Bench exercises are done while you’re sitting on a bench, without the help of any equipment. They are one of the best back exercises that can be done easily and using just your body weight. This comprehensive guide gives you the 4 exercises you should focus on to improve your back.
One-arm rows are an effective exercise to build muscle and strength in the back of your body: specifically your lats, which are located in the middle of your upper-back. These muscles control side-to-side movements and result in a nice V shape for your upper body. The wide grip will also help to develop the outer sections of your lats and thus broaden your shoulders.
To do one-arm rows:
- Position yourself next to a weight bench with your left hand on the bench and your right hand hanging down.
- Tighten your core and glutes and pull your right hand up towards your chest, keeping your elbow close to your body.
- Pause for a moment, and then slowly lower your arm back to the starting position.
- Complete 12-15 reps with your right arm, and then switch to your left arm and do the same number of reps.
You can increase or decrease the weight depending on your strength, but aim to lift a weight that will challenge you and keep you progressing safely and effectively. They produce great results, and work extremely well as part of a shoulder workout.
Incline Dumbbell Row
Incline Dumbbell Row is an exercise for the back muscles, which is convenient since the back muscles are located on your back. It is a row, but unlike regular rows, the upper arms hang perpendicular to the floor. The emphasis of this movement is on the upper lats and middle back.
Here is how you do an incline dumbbell row:
- Lie prone on an incline bench, with your feet resting on a stability ball and your hands gripping dumbbells.
- Retract your shoulder blades and row the dumbbells to the sides of your ribcage.
- Pause and then slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position.
Safety tips for incline dumbbell row include keeping your back flat at all times, not rotating your torso and making sure that your knees and hips are bent. Do not round the lower back, hyperextend it or force your shoulders forward. Practice good posture throughout the entire lift.
Lying Lateral Raise
The Lying Lateral Raise is a great exercise for targeting the middle part of your back (rhomboids, middle and lower trapezius).
How to do a lying lateral raise:
- Lie flat on your side on an exercise bench, keeping your head and shoulder off the bench.
- Hold a weight in your top hand and let your arm hang straight down.
- Keeping your elbow slightly bent, raise your arm straight up until it is parallel to the floor.
- Pause, then slowly lower the weight back to the starting position.
- Repeat for the desired number of repetitions, then switch sides and repeat.
You can use the lying lateral raise to work your entire back, including your rear deltoids. It’s just as efficient for working the back muscles as it is for the front of the shoulders and arms.
Bench Rear Delt Flys
Bench Rear Delt flys is a great exercise for your back because it’s both a muscle builder and a warm-up all in one. If you do this exercise first in your warm-up routine, you won’t need to worry about warming up your upper back muscles at all.
Here is how you do a bench rear delt flys:
- Position yourself on the bench so that your chest is flat on the bench and your head and shoulders are off the bench.
- Hold a weight in each hand with your palms facing your thighs.
- Raise your arms straight out to your sides until they are parallel to the floor.
- Pause and then slowly lower your arms back to the starting position.
Bench rear delt flies can be performed in the same manner that you would be on the ground. Remember that when you do bench rear delt flys on a bench, you can use any angle that is comfortable with your body and still give you an effective workout for your rear delt.
Wrapping it up
Bench exercises are easy to do, and they can be great for building the back muscles that support the vertebrae in one’s spine. The exercises for the back muscles should complement a regular exercise routine. It takes time to build back muscles, but staying with it will make a difference in one’s back health.