Back Workout Routine

Before you can even start, just consider one thing, your back has whole lot of big muscles. It might be controversial, but traps too take huge part of back, then there are lats, smaller muscles like rhomboids, and little yet delicate muscles. Training back muscle will require more precise and correct back workout routine for your choice. Given below is the simple yet effective beginner’s back workout routine. Don’t worry, even if you are advance lifter, basics are always important.

Back Workout Warmup

While you think that a bunch of pull up and chin up first thing in the gym is ideal, it is not. The idea here is when you straight jump into the pull ups, your shoulder is compromised. Pull ups as warm  up is bad for your shoulder. Yes you can incorporate it in your workout, but once your body is properly warmed up.

For warm up, you can do these:

  • Warm your shoulders with arm circles.
  • Warm your scapula by doing bunch of cat pose
  • Touch  toes
  • Very light rear delt raises

Perform few sets of these and you are warmed and your body is ready for torture.

Workout Routine for Back

Here is a routine, the basic one, you can do to target your overall back muscles. I like to start with the compounds first. It is also ideal because you can lift more and target more muscles by compound exercise.

  1. Deadlift
    Any variation of deadlift will work just fine. Barbell deadlift is the king of all back workout of all time. It not only works your back, but also your glutes, hamstrings, quads, calves, shoulders, arms etc. It is a total mass and strength builder. Read about the barbell deadlift here Barbell Deadlift.
  2. Barbell Bentover Row
    Bentover Row, no matter barbell version or dumbbell version, will work you lats effectively. Changing grip in barbell version will help you target specific area of lat while dumbbell will give you overall stretch and squeeze.
  3. T-Bar Row
    T-Bar row for me is basically upper back movement. It engages a lot of upper back throughout the exercise. There are different grips and width, you can work these movement with.
  4. Lat-Pulldown
    As the name suggests, it works your lats. Grip-width won’t matter much but some say it will make the mind muscle connection stronger. Grip variation will definitely target different area of lat, throw in some variation every now and then.
  5. Shrugs
    These can be done on either day, shoulder or back. Engaging traps in back day while it is already engaged in most of the exercise will give you good contraction.Again, there are many variation to it, choose your style and that works for you more.
  6. Pull-ups and Chin-ups
    Believe me, this can be a great finisher. Burning up those muscles with as many as you can will leave you drenched in sweat. Your back is screaming by now and you know, you did a great job when you feel so.

Also Read: Lats Workout at Home

Quick Back Workout Routine Recap

  1. Deadlift:- 3-4 sets with moderate 8-12 reps
  2. Barbell Bentover Row:- 3-4 sets with controlled 8-10 reps
  3. T-Bar Row:- 3 sets of screaming 10-12 reps
  4. Lat-Pulldown:- 4 sets with light and controlled eccentric 10-12 reps
  5.  Shrugs:- 4 sets of light and squeezing 12-15 reps
  6. Pull-ups and Chin-ups:- Till you can’t continue any more

Back workout routine

Back Workout Variations

There is pretty much variation for every exercise. You can switch grip for some, control tempo for some or tools for some. Some of the variations you can apply are as follows.

  • Varying Grips
    Like in rows, pulldowns and all, you can switch between supinated (palms facing you) and pronated (palms facing away from you). This will result in isolating different muscles with better contraction.
  • Varying Tempo
    Tempo stands for how slow or fast you do your workouts. Tempo sometimes determine which kind of muscle fiber is being recruited. There are fast twitch and slow twitch muscle fiber which work with different tempo.
  • Varying Tools
    For tools, you can switch from machine to barbell to dumbbells to kettle bells. The choice is yours. While dumbbells will require equal stability from your both halves, barbell works both halves in unison, while machine takes stability factor all out.

These three will cover almost any variation that you would like to do in your workout.


This is not the ultimate back building workout routine that no one else can suggest you. To be honest, once you know what exercise works which part of your muscles, you can easily determine how you are going to target your muscle. Be wise, don’t ego lift, try out all exercises with proper form and continue the one that suits you the best. For more info, you can checkout website.

Barbell Deadlift

Among the three staples of the most effective compound exercise, Barbell Deadlift has the meanest name and reputation. It is one of the best exercises for your traps, back as a whole, glutes with involvement of legs as well. When you are performing the barbell deadlift, your whole body from head to toe is stressed and demolishes maximum amount of muscle fibres. Breaking of muscle fibre is the first step of muscle gain. With involvement of barbell deadlift in a workout routine, the growth has been seen to increase significantly.

barbell deadlift

Grips for Barbell Deadlift

Grip is basically how you lift the barbell. There are generally three grips for performing the deadlift they are as follows:

  • Double Overhand Grip
    It is the most common and basic grip to start deadlift with. You grab the bar with both palms facing yourself. It is the strongest of the grips as well. You should start with this grip and continue with the grip until your grip becomes the limiting factor for your lift.
  • Mixed grip
    In mixed grip, you grab the bar with palms facing each other. Your one arm has overhand grip while another has underhand grip. It is strong as with weak grip, bar rolls away from the palm quite easily. With this grip, when bar rolls away from one palm, it acts oppositely on other hand, so the bar doesn’t slip.
  • Hook Grip
    While we loose grip, thumb is the first one to give up. Hook grip is often used by the Olympic lifters, trapping the thumb between the bar and the first 2 fingers in double overhand grip. It is painful for beginners until the are used to it. There is no way around, you need to learn to get used to it.

Though for building the strength, use of double overhand grip is advised. First you need to build your strength the natural way, they you can start tweaking up your grip as you go up in weight. For the heaviest of your lifts, you can use weight lifting straps for extra grip strength.

Instruction to Perform Barbell Deadlift

Following the correct instructions and keeping the form right all the time will insure the safety of your back. The instructions are as follows:

  • Approach the bar so that it is centred with your legs.
  • Keep your legs hip-width apart.
  • Bend at hip with natural curve of your back keeping the core tight.
  • Grab the bar with your favourite grip, arms being shoulder-width apart.
  • With the proper set up, bend at your knees squatting down until your shin touches the bar.
  • Keep your chest up and back arched to natural curve.
  • Look forward and with a deep breath push through your heels and try to stand up.
  • When the bar passes the knee, pull aggressively with your back pulling the shoulder blades together.
  • When you reach the top, start the descend by lowering the bar nicely by bending the hips and keeping the bar on the ground.

While performing the exercise, avoid any kind of jerking motion. Your back is complex route of spines, you never know what can go wrong. Perform the motion clean and in controlled way.

Also Read: Leg Workouts Without Weights 

Variations of Barbell Deadlift

As per the variation, it is done in different ways depending on your perks to perform the lift.

  • Dumbbell Deadlift

Somewhat similar to barbell deadlift, dumbbell deadlift involves stability as well with two individual weights in hand. You can immediately change grips as well with dumbbells as well. It is a great way to perform deadlift if you are having some sort of problems in their knees or any other that doesn’t let you perform the lift.

  • Conventional Deadlift

Conventional deadlift is the one with the positioning as discussed in the instructions above. It is common one. You get great advantage of your legs during the lift.

  • Sumo Deadlift

Sumo deadlift is performed by standing in the sumo position first. Keep your legs 2x the hip width apart. Grab the bar from inside your legs and perform the lift. This variation decreases the bar travel path from ground to top position.


Hence, barbell deadlift is one of the important lifts that you need to be doing. This increases the overall strength and muscle building capability of your body. But you need to keep good care of your back. Start using weight lifting belts to keep the core tight and assist the lower back during heavy exercise. Perform the lift with safety in mind.