Bodyweight Back Workout… okay, this one is a challenge!
But no stress, we got you covered!
When we look at training back using just our bodyweight as resistance with the right knowledge and ‘database’ of exercise variations, it’s just a matter of selecting which movements you are going to utilise and creating your workout from that just like you would in the gym!
For an entire encyclopedia of bodyweight back exercises check out our ‘In The House’ video series and make sure you watch the video below before continuing on…
Have you watched the video? You have? Perfect! We will be pulling on the information to help structure a Back workout.
What Will You Need:
TMJ Apparel Resistance Bands (you will need them for this workout)
A pole/ table/ something sturdy you can wrap a band around
Each sets working time will be dependant on the reps you can achieve
Between 45 – 60 seconds between each set
Between 2 – 3 minutes between each exercise
Optional Exercise 1: Bodyweight Pull Ups / Chin Ups
Just as we mentioned in our ‘In The House’ video; Bodyweight Pull Ups / Chin Ups are the best bodyweight back exercise you can perform BUT they do require something very sturdy to be able to pull your weight off the ground. We understand a lot of people will not have the equipment to perform this exercise.
If you do happen to have the set up for Pull Ups / Chin Ups here’s what we want you to do.
Set 1: Choosing whichever grip you want to work today (ensuring you change that grip each session) you are going to perform a set to failure. Making sure you count the number of reps you get.
Set 2 – 5: You are going to complete 4 more sets of Bodyweight Pull Ups / Chin Ups getting the same number of reps you got in the first set. If you reach failure before you get the reps you got in the first set, drop down, shake out your arms and get back up there and go until you get those reps down. Then have you rest and go for Set 3, 4 & 5!
Exercise 1: Elbow Raises
This is possibly our favourite bodyweight back exercise! Super underrated, if not, super unknown by a lot of people (and trainers shhh…). We’re going to use this exercise to not only activate our back muscles but also pre-fatigue them as well.
Set up is easy; start by lying on your back. We’re going to have our arms at about a 45-degree angle away from the body, and our elbows bent as if we are about to do a weightless chest press.
Set 1 & 2: Warm Up Sets. We are going to take these first 2 sets nice and easy. Using them as a chance to warm up and establish that squeeze we want to utilise in the working sets. Push your elbows into the ground and push your chest towards the sky, trying to lift your upper body off the ground as high as you can and squeezing those shoulder-blades together.
Set 3: Working Set. Alright, now we put in some work. First your working sets we are going to focus on that squeeze through the upper back. Each rep we want you to hold for a count of ‘1 & 2’ and then lower back down. Making sure you allow your body to come all the way down to the ground each rep before driving back up again. Take this set to failure when you cannot drive your back off the ground.
Set 4 – 5: Continuing on with the same method as Set 3, quality reps taking the sets to failure and maintaining that squeeze each rep for a ‘1 – 2’ count. Feel the squeeze and lets really work those muscles.
Exercise 2: Resistance Band Row
Body Position: Upright
Band Position: Below Waist Height
Hand Position: Underhand Grip
Get your TMJ Apparel Resistance Bands out because it’s time to row. You’re going to need your bands as well as something sturdy you can wrap the band around. Please make sure what you wrap the band around is sturdy and wont break or move… please!
Once you’ve got yourself set up, we are going to have the band below waist height (somewhere around mid quad height) and we are going to use an underhand grip (palms facing up). We really want you to focus on pulling your elbows behind you as much as you can while also keeping your elbows as low as you can, don’t allow your shoulders to creep up and the squeeze to move into upper back.
Set 1: Warm Up Set. We are going to take this first set nice and easy. Just completing enough reps and stopping as soon as you begin to feel any fatigue coming through.
Sets 2 – 5: Working Sets. Pretty straightforward here, we want you to work until you cannot work no more. The little twist we want you to implement with each set you perform here is taking note of where you are standing for each set. Make note of where you stood for the first set of reps. For your second set we want you to move exactly one foot length backwards (not 1 step back, just the length of your foot). And you are going to the same thing each working set you do here! Enjoy that EXTRA resistance!
Exercise 3: Resistance Band Bent Over Lat Pulldowns ss/w Y Supermans
Time to ramp things up here Lat Pulldowns superst with Supermans… oh yes! Starting with your ‘Lat Pulldowns’ as you would have seen in the video, we are essentially replicating the same movement angle as a Lat Pulldown by being in a bent over position, ideally, completely horizontal. Once we finish with the Lat Pulldowns coming straight down onto the floor, making that Y shape with our arms out straight and just wider than shoulder width apart. Squeeze the core, squeeze the glutes, keep the eyes looking to the ground and therefore your neck relaxed. Pull your arms behind you as much as you can while also contracting through the upper and lower back to raise the chest off the ground.
Set 1: Warm Up Set. We are going to take this first set nice and easy to get a feel for both exercises. Just completing enough reps and stopping as soon as you begin to feel any fatigue coming through.
Sets 2 – 4: Working Sets. Straight into those working sets here. We are going to combine both Exercise 1 and Exercise 2 into thos superset. We want you to increase that tension each working set with the Banded Lat Pulldowns by moving yourself back with each set you complete. When you drop down to the Y Supermans we are going to bring in those holds at the top of the movement like we did in Exercise 1. Taking ourselves to failure for both exercises each and every set, constantly increasing that intensity for Set 2, 3 & 4!
Exercise 4: Resistance Band Row
Body Position: Bent Over
Band Position: Under Feet
Hand Position: Neutral Grip
Last exercise coming in strong, this is a staple back exercise that is so simple to replicate with bands! Stepping inside that band, hinging from the hips, taking up as much tension as we desire on the band and rowing those elbows back and through.
Set 1: Warm Up Set. We are going to take this first set nice and easy. Just completing enough reps and stopping as soon as you begin to feel any fatigue coming through. Make sure to note where you grabbed the resistance band in your set up to keep the tension constant.
Set 2: First Workout Set. Lets go, straight into it and lets take this set all the way to failure. Make sure you take note of the number of reps you get from this set as you will need this number for your remaining 4 sets! Remember… too failure!
Set 3 – 6: You are going to complete 4 more sets of Banded Rows getting the same number of reps you got in the second set. If you reach failure before you get the reps you got in the second set, relax the grip, stand back up, reset and get back in there and go until you get those reps down. Then have you rest and go for Set 4, 5& 6!
There you have it guys! An Advanced Back Workout using NOTHING but your Bodyweight and TMJ Apparel Resistance Bands. If you give this workout a try be sure to film yourself giving it a crack and tag @MassiveJoes on Instagram so we can show the world you crushing your In The House Workout!