Bodyweight Back Exercises

Bodyweight Back Exercises

Calisthenics are an effective form of strength training that requires no equipment to improve one’s balance, power, endurance, speed, and coordination. But most people think primarily about their arms and legs. You clearly know better, though, because you’re here looking for info on bodyweight back exercises!

Exercises for the arms and legs are obvious. How do you improve your core and your back? Be aware–if you don’t focus on these areas, your overall strength and your ability to do other exercises will diminish!

As we have written about in the past, there are a number of reasons to support a move to calisthenics and other bodyweight forms like yoga and running as the basis of your workout routines.

Advantages of Bodyweight Exercises.

  • Body weight exercises are an ideal choice for fitness to individuals who don’t have access to machine.
  • Body weight exercises are a good example of exercises when on holiday or travelling.
  • Body weight is not expensive as it does not require payment such as membership fee or purchase of equipment.
  • Body weight exercises can be slowed or increased to match an individual’s ability which gives full participation of anyone from all levels.
  • A body weight exercise requires high quality of balance and flexibility unlike other exercises like weight lifting.
  • Body weight exercises is known to have a far lower risk of injury compared to other exercises that put so much strain on muscles causing pains or injury. This is possible only by gradual progression of an athlete through various stages of an exercise and not skipping to more strenuous exercises that are harmful to the ligaments, tendons, and other tissues in the body.  Body weight exercises sometimes causes minor injuries to an individual but not as severe as a weight falling on an individual.
  • Body weight exercises gives an advantage of removing the need of bulking requirements that is extra fats that reduces body weight exercise performance, and also helps and individual maintain low body fat. 
  • Body weight exercise has proved to be very effective on improving several muscle groups all at once because there is no isolation and large muscles are not always needed to perform movement properly. 

And Now, Your Bodyweight Back Exercises

There are several specific bodyweight back exercises you should include in your program to make sure you don’t let your core become weak.

Scapula Push-Ups

Scapula push-ups are classic strength training bodyweight exercises that strengthen the legs, core muscles as well as the arms. Scapular push up is an upgrade of the traditional push-up where each hand is wide apart. This unique type of push-ups specifically helps to build up muscles around the scapula or shoulder blade.

How to Perform Scapula Push Ups

Scapula push up is more difficult than the traditional push up. In performing scapula push-ups, you start in a plank position with arms straight under your shoulder, and toes making contact with the floor. There should be straight alignment of your body with the head facing the ground in line with your torso. Moving your hands in, bring them closer than in a shoulder width position. Fingers placed forward, your feet should be at least six inches separate from the other.

  • Start in a high plank position with your hands directly underneath your shoulders and your toes touching the floor.
  • Keep your body in a straight line and your head relaxed in a neutral position, aligned with the rest of your spine.
  • Tighten your core and glut muscles so your hips don’t sink.
  • Keep your arms extended and pinch your shoulder blades together.
  • Pull back and extend your scapula, bring down your body lower slightly. The range of movement is minimal. Do not lower your chest all the way to the floor.
  • Hold each movement for about 3-5 seconds. Always release and return to a high position.
  • Perform 10-20 repetitions.

Beginners can also perform Shoulder blade Push-Up by:

  • Stand facing a wall.
  • Fully outstretch your arms and place them flat on the wall.
  • Also pinch your scapula while keeping your arms extended fully.
  • Hold each rep for 3-5 seconds.

Benefits of Scapula Push-Ups

  • Scapula push-ups allow an individual to build and train varieties of muscles for stability which can help an individual avoid injury during the day to day activities or other athletic training.
  • Scapula pushups are used for building strength.
  • Scapula push-ups help to train an individual midsection of the body and strengthening the core.
  • Scapula push-ups allow the activation of the serratus anterior muscle which prevents an individual who performs motion regularly from injury. Scapula exercises provide stability and ability to your serratus anterior muscle for arm rotation upward.
  • Scapula exercise help to build and improve back strength that limits the risk of back pain.
  • Scapular push-ups help activate the oblique muscles more effectively which allows strength buildup with the torso
  • Scapula push up help in shoulder girdle stabilization. 
  • Scapula pushups help to activate the important muscles in the shoulder increasing the strength and function in these areas.


These are body weight exercises that involve the upper body in which your arms and back pull up your body while your abdomen prevents lower back injury. Pull ups can be performed with any grip, though traditionally they are performed with the palms in a forward position.

The pull up is performed by bringing the chin over the top of a bar with palms supinated in a reverse grip. The muscles involve in pull ups include the latissimus dorsi that is found on the trunk. The brachialis and the brachioradialis found in the arm is also involve in pull ups.

Because they involve using your back muscles to lift your entire body weight, pull ups are great bodyweight back exercises!

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For the pullup, you will need to have proper equipment. If you happen to have a schoolyard with monkey bars, you may be in luck — otherwise, consider a power tower! You can read our breakdown of the best power towers available to learn more about this versatile piece of equipment.

The biceps and triceps are muscles also included in pushups. Pull up involves the teres major, found on the scapula blade; the rhomboids muscles, trapezius, levator scapulae and deltoid muscles all located on the shoulder are used during pull ups. Other muscles involve are the trapezius muscles, pectoralis muscles, teres minor, infraspinatus, subscapularis, rectus abdominis, erector spinae, transverse abdominis and the internal and external oblique muscles are all involved in pull ups exercise. 

The pelvic muscles help to stabilize the pelvis while holding organs up. This shows that the pullup is  really a full body exercise!

How to perform pull-ups

  • Full Grip. This involves putting your thumb around the bar, squeezing the bar so hard so that it cannot move or you can’t slip the harder the grip the more arm muscle and shoulder contract. The harder the contraction of the arm muscle, the more available strength available and pull ups become easy.
  • Grip the Bar Low. Holding the bar high in your arms will allow you trap less of your skin when you grip close to the fingers. This prevents the hand from hurting and determines the effectiveness of the pull ups.
  • Narrow Grip. When doing pull ups, the bar should be griped within shoulder width apart. The hand should be located outside the shoulders when the chin moves pass the bar on top. Your hands should be very close to vertical when hanging on a pull-up bar.
  • No Wide Grip. To perform pull ups, ensure your grip is not wide. Wide gripping shortens motion range. Short grip makes pull-ups very easy because he is done over a short distance. Short grip allows you strengthens your abs and increases the size of your back.
  • The Elbow should be locked at the bottom with arms straight before pull ups is done. The elbow should also be at an angle of 45 degrees when you pull yourself up from the floor. The elbow should be close to the torso and should touch the rib cage at that angle for an accurate and proper pull ups.
  • The chest should lead you when doing push-ups; the upper collar bone of the chest should be used to touch the bar as soon as your chin passes the bar. This prevents the shoulder from rolling forward to prevent injury.
  • Your shoulders should be kept at the back; the shoulders should not roll forward during pull ups. Shoulder rolling forward can result in great pains and result in injuries.
  • Your head should look forward and be in line with the torso. This prevents the squeezing of the spinal discs in your neck and preventing neck pains.
  • Your legs should be straight because it keeps your lower back neutral and prevent back ache.

Benefits of Pull-Ups

  • Pull-ups can be done effective anywhere because it is a very convenient exercise.
  • Pull-ups target multiple muscle group build up and are very important for upper body build up and help in bicep building.
  • Pull-ups allow the increase of intensity of an individual exercise which is an important factor in muscle building.
  • Pull-ups is very beneficial because it does have variations when performing the exercise and also each variations have an impact on the back or biceps.
  • Pull-ups help to give an individual very good grip strength.
  • Pull ups help increase the heart rate and also help in Fat loss.
  • Pull-ups are beneficial to an individual because it helps maintain a lighter and happy mood. 

The Back Bridge

Back bridge is a body exercise that is carried out for improvement of the back muscles. Back bridge is divided into different types such as

  • Short bridges are very important back bridge for beginners or individuals with back injury. Short bridges gently work on the back, butt and hamstring.

How to do them: It is carried out by lying on your back with the knees bent. You are required to squeeze your butt and abs and raise them as high as possible still maintaining your shoulders to the ground. Hold for a while and lower down.

  • Straight bridges are very effective in working on the shoulders, back, butt and leg muscles.

How to do them: the straight bridge exercise is carried out by laying on your back with legs straight, place your hands on the floor from the outside of your hips, pointing your fingers towards your toes. Push yourself unto your hands; squeeze your butt as you lift your hips. Then hold up for some seconds and lower down.

  • Elevated bridge these are back bridge exercises that ease the body in preparation for the full bridges and is also works great on the back muscles.

How to do them: This exercise is carried by looking for an elevated surface that is about the knee height and sitting on it. Look away from the bench and place your hands by your head with fingers pointing to the feet. Raise your hips by pressing your hands and arching your back while you strengthening your arms. Raise your hips as high as you can and lower back down.

  • Full bridge: This exercise works on nearly all muscles of the body and will give you a very strong and flexible back.

How to do them: To perform this exercise, you lie on your back to the floor and your knees bent with your hands on the sides of your head, and fingers pointing toward your toes. You push your hips up, squeezing your butt, abs and leg muscles while rounding your back. Stretch every muscle of your body by pushing through your shoulders. Hold in that position for one second and then lower back down.

  • Bridge walk Are harder than walk downs and is very necessary in training for stand to stand bridges.

How to do them: To perform this operation, stand a few feet from a wall with your back facing the wall, push backward and squeezing your butt ubtil your hands touches the wall. Then slowly walk your hands down the wall until you have acquired a full bridge position. Then push yourself upwards by walking your hand through the wall, squeezing your butt and pushing forward to stay away from the wall.

Benefits Of Back Bridge Exercise.

  • Back bridge exercises reduce back pain by strengthening the back and restoring motility after long sittings therefore preventing injury and make an individual feel good when he moves. The back bridge is very important for office workers or employees who spend long hours working while sitting down.
  • The back bridge exercise help prepare the spine for an exercise by greasing the grooves, and getting the muscles prepared and also prepares the spine for heavy exercises such as deadlift.
  • The back bridge exercise involves every muscles located in the back such as the hamstrings, posterior chain, shoulder flexibility etc.
  • Back bridge exercise reduces the risk of getting back injury by providing strength to the spine.
  • Back bridges give an individual an extra endurance in sports and life. 
  • Back bridge gives an incredible stretch to the front muscle.

Other Bodyweight Exercises to Consider:

  • Inchworm this is a body weight exercise that is done standing up tall with the legs straight and hit the floor with your fingertips. The legs are kept but not locked, the torso is slowly lowered toward the floor and then the hand is worked forward.  Once you have attained a push up position, start movement so the feet can meet the hand.
  • Tuck Jump is a bodyweight exercise that is done by standing with knees slightly bent; an individual jumps as high as possible and brings his knees in toward the chest while extending his arms out. Land with the knees slightly bent and jump up quickly again.
  • Burpee is a body weight exercise is performed by you standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, then jump up and raise your hands above your head before bending and squatting and pushing your feet behind to maintain a push-up position. Push down and up and the jump your feet forward to your hands, jump up and raise your hand above your head. This body weight exercise is very effective because it engages all your upper body and awakens your cardiovascular system.
  • Jump Squat is a body weight exercise that is performed by standing with your feet shoulder width apart and chest lifted. Bend down putting your weight on your heels and knees in accord with your toes.  Ensure you don’t go below your knees. Jump up and return back to the squat position. This exercise is very effective as it engages the lower body which is important for building strength and burning of more calories.
  • Walk-Out Push-Ups is done in a standing position with your feet hip-width. You then bend forward from your hip with a flat back and walk your hands into a high plank position. It is very effective because it pushes the upper body muscles making them gain endurance and stability.
  • Lunges this is a body weight exercise that is carried out with your feet hip width apart. Your hands are then placed on your hips and chest up. Your right leg is then moved forward to sink your body without your front knee going in front of your toe. Ensure you maintain same distance between your feet as the right moves forward. Also allow your back knee to bend toward the floor without touching then push your front foot back to standing. This is very effective has it helps to improve balance and strengthens your coordination. This exercise also sculpts your lower body muscles.
  • Mountain Climber this is an exercise performed by starting in a high flank position with your hands underneath your shoulders and back in a straight line. You can engage your core and bring one knee to your chest at a time without pushing your butt into the air. It looks like a running exercise but on your hands and knees. This exercise is very important because it builds the cardiovascular importance says yang. Yang also said that it builds up your abdominal and arm strength.
  • Bear Crawl is a body weight exercise that is done starting on the hands and knees rose up onto the toes and gently reach forward with the right arm and knee followed immediately by the left.
  • Mountain Climber is a body weight exercise that starts with the hand and knee the left foot is brought forward directly under the chest while the right legs are straightened on the floor. The hands should be left on the ground and core tight, jump and switch legs. The left leg should be extended behind the body with the right knee in front.
  • Stair Climb with Bicep Curl this is a body weight exercise involves brisk walk up and down the stairway movement while simultaneously doing bicep curls to make the whole body work.
  • Prone Walkout is a body weight exercise that begins on both legs and hand, the individual slowly works the hand forward while staying on the toes and not moving them forward. Next step involves walking the hands backwards to the initial starting position to maintain balance and stability.
  • Plank is a body weight exercise in which the individual lies face down with the form arm on the floor and the hands clasped. The legs are extended behind the body and they are raised up above the toes. Tighten the core while keeping the back straight and continue to hold position for about 1minute.
  • Wall Sit is done by sliding your back slowly down a wall until both thighs are parallel to the floor. Ensure that the knees are directly above the ankles and the back is straight.
  • Pistol Squat is done by holding the arm straight out in front of the body from a standing position, raise the right leg while flexing the right ankle and pushing the hips back. Lower the body why the right leg is raised and then return to the standing position.
  • Calf raise is a body weight exercise done from the standing position by slowly raising your toes, keeping the knees straight and the heels off the floor. Suspend briefly and return back down.
  • Contralateral Limb Raises is performed by an individual who Lie on his stomach with the arms outstretched and each palm facing one another. He slowly lifts one arm without rotating the shoulders and keeping the head and torso steady. The position is maintained then the arm is lowered down moving into the other arm.


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