A strong and sturdy back is extremely important for overall health. The lower back forms part of your core muscles which are the ones responsible for supporting your upper frame. A powerful back helps in maintaining proper posture and also assists in alleviating neck and shoulder issues. By using resistance exercise bands, you are able to get in a great workout anytime during the day in the convenience of your own home!
A common misconception among fitness enthusiasts is that back exercises can only be done with heavy weights in a gym. The truth is that you can use bodyweight exercises and resistance bands movements to target your back muscles extremely well. The beauty of the bands is that they are truly portable which allows you to exercise anywhere, be it your office, hotel room, living room, or even outside. They are not only inexpensive but they are also very versatile allowing you to do all kinds of exercises for different muscle groups. Here is a guide to standing back rows using elastic exercise bands.
Muscles Targeted: Standing back rows primarily target the larger back muscles of the latissimus dorsi and also focus attention on the secondary muscles of the biceps and forearms. Your grip position will also affect the area of the arm that is targeted. If you use a grip with your palms up, then the biceps will be more activated. Keeping a neutral grip will engage more of the forearm muscles. This an excellent exercise for the upper body when using elastic exercise bands because you can perform this movement virtually anywhere. It’s also a very functional exercise which is used in everyday tasks such as pulling items off of shelves and starting a lawn mower, so it’s extremely useful to incorporate this type of exercise into your overall fitness routine.
Exercise Instructions (wrapped around door): Find a fixed object where you can wrap the exercise band around. It can be a doorknob, pole or a tree, just choose whatever stationary and stable object that you can use. Attach the band around it, then move back to create tension in the band. Stand with your feet apart, shoulder width, and then bend your knees a little. Pull the band towards you as if you are rowing a boat while keeping your shoulders back (do not hunch over) and place all of the tension on your back muscles. Keep your elbows close to your sides as you row and pull the handles back to your body. Contract and flex your back muscles at the peak position and then return to starting position slowly. Repeat for the recommended number of reps.
Things To Avoid: Always consult with your doctor before starting any type of exercise program just to be on the safe side. Do not forget to warm-up a little before starting your workout. Form is essential with standing back rows, so perform this exercise in front of a mirror where you can monitor your technique. Make sure to inspect the object where you will attach the exercise band around. Make sure it’s stable, immobile, and can support the tension. If you are using a doorknob, make sure the door is completely closed. If you want more tension, move further back, but not go too far back or you might snap the band. You can also use thicker bands for more resistance.
When doing standing back rows, you should feel the pull in your lats as you row forward and backward. When you reach the top of the row, squeeze for a second and then slowly return for the negative portion. Do not lock your knees and always keep your back straight. If you are bending over, you are too far back. Move closer to the fixed object to avoid any accidents. Be sure that the band has enough tension. Feel the arch in your back as you row. Keep a firm grip on the handles of the band at all times.
Do not hunch your shoulders or round your back when performing this exercise. It’s important to keep your back straight with your chest out while performing standing back rows in order to focus all of the attention on your back muscles. Keep a wide stance to provide stability and a solid foundation during the entire range of motion. Keep your head up and your eyes looking forward and avoid dropping your head down. Proper posture is very important with this movement for safety and effectiveness. Avoid wrapping the bands around an insecure base which may lead to injury. Test out the surface to make sure it’s solid and secure before doing a full repetition.
Exercise Instructions (wrapped around post): Begin by wrapping the exercise band around a sturdy post or something similar. Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart while facing the post. Hold the handles in each hand with your arms extended out in front of your body with your thumbs pointed up toward the ceiling. Next, pull or “row” the handles in towards your body near your stomach. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat for several repetitions. Be sure to keep your back straight and perpendicular to the floor throughout this entire movement.
Reps and Sets: Depending on the resistance level with the exercise bands you’re using, repetitions will range from 10-15 per set when performing standing back rows. Include 3-4 sets of this exercise and add a few additional back exercises to cover the large area of the back (lower, middle, upper). Most exercise bands do not provide as much resistance as free weights, so higher repetitions are typically used.
Other Exercises To Use: An excellent bodyweight exercise to add to your back workout is pull-ups. This movement pairs very well with standing back rows using the exercise bands since it’s an all-around mass builder for the upper body. Another great exercise is bent over rows using exercise bands because it targets the muscles of the lower back. A great workout routine using these 3 exercises would include 2-3 sets of pull-ups (as many repetitions as possible) followed by 3-4 sets of standing back rows (12-15 reps) and finish up this back workout with 3-4 sets of bent over rows (12-15 reps). Make sure to rest for 1-3 minutes between sets for optimal recovery.