Workout Routines

The best back workout for beginners

Want to go from puny to powerful? This routine will help you forge the fundamental strength and muscle gains in your lats and traps for a massive transformation.

Man doing pullups outdoors in park
Tara Moore / Getty
Tara Moore / Getty
Duration 45
Exercises 6
Equipment Yes

If a chiseled, V-tapered back is the end goal of your mass-multiplying journey, but you're starting off with a wimpy frame and little to no muscle, that's fine.

This workout is your blueprint to build balanced growth, strengthen your large "show" muscles—and the essential small stabilizers—and eventually achieve improved muscle definition.

"If you’re keen on chiseling a rock-hard back, start incorporating the best back exercises for beginners into your weekly routine," says Mike Krajewski, C.S.C.S., owner of MK Fitness in Nashville, TN. Krajewski has used most of these moves to create this beginner back workout.

Use the routine for a few weeks. Then, when you feel it's time to introduce a new challenge, mix in these 10 bodyweight exercises to build your back and the 30 best back exercises of all time. And when you start to get stronger, rotate through these 10 supersizing workouts to do on back day. You'll have an epic fitness transformation in no time.

The beginner's back workout Build your lats, traps, and biceps

Exercise 1.

Pullup You'll need: Pullup Bar How to
Exercise: How to do an Eccentric Pullup thumbnail
2 sets
6-8 reps
45-60 sec. rest

Exercise 2.

Chinup You'll need: Pullup Bar How to
Chinup thumbnail
2 sets
6-8 reps
45-60 sec. rest

Exercise 3A.

Trap-Bar Deadlift You'll need: Trap Bar How to
Trap-Bar Deadlift thumbnail
4 sets
8 reps
15 sec., if necessary rest

Exercise 3B.

Russian Twist You'll need: Medicine Ball How to
Russian Twist thumbnail
4 sets
20 reps
60 sec. rest

Exercise 4A.

One-Arm Dumbbell Row You'll need: Dumbbells How to
One-Arm Dumbbell Row thumbnail
3 sets
10 reps
30 sec. rest

Exercise 4B.

Back Extension You'll need: Bench How to
Back Extension thumbnail
3 sets
15 reps
30 sec. rest

Exercise 5.

Reverse Cable Flye You'll need: Cable Machine How to
How to do Reverse Cable Flye thumbnail
2 sets
15 reps
30-45 sec. rest