When I first started getting back in shape, I wasn’t sure if the gym was right for me. I asked my personal trainer to build me an at-home training program. I thought this would be a bit of a hassle for my trainer, but instead, he came alive with the challenge!
Before long, my phone was blowing up with texts of recommended at-home training equipment for me to purchase on Amazon, and he pieced together a comprehensive program for me using all equipment from home. He threw in some dumbbells and ab mats, but most of the exercises he developed for me required resistance bands.
Resistance Band Back Exercises vs. Weights
So, let’s talk about back exercises, specifically. When looking to activate those back muscles, resistance bands will be a perfect fit if you:
If you’re nodding your head to any of these options, then this article could be a great place for you to start piecing together your own at-home back workout routine. These resistance band back exercises will help you:
The Good Stuff About Resistance Band Back Exercises
Resistance band back exercises are isokinetic, which means that the resistance changes throughout the motion of the rep. This type of exercise is great because it activates stabilizer muscles, which promotes overall strength and balance.  With these accessory muscles now stronger from resistance bands, your overall back strength will improve when performing a heavier lifting task, such as using barbells or dumbbells. 
If you’re struggling with a back injury that has you off your gym game, resistance bands can be a great substitute for weights. The low-impact benefit of resistance band back exercises means that you’ll have less stress on your body. The fluid motion of using a resistance band minimizes the jarring motions that can happen with a dumbbell or barbell, so it’s way less likely to aggravate your injury.
Plus, we all know that deadlifts can take a toll on your lumbar spine if you’re already prone to back pain. This makes resistance bands a great substitute for deadlifts using a barbell.
So…What are the Cons of Resistance Band Back Exercises?
Resistance bands might not be right for your back workout routine if you are at a place in your workout journey where you’re looking for huge muscle gains. If you want to increase a good amount of weight by adding muscle mass to your back, you’ll eventually need to shift gears and start using dumbbells or barbells.
Additionally, because the resistance of the band will change throughout the rep motion, you have less consistency in knowing how much weight you are actually lifting. A weight or dumbbell would help you know more precisely that the weight stays the same throughout the whole rep. 
You Sold Me. Which Resistance Bands Should I Buy?
So, you’ve evaluated the pros and cons. You know the difference between using resistance bands and weights. You’re ready to move ahead and get your own resistance bands.
Where should you start? I recommend checking out these 3 types based on your needs and which exercises you choose to add to your routine.
Tube Bands With Handles: If you’re subbing resistance band back exercises for dumbbell exercises, then you might want to consider purchasing tube bands with handles. These are great for substituting exercises such as bicep curls, shoulder extensions, shoulder presses, or deadlifts.
Loop Resistance Bands: These guys don’t have any handles, but that doesn’t mean they don’t lack resistance power. They are shaped like a loop, and you can use the loop ends as handles. Both types are effective, and you can decide which you prefer.
Therapy bands: These bands are lighter with less resistance, making them ideal for deep stretches and muscle recovery. These are a go-to for physical therapists!
6 Resistance Band Back Exercises That’ll Keep You Super Fit
Let’s dive into the best band back exercises to build strength in your back and fortify against potential injuries. You can decide to add these moves into a workout routine you’re already using, or you can build in a back day–where you combine several of these exercises together to light your back on fire!
1. Banded Bent-Over Row
How to Perform a Banded Bent-Over Row:
- Sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you.
- Place the band around your feet, and bend your knees.
- Grab the handles of the band with each hand. You can use a loop band and grab each end, or you can use a band with handles on it.
- Holding the band with each hand, pull your arms back until the band hits your chest. Squeeze your back and shoulder blades as you perform this motion.
- Slowly return the band to the starting position and repeat.
Benefits of Adding Banded Bent-Over Rows to Your Resistance Band Exercises:
Performing rows develops the muscles responsible for giving you great posture. Add these into your routine, and you’ll most likely see an improvement in your posture as well as strengthening your overall back muscles and core. I like this exercise because it mimics regular pulling motions that we use in our everyday lives, keeping our muscles flexible and strong. Seated rows are also typically easier on the joints than other exercises that have more abrupt movements.
2. Single-Arm Row
How to Perform a Single-Arm Row:
- Place your foot through a resistance band.
- Grab the top of the band with the arm on the same side, allowing your body to naturally hinge over as you do so.
- Bring your elbow back, pulling the band up and towards your lower chest. Squeeze your back muscles as you perform this motion.
- Bring your arm back down slowly. Then repeat.
Benefits of Adding Single-Arm Rows to Your Resistance Band Exercises:
This one targets the latissimus dorsi, rhomboids, and other back muscles–all important muscles for back strength and stability. Resistance bands are great for this move because they allow you to adapt the level of intensity throughout the range of motion. Targeting one side at a time helps improve overall balance–promoting equal strength on each side. To help with that balance, it’s always a plus to begin with your less dominant side, so you have a clear understanding of how many reps you can complete.
3. Reverse Fly
How to Perform a Reverse Fly:
- Place a resistance band on the floor, and stand with both feet on the band right in the middle.
- Grab the handle or loop on each side with your hands, allowing your body to naturally hinge parallel to the floor as you do so.
- Raise your arms out to each side as far as they can go, contracting your back muscles.
- Pause at the top. Slowly release and return to the starting position.
Benefits of Adding Reverse Flies to Your Resistance Band Exercises:
Rear deltoids are the target here: located at the back of your shoulder and upper arm. These muscles work to improve your posture and build shoulder stability. Since this exercise is so upper-back focused, I like pairing it with ones that target the lower back. Alternating between moves that target different muscle groups can allow that specific muscle group to take a breather and recover between sets.
4. Superman Band Row
How to Perform a Superman Band Row:
- Spice up your row game with a little “superman.” As the name suggests, you’ll need to get on the floor on your stomach with your arms forward and out like our favorite superhero.
- Hold a band taut between both hands.
- Lift your arms and chest up and off the floor.
- Keep your legs on the floor–not elevated like other Superman moves.
- Pull the band out and down towards your sides. The middle of the band will hit your chest.
- Return slowly to the start position.
- Rest your chest and arms back on the floor.
- Lift the arms and chest up again to repeat.
Benefits of Adding Reverse Superman Band Rows to Your Resistance Band Exercises:
If you’re worried about neck and shoulder injuries, this move is for you. Activating the rhomboids and trapezius muscles, this move improves posture and strengthens the upper back to reinforce against potential injuries. Additionally, when you need to lift your chest off the ground and pull the band to your sides, your core must engage, which promotes overall balance.
5. Banded Good Morning
How to Perform a Banded Good Morning:
- Use a loop resistance band for this workout.
- Step on one side of the band with both of your feet.
- Pull the other end of the band up and around the back of your neck, standing straight up as you do this.
- Maintaining a flat back, hinge down, moving your butt out, and bending your knees slightly. Bend down until your torso is parallel to the floor.
- Move back up to the starting position and repeat.
Benefits of Adding Banded Good Mornings to Your Resistance Band Exercises:
When using a barbell, the barbell would rest on your neck for this move, making it a challenging exercise and super important to have good form. I like using a resistance band for Good Mornings, especially for beginners, because it takes some pressure off of your neck. All the same, it’s crucial to keep good form and not to round or over-extend the back. It’s all in the flat back! If you can get the form down, this is a great resistance band exercise for the lower back.
6. Banded Deadlift
How to Perform a Banded Deadlift:
- Stand with both feet in the middle of a band.
- Keeping a flat back with your butt out, bend your knees as you reach to grab the handles or loops with each hand.
- Straighten out your knees, raising your body into an upright position.
- Lower back down to repeat.
Benefits of Adding Banded Good Mornings to Your Resistance Band Exercises:
I have not been able to perform a proper deadlift since injuring my back, so to me, the option to complete this move with a resistance band is clutch! The resistance band can help decrease chances of injury because when you get to the bottom of the rep, there is a reduced load of weight as compared to a barbell–where the weight is equally heavy for the entire rep. This can help prevent stress on the lower back.
That being said, just like the Good Mornings, proper form is essential! I recommend getting a personal trainer to help you with form before committing to adding these resistance band exercises to your workout routine.
After All These Resistance Band Back Exercises, Give Your Back A Little Love
When you lie down on the QL Claw, you can literally feel the muscle tightness working itself out of your body. This makes it perfect for back workout recovery, and the great part is, that it’s like getting a massage but never having to leave your house!
Take it from one of our customers:
This is just one of our many 5-star reviews. If you’re ready to optimize your home gym with a little self-care, check out our shop HERE.
 Donnelly, Joseph M. Travell, Simons & Simons Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: the Trigger Point Manual. 3rd ed., Wolters Kluwer Health, 2019.