20+ Best Calisthenic Back Exercises At Home

In this article in this post, we’ll review the best exercise for back calisthenics.

Particularly specifically, we will review 20 exercises for back strength, showing you the best way to build your lower back strength without using weights.

The greatest aspect?

You can complete everything at your own home.

Additionally, you’ll get a short calisthenics-based back workout that takes 30 minutes, and you can perform every week twice.

And in the meantime… these videos were shot in my tiny NYC apartment. If we can do it, you can too.


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Okay, let’s get started.

How Do I Build Strength In My Back Muscles At Home?

The back is a notoriously hard muscle area to work, even when using weights.

However, if you perform the correct exercises and follow the proper form, you can build your back without weights.


It is essential to develop innovative ways to work on the different muscles in the upper back.

These four muscle groups comprise:

The Rhomboids

  • The rhomboids lie within your scapula (aka the shoulder blade). They are targeted through exercises that pull back the shoulder blades (or move them closer).

The Latissimus Dorsi

  • The lats are large muscles with wings that join your arm to your low back. They are conditioned through exercises that require you to pull objects toward you in a vertical direction and horizontal planes.

The Posterior Deltoid

  • The posterior deltoids are situated just behind the shoulders. They are trained by exercises that turn your shoulders to the side and pull them toward your face.

The Trapezius

  • Trap muscles can be situated over your clavicles, and they run across your mid-and upper back. The traps are split into three sections:

The traps in the upper part are mastered with shrug and row exercises.

Middle traps can be developed through exercises that push items towards your abdomen.

The traps in the lower limbs are shaped by exercises that allow you to raise your arms out of a prone position.

Do I Have The Ability To Train My Back Without Equipment?

You can build the muscles in your back with bodyweight exercises. Below I’ll show you the various exercises you can perform using no equipment or everyday household items.

To maximize your back exercise, it is recommended to consider investing in at minimum equipment, such as:

  • A pulled-up bar,
  • a suspension trainer
  • A collection made up of resistor bands.

I’ve included my suggestions below.

Let’s move on to the exercises.

The Best Back-Body Exercises You Can Do At Home

The Best Back-Body Exercises You Can Do At Home

We’ll break down the exercises following the equipment required to complete these exercises in the next part.

Calisthenic Back Exercises Without Equipment

The below exercises can be completed by using your own body weight. Nothing more.

Then, I’ll present how to do back exercises that are effective with a variety of benefits:

They build the upper back muscles.

They increase thoracic spine extension and mobility

They trigger the posterior deltoid, one of the muscles that are often ignored

Then, we’ll review a couple of exercises that can be performed with household items.

Let’s get started.

Back Floor Exercises

Prone Cobra

The cobra is a fantastic exercise that teaches you how to engage muscles in your upper back to improve your thoracic extension’s flexibility. It additionally helps improve your posture.

  • Place your on your back (prone) on the yoga mat.
  • From here, tighten your glutes and strengthen your core.
  • Your upper body should be lowered off the mat, maintaining your whole part of your body in the contact area with the floor.
  • Keep your arms straight at your sides, pointing your thumbs towards the ceiling.

You can perform this exercise for a set of reps (12-15 reps of 3-second holding) or for the duration (30-second hold).


Superman is a fantastic exercise that will strengthen the muscles in the lower back while also activating the upper back muscles.

Be careful. Do not do this exercise if you’ve had a history of back pain or an injury.

Place your on your back (prone) on the yoga mat. Arms up to the ceiling with your thumbs facing towards the ceiling.

Intensify your glutes, and then brace your core.

Then, you should lift both your legs off the mat and both arms.

Keep your elbows and knees secured.

There should be a feeling of several muscles that run along your back.

Alternately, you can perform the exercise while holding your hands crossed over your head.

Do this exercise in a series of repetitions (12-15 repetitions of 1-3 second holds).


The YTI is a fantastic exercise that strengthens the upper back and those in the shoulders posteriorly. It’s also one of the few exercises that target the traps in the lower limbs.

Place your on your back (prone) on the yoga mat. Lift your arms straight above your head.

Engage your glutes and strengthen your core.

From here, raise your arms as high as possible while keeping the elbows straight. Maintain the position for two minutes.

Then, extend your hands until you create a Y-shaped shape.

Keep your thumbs pointed towards the ceiling and then raise your shoulders toward the sky. Maintain this position for two minutes.

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Then, you can extend your arms straight out towards the side, making a T shape.

Keep your thumbs pointed towards the ceiling, then move your shoulders upwards towards the sky. Keep this posture for 2 seconds.

Complete all three positions 5-10 repetitions for each set.

Bodyweight Rear Delt Fly

This fly is aimed at the rear of… it’s the probably guessed it…posterior deltoid. This is a good and easy exercise to strengthen this muscle group often neglected.

Place your feet on the floor and face upwards with your arms extended towards your sides and your fingers facing the ceiling. Relax your knees and put your feet on the floor.

Then, push your fists firmly against the floor to raise the upper part of your body from the ground.

Keep your elbows locked as well as your hands straight.

Focus on tightening the rear delts while performing this.

You can hold this position for one minute and then come down.

Do 12-15 repetitions per set.

Acapella Wall Slides

The scapular wall slide is one of the most effective ways to build up the muscles in the lower and middle traps while increasing the mobility of the shoulder.

It is vital to follow a proper form when performing this exercise.

Place your back against the wall. (In this video, Brittany stands. However, you can also be sitting). Your hands should be placed against the wall with your palms facing inwards.

After that, begin moving your arms upwards and downwards on the wall slowly in a controlled manner.

Do not allow your wrists, elbows, or hands to fall off the wall all the time.

The aim is to fully reach the arms upwards and maintain contact.

It will be felt in your lower and middle trapezius muscles.

D0 10 repetitions per set.

Scapular Press-Ups

Although the scapular push-up isn’t a typical back exercise, I’ve included it as it is a crucial idea.

It helps you understand the distinction between protraction and retraction in the scapular.

This is an important idea to grasp since it will teach you how to engage muscles in your muscles of the serratus anterior.

This muscle is crucial to your health and the well-being of your shoulders.

Take a plank or push-up position, placing your hands directly under your shoulders.

Engage your core muscles and stretch your glutes.

Then, you can retract your scapula without bent elbows.

Your body should be lowered to a couple of inches.

Protect your scapula the best you can while keeping your elbows locked.

Your back will curve slightly in the upper position, and it’s okay.

This workout will help strengthen the serratus anterior, which helps maintain the health of your scapula.

Do 12-15 repetitions per set.

Do Push-Ups Help The Back?

Do Push-Ups Help The Back

The push-up doesn’t do anything directly to the back; however, it does indirectly.

Suppose you can actively engage your scapula on every repetition. As you can see in the video of scapular push-ups above, you’ll get an upper back muscle activation.

Additionally, you will reap the benefits of strengthening the serratus anterior muscle, one of the muscles that are often overlooked in the fitness world.

So, we’ll start some pull-up exercises. The two exercises stimulate the rhomboids and the muscles of the middle, traps, and biceps muscles.

All you require is a door frame as well as the table.

Wall Pulls

A wall pull can be a straightforward exercise that anyone can perform to get started on activating the muscles of horizontal pulling.

All you require is a door frame to accomplish this.

The video will demonstrate two variants, the two-handed pull and the one-handed pull.

Choose a doorway frame (or pole) that can hold the weight of your body. Take the door and hold it with both hands placed at the same level as the chest (breast bones).

Set your feet closer to the frames as you can, and then lean back until your arms are fully extended.

The more you lean back, the more complex the workout as you pull back.

Begin to pull yourself towards the structure until the chest comes into contact with the frame.

Make sure you drive your elbows back and pull all those back muscles.

It is also possible to do this exercise using just one arm, as demonstrated in this video.

To increase the difficulty of the exercise, lower your hands to pull your body closer to your waistline and then maintain the range for 3 seconds before slowly lowering yourself for 3 seconds.

Do 15-20 repetitions per set.

Inverted Rows

The next step comes to the inverted row. It is known as”the pulling-up horizontally also known as an Australian pull-up.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t create a quality video with my tiny apartment. It is possible to do this using any table in your home.

  • Choose a table that will hold your body weight.
  • To ensure safety, something heavy on the table’s top is opposite of the area you’ll be pulling from.
  • Take the table’s edge using a shoulder-width grip and then bend your knees, resting your feet on the floor.
  • Keep your glutes squeezed to ensure your body is in a straight line. Then begin to lift yourself towards the table.
  • Do not shrug. The entire motion you are trying to make is centered on your shoulders.
  • Slowly lower yourself with 3 seconds of speed.

Do 12-15 repetitions per set.

Alternately, you could create bed sheet rows, as you’ll see in the next section!

Let me be totally real for a second.

To maximize your home back workout, you must invest in exercise equipment.

It’s impossible to get the same amount of stimulation by using just the above exercises.

Here’s the good news.

There are three options.

The First is a Pull-up Bar

There are so many beautiful alternatives. You can buy

  • A pull-up bar for the doorway is straightforward to set up.
  • One that attaches to doors frames.
  • Or you could use a pull-up tower or a pull-up tower, which is precisely my current setup.

The Second is a Suspension Training Trainer

Suspension trainers are very adaptable. They can be used for almost any kind of workout with them.

The best part is that you can mount them on the pull-up bars, on the wall, or even against a closed door.

  • The most luxurious option for the highest price is the TRX.
  • To be honest, you can get an affordable version that can do the same thing.
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The Third Is A Set Of Resistance Bands

I am a fan of bands. Everybody should have a collection of bands that will provide the user with varying resistance levels.

We will go over several complete resistance band exercises for your body that you can try in this article.

Choose one of these three choices. Let’s start.


The pull-up doesn’t need an introduction. It’s arguably the best upper body exercise to ever be performed.

  • Take the pull-up bar and hold it with an overhand grip bigger than the shoulders-width grip.
  • (The wider grip will help to emphasize the muscles of the lat more)
  • Start by turning your arms in the direction you would like to break the bar.
  • Then, stretch your glutes, and then engage your core.
  • Start by pulling up using your CHEST (NOT your Chin) up to the bar.
  • Maintain your head in a neutral position, and do not lift your head. Keep your chin in a neutral position.
  • Slowly lower until you are back in the same position.

Do 3-12 reps for each exercise (based on your level of strength).

Notice: You could also make use of chin-ups. They make use of an underhand grip.

The Scapular Pull-Ups

The scapular pull-up can be a fantastic exercise that will teach you to use your scapula properly.

This is crucial to ensure shoulder stability and health.

This workout will help increase the strength of the rhomboids as in the lower and middle traps.

  • Use the pull-up bar using a more grip space than shoulder width.
  • From a dead hang posture In a dead hang, you must focus on lifting yourself up, pulling and squeezing your scapula to bring it together.
  • Keep your elbows closed throughout the workout.
  • Change between “active” and “passive” dead hang for the desired amount of times.
  • Begin to work your way up to one-handed Scapular pull-ups.

Do 8-12 repetitions per set.

Front Lever Raises

A front lever raise is an advanced technique that mimics a straight arm pulldown with lat.

The video above will present three different ways to do it, in order of difficulty.

  • Pull-up bars can be used using an arm-width grip.
  • Get your core active and stretch your glutes.
  • The next step is to perform a scapular pull-up and then continue doing it as if trying to bring your chest to be in touch with the bar.
  • Your elbows must remain locked all the duration.
  • Your lower body naturally begins to rise off the ground while your upper body is more vertical.
  • For the most straightforward variation, start by kneeling with both knees bent.
  • Stretch your legs out to make exercises more challenging.

Back Lever

The next thing to do will be the lever for the back. This is a high-level calisthenics exercise that strengthens all the muscles in the back and improves mobility in the shoulders and thoracic area. It also builds those muscles in the back.

Take care when performing this exercise. Only do it when you are entirely at ease with the above exercises.

This video will demonstrate four different variations that increase in difficulty.

  • Use the pull-up bar to grip the bar slightly wider than your shoulder grip.
  • Your palms can be held in a forward direction (pronated) or in reverse (supinated). Pronated is more comfortable.
  • From this point, begin performing an upper lever to move your entire lower body upwards and into your arms.
  • Slowly lower yourself until you are parallel to the ground.
  • Keep your glutes and core muscles engaged.
  • The most straightforward variation is the tuck back lever, with the knees bent.
  • You can progress toward advanced tucks (knees slightly longer) and an individual leash for the back of your leg (one leg extended) as well as an all-back lever (both legs extended).

This workout is done for the duration (10-30 seconds per set).

Bodyweight Rows of Suspension

It is simple to incorporate pull exercises into your routine, such as those for the back row.

This body-rowed exercise is comparable in form to the seated cable rows you can do in the gym. It can strengthen the lats, rhomboids, posterior deltoids, and middle traps.

  • Install your suspension trainer against a sturdy door.
  • Be sure the door is completely shut and is strong enough to hold your weight before attempting this exercise.
  • Once you’re secure, grab the handles with your outstretched arms and lean back.
  • The closer you are to bringing your feet towards the door, The more complicated the exercise will be.
  • Keep your core strong and your glutes in a tight position. Begin pulling yourself towards the handles.
  • Keep your elbows close to your body. Pull them towards your sternum.
  • Don’t be flinch and instead focus on pulling down your upper back muscles.
  • Slowly lower until you are back at the beginning position.

Do 12-15 repetitions per set.

Sheet Rows of Bed Sheet Rows

Alternately, you could utilize bedsheets, as demonstrated in the video.

You have to make a large knot at the side of the sheet and then secure the knot in front of the door.

Suspension Australian Pull-Ups

The next step will be the Australian pull-up. It’s a similar exercise as the body-rowed, but you’ll be horizontal, making it more difficult.

  • Install your suspension trainer against a sturdy door.
  • Check that the door is shut and is strong enough to hold your weight before attempting this exercise.
  • Once you are secure, grab the handles with your outstretched arms.
  • Keep your feet near the door and bend your knees until you’re parallel to the floor.
  • The rest of the workout is similar to the body row.

Do 12-15 repetitions per set.

Suspension Face Pulls

Face-pull is yet another unappreciated exercise that is vital to shoulder health. This exercise can strengthen the shoulder’s posterior and the rotator the cuff.

  • Secure the trainer precisely like you’ve been behind a sturdy and closed door.
  • Once you’re secure, grab the handles with your outstretched arms and lean back.
  • As close your feet get from the entrance, the more complex your workout.
  • You can begin to pull yourself towards the handles while externally turning your shoulders.
  • Keep your elbows in a straight line and flare to the side as your push towards your face.
  • In the highest position, the arms should form 90-degree angles.
  • Slowly lower yourself back until you are back at the beginning position.
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Do 15 repetitions per set.

Suspension Reverse Flies

The final exercise in suspension can be reversed. Like that of the pull on the face, this workout is beneficial for the health of your shoulder. It will also help strengthen the rhomboids and middle traps.

  • Secure the trainer just as you would if you’d been in front of a solidly closed door.
  • Once you’re secure, grab the handles with your outstretched arms and lean back.
  • The more complex your workout is, your feet will be closed from the entrance.
  • Start by separating the handles and bending your elbows towards your sides.
  • Keep your elbows in place, and then retract your shoulder blades towards the highest.
  • Slowly lower yourself back to return to the starting point.

Do 12- 15 repetitions per set.

Band Pull Aparts

The final set of exercises makes use of a rubber band for resistance. As you’ll be able to see, you will need to do the same exercises as the previous ones.

The band pull-apart is comparable to a reverse fly strengthening the shoulder’s posterior and upper back.

  • Take both ends of the closed-loop resistance band and pull it at chest height.
  • Maintain your hands supinated towards the ceiling.
  • You can begin to pull the band until it touches your chest.
  • Keep your elbows in a locked position and engage your back muscles in the upper part of your body.
  • Return slowly to your starting point.

Do 20 repetitions per set.

Band Face Pulls

You must be familiar with the pull on the face of the band.

You’ll need a solid structure to secure the band to anchor it.

  • The form is precisely identical.
  • Turn your shoulders outwards, and keep your elbows up while pushing the band towards your face.
  • This workout is more complex than it appears. Begin with a simple band, and then work towards a higher level.

Bead Bent-over Row

The bent-over row is a recreation of the exercises for body row inverted from earlier.

  • Place your feet in the middle of the band and hold the two ends in your palms facing one another.
  • Begin to bend over by flexing the hip, not the spine.
  • Your back should be in a neutral position during the entire workout.
  • Begin by bracing your core. Then, begin to pull the band towards your waistline.
  • Bring your elbows to the ceiling and engage your scapula.
  • Maintain at the highest position to complete a count of 1.
  • Slowly lower yourself back until you are back at the beginning position.

Do 12-15 repetitions per set.

Band Lat Pulldowns

The final exercise that you can perform with bands is the pulldown of the lat.

You’ll need something solid to fix the band too.

  • Attach your brand to a sturdy structure over your head.
  • Kneel and grasp the two ends of the free loop.
  • Begin by first engaging your scapula and then pulling the band toward your sternum.
  • Keep your elbows tightly tucked into the body.
  • Maintain this position for one minute and slowly return to your starting position.

Do 12-15 repetitions per set.

So that’s the end of the exercises.

Let’s now put all this information into something you can benefit from!

How Do I Build My Back Without Pull-Ups?

How Do I Build My Back Without Pull-Ups

There are numerous ways to strengthen your back without pulling-ups.

All you need to do is make a workout program focused on four major back exercises categories.

This includes:

  • Horizontal pulling, also known as Rows
  • Training in scapulars
  • Posterior shoulder practice
  • Exercise in isometrics

Include one exercise in each of the categories into your twice-weekly routine.

A Simple 30-Minute Bodyweight Back Workout

Here’s an example of using these workouts to do a full back workout that you can complete at home.

It will take around 30 minutes to finish.

For the bodyweight row, you can use the Inverted Row, Bedsheet Rows, Suspension Body Rows, Suspension Australian Pull-up, and Bent Over Band Row.

To train the scapular, it is possible to use Scapular Pull-Ups, Pull-ups Band Lat Pulldowns Front Lever Raises the Wall Pulls, and any other back floor exercises.

To strengthen the back, employ the following techniques: Face Pull, any Reverse Fly, and The Band Pull parts along with the YTI.

To do isometrics, you can choose to use for isometrics, you can use the Cobra, The Superman, or the Back Levers.

Recap Of The Top Calisthenic Back Exercises

Now let’s quickly review the exercises and then stratify them according to their target muscles.

Upper-Back Bodyweight Exercises

  • Cobra
  • Scapular Wall Slides
  • Bodyweight Reverse Flies
  • YET
  • Bodyweight Rows
  • Wall Pulls
  • Pull-ups
  • Front Lever Raises
  • Back Lever

There are videos available for each of the exercises below.

Lower-Back Bodyweight Exercises

This post didn’t concentrate around the back of your lower back as it deserves its own blog post. Here are some instances.

  • Supermans
  • Reverse Hypers
  • Back Raises

Lat Exercises

  • Wall Pulls (pulling towards your waistline)
  • Body Rows (pulling towards your waistline)
  • Pull-ups
  • Front Lever Raises

There are videos available for each of the exercises below.

Final Thoughts On The Strengthening Of Your Back Home

Here are the top 21 exercises for strengthening your back using little or no equipment.

If I could complete this task in my NYC home, you could too.

Now it’s your turn.

Which one of these exercises do you plan to first try?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. Know.


  • Todd Miller

    Todd Miller is a CrossFit Level 2 Trainer with a Bachelor's degree in Kinesiology from the University of Colorado, Boulder. He has been a CrossFit athlete and coach for over 8 years, and he is passionate about helping people achieve their fitness goals and improve their overall health and wellness. As an author at FitGAG, Todd shares his knowledge and expertise on a variety of topics related to CrossFit, including functional fitness movements, Olympic weightlifting, and overall health and wellness. He believes that CrossFit is a fun and effective way to improve overall fitness and well-being, and he strives to inspire his readers to incorporate CrossFit into their fitness routines. Through his articles, Todd aims to provide his readers with practical tips and strategies for optimizing their performance and achieving their fitness goals.

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