Strengthening your back is an essential part of any training program but it is often overlooked. Whether that’s due to the lack of variety, the lure of chest and arm day or the fear of injury, its often put at the bottom of the priority list. Sound familiar?
Well, my friends, that is a thing of the past. It’s time to take your training to the next level and grow those wings.
How can we level up and optimise our training for strong, healthy and injury free backs I hear your say? You have come to the right place.
In this article we’ll chat through why training your back is so important. We’ll discuss how you can vary your training using resistance bands. Finally, we’ll give you our top 5 resistance band exercises to get you that strong back you’re looking for.
Ready to level up?
WHY TRAIN YOUR BACK
There’s a common misconception that training back leads to injury. This comes from years of being told not to overload your back. But I am here to tell you that the world has moved on. Research has moved on, and the best way we know to reduce risk of injury, is to fall back (no pun intended) in love with back day.
Let’s look at an example.
Say you spend most of your life avoiding loading your back. Then one day you’re moving house. There’s a box on the floor full of books that needs to be moved. You think nothing of it. You bend down to pick it up. It’s too heavy. You feel pain in your back, drop the box and you’re out of action for the rest of the week.
Now, let me present an alternative scenario.
You train back regularly as part of your overall training program. You have a love, love relationship with rows and deadlifts. One day you’re moving house. There is a box on the floor full of books that needs to be moved. You think nothing of it. You bend down to pick it up, make light work of carrying it to the van, and move on to the next job in hand.
I know which scenario I’d choose…
So how can we optimise our training to add variety and build strong and healthy backs?
RESISTANCE BANDS FOR STRONG BACKS
Barbells and dumbbells are great for strength, but it’s important to add variety and control to your training.
Onterra resistance bands are a great way of adding variety by using variable resistance training (VRT). VRT allows you to progress your training by naturally increasing the load during the easier phase and reducing the load at the harder phase of the exercise.
Bands can be used with barbells and dumbbells to help you get over that dreaded plateau. Or they can be used on their own as a great alternative or addition to your program. Not to mention they are incredibly versatile and practical meaning you can use them anywhere, any time.
So, let’s skip to the good part.
Below are our top 5 resistance band exercises to get your back as strong and healthy as ever.
OUR TOP 5 RESISTANCE BAND BACK EXERCISES
- Single arm row
A great exercise for your latissimus dorsi, those big mid back muscles that create that much loved wing shape.
- Stand in a split stance and secure the band under your front foot, hinging forward at the hips.
- Hold the band in your hand on the same side.
- Focus on using your back muscles to pull the band towards you. Keep your trunk engaged and strong throughout.
- Slow and control in the eccentric phase.
- The more tension you start with, the harder the resistance.
Known as the king of all exercises. Primarily a lower back exercise but works the entire posterior chain from traps to hamstrings. It’s a functional, muscle building exercise and feels great.
- Stand with feet shoulder width apart, holding the ends of the band in both hands. Secure the middle of the band under both feet.
- Start in a hip hinge position with shoulders squeezed back and tension on the band.
- As your come to stand, think about pushing the floor away with your feet, engaging the whole posterior chain.
- Slow and control to return to the hinge position.
Another underrated upper back exercise that we love! The primary movers are the traps, however it’s great for forearm and grip strength too.
- Stand with the ends of the band in each hand and the middle of the band secured under your feet.
- Maintain an upright position with a strong posterior chain. Keep arms relaxed and shoulders back
- Shrug your shoulders up
- Slowly control back down
- Seated Row
A great all-rounder mid back exercise that targets the lower traps, lats, rhomboids, rear delts, biceps and forearms.
- Sit upright on the floor, legs straight out in front.
- Hold the band in each hand with the middle of the band secured behind both feet.
- Squeeze the shoulder blades back and pull the band towards you.
- Slow and controlled on the eccentric phase.
- Face Pull
One of our absolute favourites. A great upper back exercise that works the rear delts, rhomboids, upper and mid traps.
- Secure the band to an elevated anchor point
- Hold the other end of the band in both hands and step back from the anchor to create tension. Hold a small split stance with your arms straight out in front.
- Squeeze your shoulders back, leading with your elbows to pull the band towards your face. Keep your elbows high throughout.
- Slow and controlled in the eccentric phase.
Training your back is an essential part of any quality training program. Focus on optimising your exercises and you will stay reduce injury, build strength, and get that shape you’ve been chasing all this time.
Don’t forget to add a resistance band like this @onterra loop band to your toolbox. Bands should be a part of everyone’s training program. Whether you’re using them alongside your barbells and dumbbells to push past a plateau, or as a practical and convenient alternative, they’ll bring your training to the next level.
So, what are you waiting for? Get started and let us know how you get on!