Calisthenics workout is one the best ways to strengthen and tone back muscles. And if you’re one of the fitness enthusiasts looking for the best calisthenics back exercises, so you came to the right place.
You’ll see 10 calisthenics back exercises that you can do with little to no equipment in this article. So, let’s find out exercises with how-to instructions.
You may also like: 25 CrossFit Workouts Without equipment
Calisthenics Back exercises for Beginners
I assume, as a beginner, you can do pull-ups. Pull-up is a great workout for the back that you can include your calisthenics exercise routine.
How to do pull ups:
- Hang onto a pullup bar with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, grip the bar with an overhand grip. This is your starting position.
- Contracting your back muscles, pull yourself up until your chin crosses the bar.
- Once your back fully engaged, lower yourself down until your arms are straight. That’s one rep.
- Avoid jerking and excess movement during the exercise. Keep your head position neutral with your eyes forward.
- Do as many reps as you can.
2. Dead Hang
Dead hang is a kind of stretching that activates the back, shoulders, and core, and forearm muscles. It doesn’t increase the back mass but decompress and stretches out the spine.
Doing dead hang stretch out back muscles and help you perform other exercises that can make your back stronger and wider.
To do dead hang, simply grab the bar with an overhand grip with your hands four to six inches wider than shoulder-width apart. With your arms straight and head in the neutral position, hang as long as you can.
Try to set the target so you can hang for longer duration.
3. Inverted Row
Inverted row strengthens the upper body, especially the back. It is suitable for beginners so including it in your callisthenic back workout can be efficient for developing back.
Inverted rows can be done using several pieces of equipment, such as a smith machine, dip stand, bed sheet, rings, etc.
Here I’m going to share how you can do inverted rows using the smith machine.
- Set the barbell at your waist height so you can extend your arms fully while keeping your body off the floor.
- Lie on the floor on your back underneath the bar.
- Grab the bar with an overhand grip with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and arms fully straight.
- Your body will be few inches off the floor, heels on the ground while toes facing upward. That’s your starting position.
- Keeping your core tight, pull yourself toward the bar until your chest touches it.
- Hold in this position for a couple of seconds and lower the body to the start.
- That’s one rep. Repeat for the maximum number of times.
Keep your body in a straight line from top to the bottom during the entire movement. And perform each rep slowly and in a controlled fashion.
4. Lying IYT Raises
The IYT raise is the best bodyweight exercise that you can do to strengthen and tone your back muscles. It is suitable for beginners. This is why I’ve included it in this list of bodyweight back workouts.
- Lie prone on the floor with your arms are straight in front of you.
- Lift your chest a couple of inches off the floor with your eyes looking downward. This is your starting position.
- Raise your arms off the floor as high as you can so you feel the contraction in your back. Keep your arms high for a couple of seconds, and then lower them on the ground. That’s “I” raise.
- For “Y” raise, lift your arms off the floor in the letter “Y” shape. With your back muscles engaged, hold in the position for a second or two, and then lower your arms in the Y shape.
- Now, bring your arms out to the sides so your body forms a “T” shape. And to do T raise, lift your arms off the floor, as high as you can so you can feel the contraction in your traps and lats. And after one to two seconds pause, return your arms on the floor.
- This is your one rep. Try to perform as many reps as possible.
- To add resistance, you can use light dumbbells.
5. Superman Pull
You can do superman pull exercise for the back while staying at home. It also works on the lower back. For beginners, I’ve included this calisthenic exercise for the back.
- Start with lying on the floor on your stomach with your arms straight in front of you.
- Lift your chest a few inches off the floor with your eyes looking forward. That’s your starting position.
- Raise your arms slightly off the floor and pull them toward your chest until you feel the contraction in your back.
- Hold in this position for a couple of seconds, and then return your arms to the start. That’s one repetition.
- Your elbows will be bent at your sides (besides your chest) when you pull your arms toward your chest.
Keep your palms down in the first couple of sets, and palms up in the next couple of sets.
Do 15 reps of each set and make sure to squeeze and engage your back muscles in each rep.
Calisthenics Back Workout (Advanced Exercises)
6. Muscles up
The muscle up is one of the most difficult calisthenics exercises for back.
Before starting out, stand 10 to 15 inches away from the pull-up bar, as it will allow you to generate swinging movement when you grab the bar.
- Grab the pull-up bar with an overhand grip with your hands a couple of inches wider than shoulder-width apart.
- Keep your thumbs on the bar instead of under it and your arms fully extended.
- Pull your chest toward the bar until your chin crosses it. And from that position perform a dip by pressing the bar downward.
- Once you complete the dip, return to the starting position. That’s one repetition.
- Do as many reps as possible.
This exercise is done at a fast and explosive pace so you can generate swings and perform efficiently.
7. Tuck front lever raises
- Hang onto the bar with your hands shoulder-width apart, grab the bar with an overhand position with your thumbs under the bar. This is your starting position.
- Now, pull yourself up by keeping your arms straight and maintain the Front Lever position until you reach the pike position.
- Keep your body as straight as possible during the movement.
8. Elevated Inverted Rows
- Before starting to perform elevated inverted rows, place a bench one step away from the smith machine or dip stand.
- Reach underneath the machine, and grab the bar with your hands wider than shoulder-width apart.
- Make sure you hold the bar with an overhand grip.
- Place your feet on the bench with your toes facing upward.
- This is your starting position.
- Now, pull yourself up until your chest touches the bar.
- Hold there for a couple of seconds and then return to the starting position.
- That’s one rep. Repeat until you reach failures.
Low Impact Calisthenics Workout for Lower Back
9. Bird Dog
The bird dog is an isometric exercises for the back and you can include it in your calisthenics workouts.
It strengthens your lower back, improve stability and balance.
- Get on your all fours with your arms straight underneath your shoulders.
- Keep your back straight, core tight, and face downward. This is your starting position.
- Raise your left arm in front of you and kick your right leg behind you while your right will be straight on the ground.
- Hold in the position for 10 seconds and then switch to another side.
- Repeat four to five times.
10. Locust Pose
The locust pose exercise also strengthens the lower back, increases flexibility, balance, and stability.
- Lie prone on the floor with your arms straight at your sides.
- Look downward and keep your leg straight behind you with your toes facing the ground. This is your starting position.
- Slightly lift the chest off the floor while keeping your arms in the same position.
- You’ll feel the contraction in your lower back when you raise your trunk.
- Hold in this position for 10 seconds, and then lower your chest in the starting position.
- Do as many times as you like, I suggest thrice.
Calisthenics Back Workout Routine
60-minute calisthenics workout routine for back
- Lying IYT Raises: 10 reps x 3 sets
- Superman Pull: 10 reps x 3 sets
- Pull-Ups: 8-12 reps x 4 sets
- Inverted Row: 10-15 reps x 4 sets
- Muscles Up: 10 reps x 2 sets
- Bird Dog: 5 times x 2 sets
If you’re a beginner, you can repeat the first four calisthenics back exercises twice. And if you’re intermediate you can skip lying IYT and superman pull, and instead, you can do Tuck Front Lever Raises and elevated inverted rows.