Nine Best Back Exercises For Every Woman

You regularly exercise your abs and legs, but when last did you have “back day” at the gym? 

Just because you can’t see your back unless you glance behind you when looking in a mirror, it doesn’t mean it should get ignored during your next gym session. 

Exercising your female back muscles is a must if you want to feel and look good, inside and outside of the gym. 

Why is it important to exercise your back muscles

When your back is strengthened and toned, it improves your posture and eliminates stubborn back fat. 

It also has a positive effect on the rest of your body, such as by lifting your chest and strengthening your core muscles.

If you allow your back muscles to become weak, this makes your posture bad, which will have an adverse effect on the rest of your body. 

Your shoulders will become rounded, for instance, and you risk what’s known as a frozen or stiff thoracic spine, which puts pressure on your lower back and can cause injury. 

Here are nine simple (including some slightly more advanced) back exercises you can start doing to keep your back beautiful and healthy.

Friendly tip: Use some pre workout if you need some help completing these.

Bent-Over Row

Difficulty: Beginner

This exercise is a great and easy exercise for targeting the back’s largest muscle, the latissimus dorsi, which stretches from the middle to the lower back. 

It’s a muscle that’s involved in pulling movements, such as doing a pull-up at the gym or pulling your Great Dane indoors. 

Secondary muscles will be targeted by this exercise too, such as those in your biceps, shoulders, and forearms, increasing your strength and improving your posture.

To do the Bent-Over Row, hold a weight in each hand. Stand with your legs hip-width apart. 

Engage your core and gently move forward with your hips, while pushing back your rear and bending your knees. 

Your back should be parallel to the floor. Look at the floor in front of your feet so that your neck does not get strained. 

Pull the weights up to your chest, with your elbows hugged close to your body. Then, lower the weights by stretching your arms towards the floor.

Floor Climber

Difficulty: Beginner

For this female back exercise, you want to get into a high plank position

Place your hands flat on the floor in front of you. Stretch your legs so it looks like you’re getting ready to run a race. 

Now, pull one of your knees up to your chest while engaging your core. Move back into your starting position and pull your other knee to your chest. 

It should look like you’re climbing stairs, just on the floor!

What’s great about this exercise is that it targets many back muscles, including the latissimus dorsi, deltoids (which are the muscles around the tops of your shoulders), and – as a bonus – your triceps. 

Reverse Fly

Difficulty: Beginner

This exercise targets the rhomboid muscles in your upper back, but also works the chest. 

The rhomboid muscles connect between your spine and shoulder blades. 

When you’re guilty of bad posture, they’re the muscles that feel it the most, so you want to keep them strong and healthy with this exercise.

To do a Reverse Fly, you need to hold a dumbbell in each hand and stand with your legs hip-width apart. 

Bend over and stretch your arms outwards. Make sure your dumbbells are not too heavy as you don’t want to feel too much strain.

Move your hands further away from each other with the aim of them reaching shoulder level. 

Now, squeeze your shoulder blades together – this is an important part of contracting your rhomboid muscles – and then slowly lower your arms so that you’re back to the starting position.

Dumbbell Squat

Difficulty: Intermediate

While you’re targeting your female back muscles during your workout, don’t forget that exercises that tone other areas of your body at the same time will help to give you an all-round workout. 

This Dumbbell Squat targets the muscles in your upper and lower back, but it also gives your legs a nice bit of exercise, so it’s great if you’re pressed for time but don’t want to miss out on back day at the gym!

Grab a dumbbell in each hand, but with the twist that one dumbbell should be slightly heavier than the other. 

With your feet in line with your shoulders, hold the lighter dumbbell above your head and place the heavier one between your legs. 

Your arms must remain straight. Slowly lower yourself until your thighs are in line with the ground. 

Hold the lighter dumbbell over your shoulders. As you do this, contract your shoulder and upper back.

As reported by She Knows, this exercise is useful because it works many muscles simultaneously, such as those in your shoulders and back. 

You can also use it to give your core a nice workout by pulling your belly button into your spine so that your core is engaged during the moves.

Leg Raise With Stability Ball

Difficulty: Intermediate

The lower female back muscles are an important part of the body to exercise because, as pointed out by Medical News Daily, when they are toned they strengthen your arms, legs, and core.

Yup, if you want strong abs, you need to do female back exercises. 

This workout specifically targets the lower back muscles, known as the erector spinae that hold up the spine and gluteal muscles.


Lie on a stability ball with your hips. Stretch your legs behind you and keep your hands shoulder-width apart on the floor. 

Now, lift both legs as far up as you can without making your spine feel too much tension. You should hold this move for about three seconds.

Renegade Row

Difficulty: Intermediate

Renegade rows are the holy grail of exercises for female back muscles. 

They work out the upper back, including the rhomboids and latissimus dorsi. 

But they also target your core, so you want to progress to them once you’ve been doing beginner back exercises for a while.

You’ll need some dumbbells. Once you’re holding one in each hand, get into a push-up position on the floor. 

Lift one dumbbell slowly while you turn your body to the side. 

The important thing is to move the dumbbell as far as you can without losing balance, which you should be ensuring with the use of your leg and arm. 

Lower the dumbbell and repeat the movement with your other arm.

The Wall Angel

Level: Intermediate

Your trapezius is a muscle that spans across your upper back and up into your neck. 

It also moves through your shoulders, so it’s important to keep it strong and toned!

To do the Wall Angel, you have to stand with your feet hip-width apart, and press your back against a wall. 

You shouldn’t be able to place two fingers in the space between your back and the wall. Stretch your arms out to the side, keeping your elbows bent at 90 degrees. 

Slide your arms along the wall until they’re straight up above your head. It’s like making a snow angel, just without any, um, snow.

It’s important to keep your head, rear, spine, and elbows straight and firmly placed against the wall. 

Although this exercise sounds pretty easy, it can be taxing on your female back exercises. 

If it’s too hard to achieve, you should start out by doing the exercise on the floor, as that is easier for beginners.

T-Bar Row

Difficulty: Expert

If you want to achieve greater back strength, this is an advanced exercise that needs to be on your list. 

It targets the latissimus dorsi and erector spinae. You’ll need to set an Olympic bar in a landmine attachment. 

As described by The Workout Digest, you must hook a narrow grip handle under the bar’s collar on the top end and stand over the bar, keeping your feet hip-width apart. 

Now, push back your hips so you feel the pull in your hamstrings and rear. 

Pull the bar to your chest, keeping it there for two seconds, so that you can feel the contraction in your back.


Level: Expert

This is an exercise for female back muscles pro bodybuilders do, so it’s definitely challenging. 

You want to grab the bar with an underhand grip, while keeping your hands shoulder-width apart. This is hard for some women at first so working out with a grip strengthener can help.

Pull your chest up and keep your elbows in as you move. IFBB Figure Pro Jesse Hilgenberg gives Body Building this trick if you want to build up strength: pull or jump to the top position and then slowly lower yourself down. 

You’ll feel the satisfying burn as you move your way down!

Another good tip from Hilgenberg is to do your pull-up exercises at the start of your workout routine, because they require lots of energy. 

This exercise mainly targets your latissimus dorsi, but you’ll get a bonus of a bicep and shoulder muscle workout.

The Importance Of Maintaining Form

When doing exercises to strengthen your female back muscles, one of the most crucial things to keep in mind is that you have to maintain the right form. 

Move slowly through the exercises and maintain the right technique. However, a problem might arise. 

When you’re used to having bad posture or you’re new to working out your back, your muscles might not feel the right tension or you could injure yourself during your workouts. 

If you’re feeling that your back muscles are tired or tense, you should try to release that tension before working them out at the gym. 

It will just make your workouts so much better.

You can easily erase tension in your back muscles by lying on a foam roller that’s placed along your spine.

  • Bend your knees and move your arms up and down as though you’re making a snow angel.
  • When you reach a point where your arms feel like they can’t take it anymore, relax and breathe.

Make Sure You Stretch 

As with any workout, you first need to warm up your female back muscles to prevent strain and injury. 

Simple stretching will help to warm up your back muscles and prepare them for the upcoming workout, but it also stretches your shoulders and hips.

It’s really easy to do a stretch. Here’s one you can try wherever you are.

  • Get into a standing position and take a large step forward with your right leg and then do a lunge.
  • Place your left hand on the floor.
  • Turn your chest and shoulders towards your right leg and stretch your right arm upwards.
  • Do the same exercise with your other leg.

Keep An Eye On Your Spine

If you’re doing an intense back exercise at the gym, you might be worried about your spine health. 

While form is always important, you should also avoid movements that put pressure on your spine. 

These include rocking motions that are common during female back exercises such as Bent-Over Rows and Pull-Ups.

Make sure you’re not rocking too much when doing female back exercises as this puts pressure on your lower back and can actually prevent the muscle you’re trying to work from getting the workout you want it to!

Related Questions

Should I Exercise My Back Last?

A common mistake when doing exercise for your female back muscles is to do it after you’ve done other workouts, such as those targeting your biceps or legs. 

The reason for this is because you’re going to run out of steam in your arms and back, which will hamper your workout.

How Heavy Should My Weights Be?

You don’t want to lift weights that are too heavy for you as that can cause injury or make it difficult for you to do the exercises properly. 

However, you need to challenge your muscles to build them. 

You should lift a weight that you can do eight to 12 reps with before you feel tired, and then be able to do another two to three sets without feeling wiped out.

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