Home Back Workout to Build Your V and Your Strength

Home Back Workout

An effective home back workout with the right exercises, intensity, and structure will help you build lean muscle and strength in your back.

There will be those days when you can’t make it to the gym, or maybe you prefer to workout at home. Either way, you should have a great workout that is simple to perform, yet strong on results.

There is no more impressive muscle group then a well-developed, V-shaped back. Even someone who is not real muscular can have a very impressive physique with broad shoulders and a nice tapered back.

Table of Contents

Lean, Muscular Back

Home Back WorkoutFor more and more men and women today, this is the preferred look: a lean, muscular build but not overdone. Lean and hard is the order of the day, not the overbuilt, muscle head look.

This home back workout is tailor made to help you achieve that look, and to do it on a tight schedule in your bedroom or living room.

Equipment for Home Back Workout

To perform a very effective back workout it is best to have the following items, and they are a great investment:

  • 2 Set of Dumbbells (Heavy set, and a Light Set)
  • Chin-up Bar

These are really a must-have investment for an effective home back workout, but not a must! See the very bottom for some “no equipment” home back workouts.

Dumbbell Note: Just 2 sets of dumbbells for all home workouts will do.

  • (2) 10# or 15# (smaller muscles – triceps, biceps, shoulders)
  • (2) 20# or 30# (larger muscles – chest, back)

Muscles Worked

Primary Muscles Worked 💪

  • Trapezius (Traps)
  • Latissimus Dorsi (Lats)

Secondary Muscles Worked 💪

  • Rhomboids
  • Posterior Deltoid (Rear Delts)
  • Biceps
  • Forearm

Home Workout Routines for Your Back

Warm-up and Stretching

Make sure you do a good warm-up prior to your home back workout.  We all know the stats on lower back injuries…it happens to 80%+ over a lifetime, but it can be avoided with proper warm-up and good form. And as you get a little older, warm-up becomes especially important as you’re more susceptible to injury.

  • 1-2 minutes of light cardio (Jogging in place, Jumping jacks)
  • 2 minutes of Dynamic Stretching

Home Back Workout Highlights

  • Perform all 4 exercises in succession with no rest – This is 1 cycle
  • Perform 4-10 reps for each back exercise
  • Rest 1 minute between cycles
  • Perform 2-3 cycles 
    (if you’re a beginner, then start with 1 cycle and progress)
  • Very effective, and simple to perform
  • You can do the entire workout in 10 minutes

Bent Over Rows (Using Dumbbells, Not Barbell)

Bent Over Rows with dumbbells (not barbell) are a great back workout to work your lats and increase your width.

  1. Keep your back straight, and bend at the waist as shown. Do not arch your back!
  2. Start in the down position, holding a dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing each other.
  3. Slowly pull each dumbbell to the up position as shown, and hold for 2 seconds.
  4. Then lower the dumbbells back to the start position.
  5. Perform 8-12 reps. 

Bent Over Rows


One Arm Rows

One Arm Rows are a variation of Bent Over Rows, but they work your back muscles from a different angle.

  1. Place one leg and hand on a low table or two chairs as shown.
  2. Start in the down position, and slowly pull the dumbbell to the up position as shown.
  3. Hold in the up position for 2 seconds.
  4. Slowly extend the dumbbell back to the start position.
  5. Perform 8-12 reps.
  6. Then reverse and use the other arm.

One-Arm Rows Home Back Workout


Bent Over Dumbbell Side Raises

  1. From a standing position, bend over at the waist to a 90 degree angle.
  2. Hold the dumbbells straight down, with palms facing each other.
  3. Lift the dumbbells straight out to your side until your arms are parallel with the floor (as shown below).
  4. Hold this position for 3 seconds, then return to the start position.
  5. Keep the motion slow and controlled.
  6. Perform 8-12 reps.

Bent-over Dumbbell Side Raises


Pull-ups for Home Back Workout

A pull-up bar is a great investment for your home back workout. Pull-ups will not only increase your lean muscle back and width, they will increase your back strength and arm strength.

If you don’t have the strength yet to do a pull-up, put a small foot stool under you and do a negative pull-up. So you will start in the up position, and slowly lower yourself down working your back muscles.

Pull Ups Home Back Workout

Home Back Workout With No Equipment

If you don’t have any equipment or dumbbells at your home, you can try these variations:

Superman Stretch

Although this is a stretch, it is also very effective at working your back. If you do this with some intensity you will definitely feel it in your back.

  1. Lie on your stomach face down on the floor or a workout mat with your arms and legs extended as shown.
  2. Spread your arms and legs approximately 2 feet apart (not shown in the image below).
  3. Lift your arms and legs straight up 10 inches off the floor at the same time, and hold that position for 5-10 seconds.
  4. Feel your back muscles contract with tension.
  5. Return to the start position. 
  6. Repeat this 10 times.

Superman Stretch for Back


Back Bridge

  1. Lie on your back on the floor or a workout mat, facing up with your knees fully bent.
  2. Extend your arms to your sides.
  3. Lift your core so your legs and torso for one straight line.
  4. Feel the flex in your lower and middle back.
  5. Hold this position for 20-30 seconds.
  6. Return to the start position.
  7. Repeat this 10 times.

Back Bridge


Bent Over Side Raises
(holding 2 heavy objects like books)

  1. From a standing position, bend over at the waist to a 90 degree angle.
  2. Hold the heavy objects (like books) straight down, with palms facing each other.
  3. Lift the objects straight out to your side until your arms are parallel with the floor (as shown below).
  4. Hold this position for 3 seconds, then return to the start position.
  5. Keep the motion slow and controlled.
  6. Perform the number of reps based on the resistance of the object you are using. For a light book, you might want to strive for 20-30 reps. For heavier objects, 8-12 reps.

    Objects that Work
    : heavy books, heavy boots, heavy shoes, household detergent bottles, paint cans with handles, gallon of milk or water, book ends, pet food — use your imagination!
    (and if you only have 1 object to work with, you can alternate arms)

Bent-over Dumbbell Side Raises

Avoiding Injury

Home Back Workout for Lower Back PainThe lower back is very susceptible to injury, so keep in mind the following to make sure you avoid injury:

  • Make sure you do proper warm-up – light cardio and dynamic stretching
  • Make sure your dumbbells are not too heavy for your limits – stay comfortably within your limits
  • Always maintain good posture on all exercises
  • It’s a great thing to finish every home back workout with hyperextension exercises.  The Precor back stretching machine is simply outstanding for back hyperextensions.
  • Stretch your back every day with these lower back stretches. (1)
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David Williams

A diet and fitness enthusiast, David is an ex-Army Airborne Ranger and Infantry soldier with decades of fitness and wellness experience. A West Point graduate with a degree in engineering, he focuses on technical research related to fitness, nutrition, and wellness. He loves the beach and working out, and spending time with his wife and daughters.

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  1. Cronkleton, E. (2021, September 27). 7 lower back stretches to reduce pain and build strength. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/lower-back-stretches

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