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What are the Best Back Exercises for Women?

By Kerrie Main
Updated May 17, 2024
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The back muscles are the second-largest set of muscles, behind only the leg muscles. Many women overlook this set of muscles because the back typically is out of sight, especially compared to the stomach, arms and legs. However, back exercises for women are very important for several reasons, including prevention of injuries while lifting objects, improving posture and balancing top-heavy chest areas. There are several back workouts, but the best back exercises for women are the deadlift, chin up, bent over row and seated dumbbell row.

Deadlifts are considered the king — or queen — of all back exercises for women because they work the lower back, upper back, legs, buttocks and triceps. Their purpose is to build strong, muscular lower backs, which are important for stability and balance. They can be done with a single barbell or two dumbbells. This exercise can cause injuries if not done properly, so women should start it with lighter weights and gradually build up to heavier weights.

Chin ups, or pull ups, are back exercises for women that strengthen the upper back muscles, biceps and rhomboids. They can be done at the gym or with a bar at home. Most women cannot do this exercise very easily, because they lack of upper-body strength. The key is to build up resistance over time and try to maintain a slow, even pace. Some women focus on making the downward motion longer than the motion of pulling themselves up.

Another one of the best back exercises for women is the bent over row, which enables them to attain a complete back workout without much strain. It typically is one of the easiest exercises to do, and it can be done with a free weight barbell. Women can change their grip and body placement during the exercise to target different areas on the back.

The seated dumbbell row is considered one of the safest back exercises for women because it is done one arm at a time. It utilizes a workout bench and dumbbell, and it usually allows the woman to focus completely and to perfect the technique. It is important to get full extension in the arms to gain all of the benefits from this exercise. This exercise focuses on the upper back muscles.

When women are first beginning a back workout routine, they usually are more successful when they alternate exercises. Sets should be from 10 to 15 repetitions to start with, and resting periods between sets should be no longer than 45 seconds. Many women warm up with a cardio workout, stretching and light weights to avoid potential injuries.

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Discussion Comments

By Feryll — On May 22, 2014

Walking and other aerobic exercises are good back workouts for women. Aerobic classes, such as dance classes can improve overall core endurance in women. This will ultimately lead to better overall conditioning.

Yoga classes and stretching exercises are also good back exercises for women. These are low impact activities and they are not likely to put too much stress on the back as weights can do if they are not used properly.

By Animandel — On May 21, 2014

I sometimes have back pain and stiffness when I lift or bend too much. I was told that I might be able to avoid some of my back problems in the future by getting on a steady exercise program that is designed to strengthen my back muscles. I have been looking for exercises that might be appropriate for me.

The exercises mentioned in this article sound like they would be good for improving the strength of my back muscles. I have also heard that I should work on strengthening my abdomen muscles because this will take way some of the stress placed on my back.

So if you have back problems like I have then you should do lower back exercises, upper back exercises and stomach exercises to help remedy your condition.

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