Resistance band back exercises are a great alternative to using free weights, especially if you want to workout at home.
Sure, for pure muscle-building, mass-inducing heavy lifting, you can’t beat a good ol’ barbell and set of heavy plates. If you just want to get big and super strong, I’m not going to tell you to forget your free weights and only do banded back exercises. That would be dumb.
But insert some sneaky resistance band exercises into your back workout now and again and you’ll definitely see extra gains. Adding some variety to your back workouts creates muscle confusion and keeps your muscles adapting and growing. Always doing the same exercises in the same way will just make you stagnate and hit a plateau.
The resistance band back exercises below can be done on their own as a complete back workout at home or in the gym. You can also pick and choose the movements you want, do them as a warm-up or cool-down, or alternate them with free weights. Mix up your back workout however you like. The main thing is to keep your muscles guessing. Don’t let them know what’s going to hit them next. Train smart.
Best Resistance Bands for Back Exercises
For your banded back workout at home, the best kind of resistance band to use is a 208cm loop band:
Being a loop makes these bands easy to grab hold of in different ways, loop around your body or attach to an anchor point. The bands are available in different resistance levels from light to extra heavy. One of the most versatile pieces of workout equipment on the planet – and they fit right in your gym bag.
Here’s a short video showing you some of the best back exercises with resistance bands:
For doing back exercises, you can also use a resistance band with handles:
Although not quite as versatile as resistance loops, these bands include foam handles, making them super comfortable to use. They also come with a door anchor which let’s you easily attach them to an anchor point at any point along a door frame, like this:
The back exercises below are all done with resistance loop bands, but you can check out our guide to resistance tube exercises to find out how to use the other band.
12 Resistance Band Back Exercises
#1 Bent Over Row
Stand on the middle of the band with feet roughly hip-width apart. Hold onto each end of the loop. Bend at the waist, stick your butt out, arch your lower back and keep your head, neck and upper spine in a straight line. Now pull the band up, keeping your elbows in to your sides. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and hold briefly at the top of the movement. Return slowly to the starting position and repeat.
#2 Assisted Pull Ups
Use a resistance band for pull ups if you’re not used to doing this exercise or if you want to do higher reps. You can also use it as a progression tool to gradually prepare yourself for more difficult calisthenics movements like muscle ups, front levers or human flags. Simply attach the band onto the bar, put both feet into the other end and do pull ups as normal, with the band reducing the amount of weight you have to pull.
Here’s a video demonstrating how to do banded pull ups:
#3 Face Pull
Secure the band at waist height and stand square on holding the band in front of you. Pull the band up towards your face, flaring your elbows out at the same time and keeping your back straight. Hold in the final position for a second, squeezing your shoulder blades together, then return to start. Standing further away increases the resistance, making the exercise more difficult.
#4 Lat Pull Down
Attach the band high up and either stand or kneel facing it. Keeping your arms straight and your posture upright, pull the band down to your waist. You should feel the exercise working on your lat muscles.
#5 Banded Deadlift
Loop each end of the band around your feet and stand in a wide stance. Squat down and grasp the band in the middle. Keeping your back slightly arched and your butt sticking out, pull the band up until you’re standing fully upright. It’s important that your back doesn’t bend forward during this banded exercise – be sure to keep it slightly arched throughout the movement. Start with a light band to avoid injury and work your way up to heavier bands.
#6 Single Arm Row
Hook each end of the band around your feet, and get into a wide forward stance, standing firmly on the band. Lean forward, rest one hand on your knee and grasp the center of the band with your other hand. Keeping a straight back, pull the band up as high as you can, then return and repeat.
#7 Reverse Fly
Stand on the middle of the band and grab hold of both ends. Keep your lower back slightly arched and your arms straight. Pull the band up as high as possible, squeezing your shoulder blades together. Hold in the final position for a moment then return to start.
#8 Stiff-Legged Deadlift
Keep your legs either straight or slightly bent during this movement. Stand on the middle of the band and bend down to hold either end of the loop. Keep your lower back slightly arched and your upper back in a natural posture. Stretch the band up as you straighten yourself into a standing position. Done properly, this banded exercise should work your hamstrings and lower back.
#9 Banded Row
Secure one end of the band and hold the other end with your hands together and strong tension in the band. Pull the band in to your chest and hold for a second, shoulders back and shoulder blades together. Don’t let your elbows flare out while you do the exercise.
#10 Banded Pull Apart
To perform band pull aparts, grab the band at each end and hold it out in front of you with your arms straight. Pull the band apart as far as possible, keeping a straight posture. Hold it in the final position squeezing your shoulder blades together. Return to the starting position and repeat.
#11 Good Mornings
Stand inside one end of the band and loop the other end around your neck, bending at the waist. Be sure to keep your lower back slightly arched. Slowly bring yourself up into a standing position, feeling the contraction in your lower back. Then return slowly and repeat the movement.
#12 Kneeling Superman
Start on all fours with the band looped around your left foot and right hand. Keeping your back slightly arched, lift your hand and foot as high as possible, stretching the band taut underneath your body. Feel the contraction all along your back and hold for a moment before returning to the starting position. Repeat on both sides.
We hope you enjoyed these resistance band back exercises. Please visit our blog to see more banded workouts and you can see our full range of resistance band products here.