Whenever we think of back workouts, we think of the heavy weightlifters who slog all day to get a muscled back. But lifting weight is not the only way to get a toned back, especially for women. While the focus for men is to “bulk up” and build muscle due to societal pressures, many women prefer building on lean muscle and developing strength rather than heavy muscle. If you do want to build muscle, however, weightlifting is definitely key. But if that’s not what you’re looking, read on to find out how to get beautiful and toned back!
Back Workouts For Women: How To Get A Toned Back
Focus On Your Core For Back Workouts
There’s only one thing that strengthens your back and that’s having a strong core. Planks will work wonders for a stronger back and posture. Swimming is great cardio that also works the core. Pushups do much the same. Pull-ups will help with upper body and core. For me though, it’s all about planks and side planks and I do some stretches. Keep your core strong and you will do wonders for your back, but if the frame is compromised, no amount of exercise will bypass the inevitable. Even then, you are better off keeping in shape.
Use Weights To Workout The Back Muscles
Exercise with weights. Focus mostly on whole-body movements which strengthen all muscles especially core muscles. This helps support your body properly and can improve your range of motion. Keep it simple and focus on compound movements. The “back” encompasses a lot of different muscles, including the lats, traps, rhomboids, teres major and teres minor, erector spinae, and so forth. The deadlift works all of these muscles, in addition to working all of the major muscles of the lower body, too. You should include some version of a deadlift if you want a strong and powerful back, especially lower back. Now, for the upper back, just focus on a horizontal pull and a vertical pull. Thus, you should choose a row variation and a pull-up variation.
Start Light If Using Weights For Back Workouts
Not sure where to start? Use this workout list as a guide to begin and build on this. A good machine to use would be the lat pulldown machine.
Start light and build up the weight. 3 sets of 10 reps. For free weights do rows upright and bending over. Also, deadlifts recruit muscle all over the body. For bodyweight pull-ups and chin-ups work well.
Chin-ups (or assisted chin-ups), Dumbbell Rows (Single Arm and 2-Arm), TRX or Suspension Row Chest-Supported Dumbbell Row are best to start with. Dumbbell Rows develop your middle back and allow for a greater range of motion. Typically, 2–3 sets of 6–12 reps 1–2 times a week is sufficient. Of course, consistency is the key. Leverage a coach for accountability or consider using a journal.
That’s it. However, building muscle in the back is a painful process and getting it wrong is not a good idea. Whatever exercises you do, always maintain good form. Just focus on gaining strength in those exercises and you’ll be well on your way to a powerful back, top to bottom!