Home Exercises to Strengthen the Back

Home Exercises to Strengthen the Back
Getting the best results from your outdoor adventures requires maintaining a good level of general fitness, and part of that is strengthening the back. From caving to backpacking to climbing, most outdoor sports require a strong back. A number of home exercises strengthen the back, and these require either no equipment or only simple dumbbells.

Reverse Fly

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent. Bend over so your body is shaped almost like an "L," but with your back straight. Place one hand on a table or bench, and in the other hold a dumbbell in a position running straight down from your shoulder. With your arm straight, raise the dumbbell along an outward arc until your elbow is on the same level as your shoulder. Hold that position for a second and release, slowly lowering the dumbbell back down to the start position. Repeat this exercise 10 to 15 times for one set. Then reverse positions and do a set on your other arm.

You can also do this exercise with both arms at the same time, but only after you have mastered the form. If you are new to doing reverse flies, start with one arm at a time so you can pay more attention to doing each repetition properly.

One-Arm Rows

Assume the same position as you used for reverse flies. This time, pull your arm back and bend your elbow until your elbow is alongside your rib cage. Do this 10 to 15 times for one set. Then reverse and do the same exercise on the other arm.

Back Raise

Back raises require only a bench and a helper, although some exercise benches come with padded bars that you can use to lock your legs down in place of having a helper. Lay on the bench on your belly, with your upper body extending out beyond the edge. Lock your fingers together behind your neck and slowly lower your upper body down to the floor. Then slowly lift your upper body back up until it is on a straight line with your hips. Repeat 10 to 15 times.


Supermans, or prone back extensions, also work muscles in the back, and they do not require any equipment. Lie flat on the floor on your belly, with your arms straight and by your sides. Keep your toes in contact with the floor as you raise your head, chest, arms and hands off the floor. Hold this position for 10 to 15 seconds and then relax. Repeat the exercise 10 to 15 times for a full set. To make this more difficult, move your arms to a position in front of your head, so you are "flying" in the Superman pose.

Article Written By Edwin Thomas

Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.

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