Bodyweight Back Workout… okay, this one is a challenge!
But no stress, we got you covered! Here is an entire Back Workout using NOTHING but your Bodyweight… no, literally nothing else!
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:
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: Superman Combo Y – W – T
Alright, time to get comfortable lying on our front… because we are going to be here a while! Setting yourself is pretty easy here, lying on your stomach, legs out straight. Squeeze the core, squeeze the glutes, keep the eyes looking to the ground and therefore your neck relaxed through each and every rep. We are going to work through all 3 Superman variations here, Y’s into W’s into T’s. If you need a refresher, go suss out the ‘In The House’ Back video.
Set 1: Rep Setting Set. For this set you will only be completing Y supermans. Set yourself up and begin completing the reps of Y Supermans ensuring you are holding the squeeze at the top of the rep for a solid second before controlling ourselves back down to the ground. Take this set to to failure and take note of the number of reps you get.
Sets 2 – 5: Real Working Sets. Now we can incorporate all 3 variations of Supermans. Remember what you got for your first set? We got 12 reps. Take that number of reps, halve it and that is the number of reps you will complete of EACH Superman variation back to back. We got 12 reps in Set 1 of just Y Supermans, so we will be completing 6 reps of Y’s then straight into 6 reps of W’s and then finishing with 6 reps of T Supermans… and that is set 2 done. Repeat this same process for set 3, 4 & 5! Of course, if the burn gets too much, you can rest for a second but pick up your set exactly where you left it off until you get all 3 variations done… then you can rest!
Exercise 3: ‘Lying Sub Scaps’
A nice and spicy finisher for you legends today! Lying on our front once again, we’re really sorry if you ate a big meal before starting this workout… but you should know better. The same set up to our Supermans, squeeze the core & glutes, keep the eyes looking down and neck relaxed. Starting with our arms out straight and pivoting from the shoulder we brind our arms out wide and then down until we meet the sides of our body around the hips and then slowly bring the arms all the way back to the starting position.
Sets 1 – 5: No need for a warm up here… and no need for anything technical here. 5 Working sets to complete failure with a timed 45 seconds rest in between those sets, so make sure you have your phone handy for timing those rests. Always keeping those eyes down and core and glutes squeezed to protect that lower back, keeping working through that burn until you cannot no more! Stay strong until the end!
There you have it guys! A Back Workout using NOTHING but your Bodyweight. 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!