The 10 Best Bodyweight Back Exercises: The Ultimate Workout

To build the best back from the comfort of your home, you need the best bodyweight back exercises.

Whether you don’t have a gym membership, can’t stand deadlifts, or just love calisthenics, this list of bodyweight back exercises is for you!

Below you’ll find all the bodyweight back exercises you need for a complete back workout that will keep you strong and functional..

Table of Contents

10 Best Bodyweight Back Exercises

1. Wide-Grip Pullups

The ultimate lat attack! Wide-grip pull-ups target your lats but also work your middle back and core.  Remember to do a full pull-up you need to pull yourself up, but also return to the starting position.  Don’t cheat on those back muscles. Oh and pull those shoulder blades together!

2. Bodyweight Rows (Inverted Rows Or Horizontal Pull Ups)

Bodyweight rows target your upper back.  Think shoulder blades and rhomboids.  

The best part about bodyweight rows is that you can do them practically anywhere: use a broom between two chairs at home, use the smith-machine at the gym, or find an appropriate bar at your local playground.

FREE Download

Download our FREE 12-week workout plan. The plan includes a daily schedule, list of exercises, and the number of sets and reps for each exercise.

3. Elbow Raise (Back Widow Or Reverse Pushup)

Simple, easy-to-learn exercise that targets your upper back muscles.  

4. Single-Leg Deadlift

Like the barbell deadlift, this exercise focuses primarily on your lower back, hamstrings, and glutes.  Make sure to keep your arms straight during a deadlift to maximize the upper body workout.

5. Supermans

Supermans strengthen your lower back and core muscles. Extend your arms overhead while lying flat with your palms facing down.  Lift those legs, and head and then pull your arms back towards your shoulders.  This is excellent work for your upper back.  Try for 15 reps and see how you do.  You get to pretend, you’re Superman, if only for a second. It’s a win-win.

6. Back Extensions

Watch the third exercise he does. This variation of the back extension can help you perform this exercise without a gym. Back extensions primarily target the lower back muscles.

7. Reverse Snow Angels

Reverse snow angels work your lower back and traps.  Lie down flat on your stomach and have your palms facing the floor at the top of your head.  Keep your arms straight as you bring them down to your hips.  And it’s good practice for when it snows…

8. Full Body Drag (Floor Pullover)

Excellent lat exercise you can do anywhere!

9. Rowing Machine

A great exercise that gives you a cardio workout and back training.  Think big powerful strokes for a strong back.

10. Back Lever

This is an advanced bodyweight back exercise. If you’ve ever watched the Olympics, you will recognize this back exercise.  It’s intense so work your way up to ti.  Once you build up your strength with some of the more basic back exercises, you’ll get a killer workout with this!

The Complete List Of Bodyweight Exercises For Back

Below, we’ve organized the best bodyweight exercises for each major muscle of the back. Each exercise is linked to a YouTube tutorial.

Upper-Back Bodyweight Exercises

Lower-Back Bodyweight Exercises

Bodyweight Lat Exercises

Bodyweight Back Exercises With No Equipment

Here is a list of the exercises that require no equipment – just you and your body.

The Ultimate Bodyweight Back Workout

To build a complete workout, you need to perform exercises that will target all of the major back muscles.

You can build your own ultimate bodyweight back workout by selecting 1-2 exercises from each of the muscle groups above: upper back, lower back, and lats.

Here’s an example:

By building your workout, you can give more focus to areas that need attention.

And you can also take the focus away from areas that don’t need extra training.

This helps you balance your workouts and avoid injury, both now and in the future. However, diet is a big part of our ability to gain muscle – not just your routine. Consider regularly taking casein, paleo, or protein powders for lactose intolerance.

But don’t forget to workout your whole body!

Bodyweight 2.0 - Hybrid Athlete Bodyweight 2.0 - Hybrid Athlete

Bodyweight tactics for the experienced.

The bodyweight 2.0 is the sequel to the reader favorite Bodyweight 1.0. It adds a bit of difficulty, though it can be done by beginners by adjusting loads and reps.


  • Skill level: Intermediate
  • 4-week program, 4 workouts each week
  • Workouts vary in length, up to 45 minutes
  • No equipment required, but a yoga or exercise mat, towel, and water bottle are helpful.
  • Free Bonus: Intro to Nutrition and Healthy Eating
  • Links to videos, detailing each exercise
  • Printable PDF workout calendar

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Use these bodyweight back exercises to take your training to the next level. When you strengthen your back, you strengthen the rest of your body, so there’s no way these exercises won’t help your overall fitness!

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