam chinning bar which I feel works perfectly sufficient to accommodate what I need to achieve in my own back training routine at home. So for anyone who is interested in training at home and would be interested in some exercises for back you can do in your own home as well as some tips and tricks, follow along as I will lead you on this in-home back training routine.

What types of exercises work best?

I have found that the best, and actually only back exercises are ones that are referred to as combination moves which means that you are working more than one muscle group at a time. For example barbell rows stress the back, but there are other muscle groups that come into play, such as biceps and rear deltoids.

Since this post is talking about exercises that you can do without weights, obviously barbell rows do not fit into this category, an exercise that you can do in place of the barbell rows are wide grip pull-ups, this is not the typical kind of pull-ups you are thinking of when using a chinning bar, but rather you put two chairs back-to-back with a bar or even a broomstick braced across the back of each chair, lie down on the floor on your back between the chairs grasping the bar and you pull yourself up keeping your heels on the floor, this exercise is a great rowing exercise which is simulating the barbell rows.

Other exercises that will work great for training your back are various chinning exercises. First there is wide grip chins keeping your palms facing away from you with a slightly wider than shoulder width grip, second is the reverse grip chins, you have your palms facing towards you with a shoulder-width grip.

The final exercise I have listed are hanging shrugs which are a different variation that you can use in place of the barbell or dumbbell shrugs. Some people like training traps with shoulders while others like training their trap muscles with back, I have tried both variations but I for the most part have always enjoyed training traps with back.

When performing the hanging shrugs, you can either have your palms facing away from you or facing toward you, it is a personal preference, although rotating your hands either way will target your traps at a different angle, it may be best to try performing this exercise with both hand grips and see which way you prefer the best.

Start this exercise out with a shoulder-width grip hanging down with your arms at full length and slowly shrug body weight upwards not using your arms, just strictly use a shrugging motion. This exercise is a completely different variation to the typical shrugs that you may be used to, but when you perform this exercise right, and get used to performing them, they can be a very effective method.

The importance of combination moves

Combination moves can be a very effective way to train anybody part, especially if you are training for muscle size. When it comes to back training, any exercise that you do for back will involve other muscle groups. The only exercise in this program that would be considered an isolation move would be the hanging shrugs, when it comes to any of your typical rowing moves or chinning moves, they will all involve more than one muscle group at a time which is excellent for muscle stimulation as well as burning calories and speeding up your metabolism.

How often should you train back?

If you are new to weight training, I would suggest that for your first six months of training you stick to training each body-part once per week, once you have graduated to six months of training, you can increase your training sessions to twice a week per body part. This not only goes for back training, but any muscle group that you train.

What exercises are best for each individual back segment?

For this list of body weight back training exercises, I have a list below of each exercise noted with its typical muscle range that it will work.

  • Broomstick pull ups

This exercise is a rowing move, so it will typically work the overall thickness area of your back.

  • Wide grip chins

Wide grip chins will develop the width, or upper lateral muscles of your back.

  • Reverse grip chins

Reverse grip chins target your lower lateral muscles.

  • Hanging shrugs

Hanging shrugs develop the trapezoids (traps)

Conclusion

Back training never used to be one of my favorite muscle groups to train because they can take a lot of energy out of you, but after consistently training back and training in as efficient manner as possible, that is making the best use of my time with training, making sure that I train back with maximum intensity, I started to see decent results and soon back became one of my favorite muscles to work.

Once you get used to performing these exercises that I laid out in this article, you can experiment and come up with some different variations of your own and customize your own personal back training program.


After training back, I always make it a point to take in some protein immediately after a training session. I always like to rely on using Gold Standard 100% Whey protein powder with milk.

If you are interested in checking out a product review on Gold Standard 100% Whey protein powder, simply click on the link.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me or leave a comment in the box below.

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