Do you prefer not to deal with free weights but still want to feel more of a burn than just using your body weight?

Resistance bands are the answer!

Some people believe that you cannot build your back muscles with resistance bands.

However, if you know which exercises target muscles and how many sets and reps to do, you can see great results! 

Resistance band back exercises can help you build and grow the back you have desired as long as you stick with a routine involving progressive overload.

Having a strong and defined back can give you confidence, whether for a backless dress or going to the pool.

As a personal trainer, I had seen countless clients take their gains to the next level when they correctly used bands and were intentional with the process. 

In this article, we are going to cover:

  • What Are the Benefits of Resistance Band Back Exercises?
  • What Resistance Bands Are Good For Back Exercises?
  • 13 Resistance Band Back Exercises
  • Resistance Band Back Workout Program
  • 5 Resistance Band Stretches For Back
  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Keep reading to learn how to utilize resistance bands for killer back exercises!

What are the benefits of resistance band back exercises?

Related: Resistance Band Shoulder Exercises

1. Can Use Anywhere

Bands are great exercise equipment because you can use them anywhere—the gym, outside, or at home. 

Note that many band exercises do require an anchor, but not all!

If you are traveling, always make sure to have a yoga mat and band. It’s the easiest way to maintain fitness levels on the go.

2. Provide Resistance

Don’t feel like taking time to load barbells or lug around dumbbells? I don’t blame you.

Resistance bands are very lightweight and easy to store, yet they provide the tension needed for you to do many different exercises. 

While they may not be able to engage your muscles as intensely as 300 pounds on a bar, you can compensate for the difference by adding more sets and reps to increase the volume.

3. Can Be Used for Stretching

While bands are great for back exercises, they also allow you to do both dynamic and static stretches for your back.

It can sometimes be challenging to find a good routine before your workout that properly allows you to work on mobility, stretching, and warming up the back muscles. 

Always having a band handy can keep you committed to a routine for improving your flexibility and mobility to prevent injuries.

Which resistance bands are good for back exercises?

Resistance Band Back Exercises
Photo by Pavel Danilyuk from Pexels

Dumbbells, barbells, and kettlebells can cost you a pretty penny, especially if you require a selection of different weights.

Resistance bands are very affordable, with the average price ranging from $10-20 for a set of three. Just be sure to keep quality at the front of your mind. Some cheaper versions are at risk of snapping or rolling while you use them.

If you need the band loops, fabric bands are more reliable, and you can even find resistance bands that adjust based on how much tension you need.

Here are a few examples of band loops we recommend you try:

While you can undoubtedly use band loops for back exercises, it is more likely that you will need bands with handles.

Consider adding these to your home gym or bringing them to your next gym session:

13 Resistance Band Back Exercises

The following exercises are designed to help you build muscle, improve posture, and lose weight. Take a look and see which ones stand out to you!

1. Single-Arm Rows

If you want to build your rear delts while targeting your back, single-arm rows are a great exercise! They work almost the entirety of the back and can be done with band loops or bands with handles.

What Level Resistance Band?

  • Medium

Benefits

  • Builds and strengthens the following muscles:
    • Lats (lower back)
    • Traps (upper back)
    • Shoulders (rear delts)

How-To Perform Single-Arm Rows

  1. Place one foot on your band and grab the end with one hand. 
  2. Hinge at the hips and place your other hand on your thigh for balance and support. 
  3. Make sure your gaze is at the floor, your chest is up, and your back is straight. 
  4. With your palm grasping the band facing in, keep your elbow tucked against your side as you bring your elbow up until your hand is at your side. 
  5. Slowly bring your hand back down until it is fully extended before repeating the movement.

Pro Tips

  • Setting your knee and hand that are not touching the band on a bench can help provide further support for more resistance.
  • If you are short on time, feel free to place both of your feet in the middle of the band and do the row movement on both sides simultaneously.

2. Lat Pulldowns

Lat pulldowns consist of a movement with cables, machines, and bands because it is such an effective exercise for building the back. 

It works the biceps a bit, too, depending on your grip placement!

What Level Resistance Band?

  • Heavy 

Benefits

  • Builds and targets the following muscles:
    • Lats (lower back)
    • Biceps 

How-To Perform Lat Pulldowns

  1. Anchor the center of a band so each hand can grasp the ends of the band.  
  2. Start with your arms fully extended above your head in the shape of a V. 
  3. Keeping your chest up and back tense, lead with your elbows and pull the sides of the band down until your fists are at shoulder height. 
  4. Slowly release your hands back up to the starting position before repeating.

Pro Tips

  • While performing the movement of pulling the band down, imagine you are holding a bar between your hands, and you want it to touch your upper chest before releasing it up.
  • You can do this exercise on your knees or standing based on how high the anchor is, so do whatever makes sense for your physical situation.

3. Hyperextensions

Hyperextensions are one of the few exercises that truly target the lower back and should not be ignored! This is a movement that can really help anyone who is working on building their abdominals to keep both sides of the spine equally strong.

What Level Resistance Band?

  • Light

Benefits

  • Builds and targets the following muscles:
    • Erector spinae (muscles around the spine)
    • Glutes
    • Hamstrings 

How-To Perform Hyperextensions

  1. Anchor your band under a hyperextension machine and position yourself on top so that you are suspended in the air from the waist up. 
  2. Grip the end of the band and hold it against your chest. Start with your hips in the air and your head down so that your body forms an upside-down V. 
  3. Slowly raise your upper body until your entire body forms a straight line. 
  4. Hold at the top for a moment before letting your body come back down and repeat the movement.

Pro Tips

  • Keep your gaze on the ground for the entirety of the movement to help prevent neck injuries.
  • Focus on also extending your upper body forward as you lift your chest up to increase the difficulty of the exercise.

4. Shrugs

The shrug movement is simple enough, right? With enough repetition, this exercise can really make a visible difference in your traps so you can build a well-rounded look.

What Level Resistance Band?

  • Heavy

Benefits

  • Builds and strengthens the following muscles:
    • Traps (upper back)
    • Shoulders 

How-To Perform Shrugs

  1. Place both feet in the middle of a band. Grab the ends of the band in both hands. 
  2. Stand straight up with your hands down by your sides. 
  3. Shrug your shoulders against the band’s resistance, hold for a moment at the top, and then release your shoulders down.

Pro Tips

  • Try wrapping the ends of the band around your wrists so you are better able to shrug more resistance.
  • Try stepping your feet out wider to create more resistance with the band – you should be able to do more weight with this exercise!

5. Face Pulls

If you want another great exercise that targets your rear delts in addition to your upper back, try face pulls. 

This exercise is an excellent example of one you can do to failure if you want to challenge yourself and feel the burn!

What Level Resistance Band?

  • Medium

Benefits

  • Builds and strengthens the following muscles:
    • Traps (upper back)
    • Shoulders (rear delts)

How-To Perform Face Pulls

  1. Place the center of your band with an anchor at face height. 
  2. Grab each end of the band in a different hand and start with your arms fully extended in front of you. 
  3. Bring your hands back and to your face so that your elbows come directly out to the sides. 
  4. Pause here before slowly extending your arms again and repeating the movement.

Pro Tips

  • Lean back slightly to ensure you keep your balance throughout this movement.
  • You can bring your hands higher and lower to target your traps differently.

6. Single-Arm Pulldowns

If you only have access to one shorter band, this exercise can still be performed effectively. It can even target your biceps in addition to your back – if you use the trick we share below!

What Level Resistance Band?

  • Medium

Benefits

  • Builds and strengthens the following muscles:
    • Lats (lower back)
    • Biceps 

How-To Perform Single-Arm Pulldowns

  1. Attach a band to an anchor directly above you. 
  2. Get down on one knee and grab the end of the band with one hand. 
  3. With your palm facing inward and your elbow tucked against your side, bring the band down until your elbow is near your hip. 
  4. Slowly release the band back up until your arm is fully extended before repeating the movement.

Pro Tips

  • Do not go too heavy with the resistance for this exercise because it can easily get in the way of good form.
  • Try slowly twisting your palm from facing forward to facing you as you bring the band down to target your biceps further.

7. Straight-Arm Pulldowns

Straight arm pulldowns are excellent if you need an exercise that targets multiple muscles in the upper body.

What Level Resistance Band?

  • Medium 

Benefits

  • Builds and strengthens the following muscles:
    • Lats (lower back)
    • Shoulders (rear delts)
    • Triceps 

How-To Perform Straight Arm Pulldowns

  1. Anchor the middle of a band to a place above your head. 
  2. Grasp the ends of the band in both hands with your palms facing down. 
  3. Keeping your back straight and your chest up, fully extend your arms straight in front of you. 
  4. Keeping your palms facing down, bring your hands down until they are facing behind you as your hands come to your sides. 
  5. Slowly bring your arms back up to chest height before repeating the movement.

Pro Tips

  • If you really want to work your triceps in addition to your lats, try having an open grip on the bar.
  • Play around with hinging at the hips and leaning forward versus standing straight up to see which feels better for you.

8. Assisted Pull-Ups

Do you have access to a pull-up bar but need some assistance? Bands are excellent for getting you that extra help when pulling your chin above the bar!

What Level Resistance Band?

  • Light 

Benefits

  • Builds and strengthens the following muscles:
    • Lats (lower back)
    • Biceps
    • Abdominals 

How-To Perform Assisted Pull-Ups

  1. Attach a band to a pull-up bar so the other end hangs down toward the floor. 
  2. Place one foot in the band and grab the pull-up bar so there’s an even amount of space on either side of the band. 
  3. Start with your arms fully extended, and then bend your elbows as you pull yourself up until your chin touches the bar. 
  4. Slowly let your arms extend again before pulling yourself back up.

Pro Tips

  • Feel free to put either both or just one foot in the band, depending on what feels comfortable for you.
  • Play around with doing close grip and wide grip pull-ups to target different areas of your back.

9. Banded Deadlifts

If you are in a time crunch and also want to perform a functional movement, make sure that these deadlifts are included in your workout.

What Level Resistance Band?

  • Heavy 

Benefits

  • Builds and strengthens the following muscles:
    • Erector spinae (muscles around the spine)
    • Glutes
    • Quads
    • Hamstrings 

How-To Perform Banded Deadlifts

  1. Start with your feet hip-width apart and standing in the center of a band. 
  2. Grab each end in your hands and squat with your back straight and chest up. 
  3. Your knees should align with your ankles and form a 90-degree angle. 
  4. Push up through your glutes and stand straight up. 
  5. Pause at the top before slowly squatting down and then repeating the movement.

Pro Tips

  • If you want to target your glutes while performing this exercise for your back, step your feet out wider than hip-width and point your toes out slightly.
  • Focus on keeping your shoulders back and gaze up to prevent any strain on the neck.

10. Reverse Flys

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJ9tLA7DnN0

The reverse fly is a simple exercise that can help you avoid future injuries by strengthening your upper back and shoulders.

What Level Resistance Band?

  • Medium 

Benefits

  • Builds and strengthens the following muscles:
    • Rhomboid muscles (upper back)
    • Shoulders (rear delts)

How-To Perform Reverse Flys

  1. Attach the center of a band to an anchor at chest height in front of you. 
  2. Grab an end of the band in each hand. 
  3. With good posture, start with your arms extended and hands facing each other in front of your chest. 
  4. Leading with your elbows, slowly pull your hands away from each other until your hands are out by your sides. 
  5. Gradually release your arms back to the starting position before repeating.

Pro Tips

  • Keep a slight bend in the knees to help with balance.
  • Make sure your elbows are slightly bent to prevent any injury in the joint.

11. Standing Rows

If you only have access to one band, this is a great exercise to do! Standing rows are simple and can be done almost anywhere.

What Level Resistance Band?

  • Medium 

Benefits

  • Builds and strengthens the following muscles:
    • Lats (upper back)
    • Biceps 

How-To Perform Standing Rows

  1. Attach a band to an anchor at the level right below your chest. 
  2. Grab the end of the band with both hands. 
  3. Start with your arms fully extended, and then slowly pull against the band until your hands are touching your torso. 
  4. Gradually allow the resistance in the band to cease as you fully extend your arms before repeating the movement.

Pro Tips

  • Make sure to keep your elbows tucked into your sides for the duration of the movement.
  • Try leaning back slightly if you struggle with balance.

12. Kneeling Supermans

If you need an exercise that is a bit more rehabilitative and not quite so intense, the kneeling superman is a great choice! 

They also belong at the beginning and end of your workouts to warm up and cool down the muscles.

What Level Resistance Band?

  • Light 

Benefits

  • Builds and strengthens the following muscles:
    • Traps (upper back)
    • Lats (lower back)
    • Shoulders
    • Glutes 
    • Hamstrings
    • Abdominals 

How-To Perform Kneeling Supermans

  1. Start on your hands and knees with a neutral spine. 
  2. Place your band around your right hand and left foot.
  3.  Raise both that hand and foot slowly off the ground until fully extended. 
  4. Slowly bring them back to the original position before repeating the movement.

Pro Tips

  • Do not round or arch your back during the movement, as this can take away from its effectiveness.
  • If needed, bring the hand that isn’t touching the band more toward the center of your body to help with balance.

13. Good Mornings

Good mornings are great for targeting a majority of the posterior chain. They are also effective for injury prevention and improving your hip-hinging form.

What Level Resistance Band?

  • Medium 

Benefits

  • Builds and strengthens the following muscles:
    • Erector spinae (muscles around the spine)
    • Glutes
    • Hamstrings 
    • Abdominals 

How-To Perform Good Mornings

  1. Place both your feet at hip-width while standing on a band. 
  2. Place the other end of the band around your neck so the band forms a triangle. 
  3. Start by hinging at the hips with your back straight and shoulders back. 
  4. Slowly come to a standing position while feeling the resistance in your neck. 
  5. Pause at the top for a moment before gradually bending back over.

Pro Tips

  • While you want to keep your legs straight, it is recommended to have a slight bend in the knees for injury prevention.
  • Keep your neck straight and do not overextend it forward or back to prevent any straining.

Resistance Band Back Workout Program

To build your back with resistance bands, it is recommended that you do two workouts a week. You can choose only to do the beginner or advanced workouts, but also feel free to do one of each every week!

Every person’s body responds differently to training, but you will likely start to see some positive results within a month if you also eat well and get enough sleep.

Beginner Workout

EXERCISESETSREPSREST
Single-Arm Pulldowns38-101 minute
Standing Rows310-121 minute
Single-Arm Rows310-121 minute
Shrugs28-1030 seconds
Kneeling Supermans210-1230 seconds
Hyperextensions212-1530 seconds

Advanced Workout

EXERCISESETSREPSREST
Banded Deadlifts46-81 minute 30 seconds
Assisted Pull-Ups46-81 minute
Lat Pulldowns410-1230 seconds
Good Mornings310-1230 seconds
Straight Arm Pulldowns310-1230 seconds
Reverse Flys312-1530 seconds
Face Pulls312-1530 seconds

5 Resistance Band Stretches for Back

1. Pull Aparts

Grip a band with both hands in front of your chest and pull your hands away from each other. 

You should feel your shoulders come back and chest up as your upper back gets slightly activated and warmed up.

2. Lower Back Stretch

Attach a band to an anchor at waist level. Hinge at your hips, grip the band, and slowly take a few steps back until you feel a nice stretch in your lower back. 

Keep your arms extended and your gaze on the floor for the entirety of this stretch.

3. Touch Your Toes

Place your feet together on top of a band. Start in a standing position and “climb down” the band as if you are climbing a rope by alternating which hand grasps the band and pulls your head closer to your feet.

As you go further down the band, you should feel a nice stretch in your lower back as it starts to be round.

4. Hanging Stretch

Throw a band over a pull-up bar and secure your hands on either end. Slowly start to come down to your knees while fully extending your arms above your head.

The further away you get from the bar, the more you should start to feel your back lengthen out and release tension.

5. Half Circles

Grab each end of a band with your arms fully extended and resting down by your sides. Bring the band up, over your head, and back as far as possible.

Once you reach your limit, bring the band back to the starting position. Keep your arms straight the whole way to feel that lengthening stretch!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you get a good workout from resistance bands?

Resistance bands are a great way to add some tension to specific exercises when you do not have access to free weights. 

When you have proper form and follow a workout routine, bands can help you achieve your desired results.

Are resistance bands good for your back?

In addition to being an effective way to build and strengthen your back muscles, resistance bands can help ease lower back pain!

Do resistance bands improve posture?

It has been discovered that consistent use with resistance bands can result in correcting rounded shoulder and forward head posture

If you can practice specific movements with resistance bands regularly, there is the potential that you can improve your posture.

Final Tips

When you consistently exercise your back muscles, whether it be your lats, traps, or erector spinae, they can start to build and shape the back you have always desired.

Having a solid back is excellent for your health, but it also helps you perform everyday functional movements while having a defined, toned look.

We hope you found our list of back exercises helpful and the workout programs you need to try.

Let us know in the comments below if you think we missed anything or what your favorite of the exercises and stretches are.

Also, don’t forget to share this article with anyone you know who wants to strengthen their back in the gym or at home with resistance bands!