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Easy Calisthenics Back Workout for Beginners (2024 Guide)

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve already seen the trendy calisthenics workouts on Fit-Tok. There’s a surprising reason behind the sudden popularity of this ancient discipline. 

Calisthenics, derived from the Greek words ‘kalos’, meaning beauty, and ‘sthenos’, meaning strength, is a form of exercise that uses your body weight as resistance to build lean muscle and improve flexibility.

More people are gravitating towards this minimalist and highly effective form of fitness. Particularly, beginners are finding value in back workouts using calisthenics, as these exercises can help create a strong foundation while reducing the risk of injury. 

This 2024 guide aims to introduce you to an easy calisthenics back workout, tailored for beginners. The beauty of these exercises lies in their simplicity and versatility – you can perform them anywhere, anytime, without any equipment. 

Get ready to push your boundaries, strengthen your back, and embrace the elegance of movement with this beginner-friendly calisthenics routine.

Does Calisthenics Correct Posture?

Calisthenics can significantly aid in correcting and promoting optimal posture. This form of exercise targets various muscle groups and encourages full-body strength, which is crucial for maintaining proper alignment and posture. 

When individuals engage in calisthenics, they learn to control specific muscles, which can help eliminate bad posture habits. For instance, many common posture problems arise from prolonged sitting, and calisthenics offers exercises that counteract these issues by strengthening the back, core, and hip flexors, all vital for good posture.

In addition, certain calisthenics exercises are designed to address postural issues specifically. For example, Seated Pike Pulses improve hip flexor strength and mobility, as well as general core strength, helping contribute to better posture (1). 

It’s worth noting that calisthenics is not only a feasible training solution to improve posture but also an effective one. It enhances strength and body composition without needing any major equipment, making it a practical choice for many.

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What Else Can Calisthenics Do for Your Back?

Beyond posture correction, calisthenics offers a myriad of benefits for your back. These exercises not only help sculpt a robust and muscular back but they also contribute to overall back health by enhancing flexibility, reducing pain, and preventing injuries. In the next section, we will go deeper into the various ways calisthenics can benefit your back.

See also
7 Upper-Body Calisthenics Exercises That Will Transform Your Workout

Strengthens Back Muscles

Calisthenics exercises such as pull-ups, chin-ups, and inverted rows are excellent for strengthening the muscles in your back. They target key muscle groups including the latissimus dorsi, trapezius, rhomboids, and erector spinae. Regularly performing these exercises can lead to increased muscle mass and strength in your back.

Enhances Flexibility

Flexibility is often overlooked, but it’s essential for preventing injuries and maintaining an optimal range of motion (2). Calisthenics exercises like back bridges not only strengthen your back and surrounding muscles but also stretch them, leading to improved flexibility over time.

calisthenics back workout  

Reduces Back Pain

Regular calisthenics training can help reduce back pain. Many calisthenics exercises engage the core, which supports the spine and can alleviate pressure on the back (1). Additionally, by strengthening the back muscles, you’re less likely to strain them in your daily activities, reducing the risk of experiencing back pain.

Supports Overall Physical Performance

A strong back is vital for overall physical performance. It’s central to most movements, whether you’re lifting, running, or jumping. By building a stronger back through calisthenics you can enhance your performance in other sports and physical activities.

Read more: The Simplest Lower Back Calisthenics Guide for Beginners

Can You Build Back With Calisthenics?

Yes, you can definitely build your back with calisthenics. Calisthenics exercises use your body weight as resistance, which can help strengthen and tone the muscles in your back. 

These exercises are versatile and they can be done at home or anywhere else without the need for gym equipment. 

They’re also suitable for beginners and advanced individuals alike, as there are many variations to suit different fitness levels.

Here are eight effective calisthenics back exercises that you can incorporate into your workout routine:

1. Pull-Ups

Pull-ups are a fundamental exercise in any calisthenics back workout routine. They target the latissimus dorsi, rhomboids, and trapezius muscles, making them an excellent choice for building a strong and muscular back. Consider using a resistance band if you have not yet built the strength for a body-weight pull up.

Steps to execute pull-ups:

  1. Stand under a pull-up bar.
  2. Reach up and grip the bar with your hands shoulder-width apart.
  3. Hang from the bar with your arms fully extended.
  4. Pull yourself up by engaging your shoulder blades, contracting your back muscles and driving your elbows down, until your chin is above the bar.
  5. Lower yourself slowly back to the starting position.
  6. Repeat this movement for your desired number of repetitions.
  7. Keep your core engaged and your back straight throughout.
  8. Avoid swinging or using momentum to pull yourself up.
  9. Breathe in as you lower yourself and breathe out as you pull yourself up.
See also
The Calisthenics Diet: Everything You Need to Know for Optimum Training

2. Inverted Rows

Inverted rows are a great bodyweight back exercise that targets the middle back muscles. This calisthenics back workout can be done at home using a sturdy table or a low bar.

Steps to execute inverted rows:

  1. Position yourself under a table or bar.
  2. Reach up and grip the edge of the table or the bar with your hands wider than shoulder-width apart.
  3. Straighten your body and keep your heels on the ground, so you’re leaning back at an angle.
  4. Pull your chest up to the table or bar by squeezing your back muscles.
  5. Lower yourself back down with control.
  6. Repeat this movement for your desired number of repetitions.
  7. Keep your body straight and your core engaged throughout.

calisthenics back workout  

3. Push-Ups

Push-ups are primarily a chest exercise, but they also work the back muscles when performed correctly. This makes them a good addition to a calisthenics back workout for beginners.

Steps to execute push-ups:

  1. Start in a high plank position with your hands directly under your shoulders.
  2. Lower your body until your chest is just above the floor.
  3. Push back up to the starting position by extending your arms.
  4. Repeat this movement for your desired number of repetitions.
  5. Keep your body straight and your core engaged throughout.
  6. Avoid letting your hips sag or your back arch.
  7. Breathe in as you lower yourself and breathe out as you push yourself up.
  8. Keep your head in line with your spine and avoid looking up or down.

4. Superman Exercise

The superman exercise is a calisthenics lower back workout that targets the erector spinae muscles along the spine. It’s a simple yet effective exercise for strengthening the lower back.

Steps to execute the superman exercise:

  1. Lie face down on the floor with your arms extended in front of you.
  2. Lift your arms, chest, and legs off the floor by arching your back.
  3. Hold this position for a few seconds.
  4. Lower your arms, chest, and legs back to the floor.
  5. Repeat this movement for your desired number of repetitions.
  6. Keep your neck neutral and avoid straining it by looking forward or tucking it in.
See also
Plyometrics Vs Calisthenics: Which One Should Beginners Do?

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5. Reverse Snow Angels

Reverse snow angels are a unique bodyweight back exercise that targets the entire back. They can be included in a calisthenics back workout no equipment routine.

Steps to execute reverse snow angels:

  1. Lie face down on the floor with your arms by your sides.
  2. Keeping your arms straight, sweep them out to the sides and up over your head.
  3. Sweep your arms back down to your sides.
  4. Repeat this movement for your desired number of repetitions.
  5. Keep your neck neutral and avoid straining it by looking forward or tucking it in.
  6. Breathe in as you sweep your arms up and breathe out as you sweep them down.
  7. Avoid jerking or using momentum to move your arms.

6. Wide Grip Pull-Ups

Wide grip pull-ups are a variation of the standard pull-up that targets the upper back muscles and lats. They’re a great addition to a calisthenics back workout at home.

Steps to execute wide grip pull-ups:

  1. Stand under a pull-up bar.
  2. Reach up and grip the bar with your hands wider than shoulder-width apart.
  3. Hang from the bar with your arms fully extended.
  4. Pull yourself up by contracting your back muscles until your chin is above the bar.
  5. Lower yourself slowly back to the starting position.
  6. Repeat this movement for your desired number of repetitions.
  7. Keep your core engaged and your back straight throughout.
  8. Avoid swinging or using momentum to pull yourself up.

7. Back Bridge

The back bridge is an advanced calisthenics back exercise that strengthens and stretches the entire back. It’s best suited for individuals with a good level of fitness and flexibility.

Steps to execute a back bridge:

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  2. Place your hands by your ears with your fingers pointing towards your feet.
  3. Push your body up by straightening your arms and lifting your hips.
  4. Hold this position for a few seconds.
  5. Lower your body back down with control.
  6. Repeat this movement for your desired number of repetitions.
  7. Keep your neck neutral and avoid straining it.
  8. Breathe in as you lift your body and breathe out as you lower it.
See also
Get Fit Fast: 7 Simple Steps To A Perfect Calisthenics Workout Plan For Beginners

8. Dolphin Push-Ups

Dolphin push-ups are a challenging exercise that targets the upper back muscles. They’re a good addition to a calisthenics back workout routine for more advanced practitioners.

Steps to execute dolphin push-ups:

  1. Start in a forearm plank position with your elbows directly under your shoulders.
  2. Push your hips up towards the ceiling by pressing down through your forearms and heels.
  3. Lower your body back to the starting position.
  4. Repeat this movement for your desired number of repetitions.
  5. Keep your body straight and your core engaged throughout.
  6. Avoid letting your hips sag or your back arch.
  7. Breathe in as you push your hips up and breathe out as you lower your body.
  8. Keep your head in line with your spine and avoid looking up or down.

calisthenics back workout  

What Calisthenics Target Lower Back?

Calisthenics is a great way to target and strengthen your lower back. Here are some exercises that specifically target this area:

Superman Exercise

This exercise primarily targets the erector spinae, which is the muscle group that runs along your spine. 

  1. While lying on your stomach with your arms and legs extended, you lift your arms and legs off the ground as high as possible, hold them for a few seconds, then lower them back down.

Bird Dogs

  1. Starting in a tabletop position on your hands and knees, extend one arm out in front of you while extending the opposite leg behind you. 
  2. Hold for a moment before returning to the starting position and switching sides. 

This exercise strengthens the entire core, including the lower back.

Bridge Exercise

  1. Lying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, lift your hips off the floor until your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. 

This exercise primarily targets the glutes and lower back.

Reverse Plank

  1. Sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you. 
  2. Place your palms on the floor behind you, then push your hips up to form a straight line from your head to your heels. 
See also
How To Start Calisthenics In 7 Steps

This exercise targets several muscles, including those in your lower back.

Back Extensions

If you have access to a Roman chair or hyperextension bench, back extensions can be very effective at strengthening the lower back. However, they can also be done on the floor. 

  1. Lying on your stomach, place your hands behind your head and lift your chest off the ground as high as comfortable.

Plank

While planks primarily target the core, they also work the lower back. The key is to keep your body in a straight line from your head to your heels.

Read more: Calisthenics Shoulder Exercises: Techniques and Workouts

Sample Beginner Calisthenics Back Workout

Start your journey to a stronger back with this beginner-friendly calisthenics workout. Remember to warm up before you start and cool down after you finish.

Superman Exercise

  • Sets: 2
  • Reps: 10-12
  • Rest: 60 seconds between sets

Focus on form, lifting your arms and legs as high as you can without straining your neck.

Bird Dogs

  • Sets: 2
  • Reps: 10-12 per side
  • Rest: 60 seconds between sets

Maintain a slow and controlled movement, keeping your balance as you extend your arm and opposite leg.

Bridge Exercise

  • Sets: 2
  • Reps: 10-12
  • Rest: 60 seconds between sets

Concentrate on squeezing your glutes as you lift your hips.

Reverse Plank

  • Sets: 2
  • Reps: 20-30 seconds hold
  • Rest: 60 seconds between sets

Keep your body straight and avoid letting your hips sag.

Back Extensions

  • Sets: 2
  • Reps: 10-12
  • Rest: 60 seconds between sets

If you’re doing this on the floor, focus on lifting your chest off the ground as high as comfortable.

Plank

  • Sets: 2
  • Reps: 30 seconds hold
  • Rest: 60 seconds between sets

Keep your body in a straight line from your head to your heels.

Remember to keep your neck neutral and avoid straining during all exercises. Increase sets, reps, or hold time as you become more comfortable with the exercises.

calisthenics back workout  

FAQs

  • How Do I Make My Back Bigger With Calisthenics?

To make your back bigger with calisthenics, focus on exercises that engage the entire back and use progressive overload. Progressive overload is when you gradually increase the amount of weight or resistance you are lifting over time. 

For example, if you start by doing 10 reps of pull-ups, aim to do 12 reps the next time. This will challenge your muscles and help them grow. Additionally, you should focus on eating a balanced diet to ensure your body has the necessary energy and nutrition to build muscle.

  • Is Calisthenics Enough To Stay Fit?

Calisthenics is a great way to stay fit, and can be used as the sole form of exercise. However, it’s important to remember that different forms of exercise have different benefits. 

For example, calisthenics focuses primarily on muscular strength and endurance while cardio exercises are better for improving cardiovascular health. 

This means you may want to consider adding other activities such as running, swimming, cycling or yoga to your fitness routine for a balanced approach.

  • Does Calisthenics Work Every Muscle?

Calisthenics can work nearly every muscle in the body. However, some muscles are targeted more than others depending on the exercises you choose. 

For example, push-ups and pull-ups target the chest, shoulders, and back while squats and lunges target the legs. To ensure all muscle groups are engaged you should make sure to include various exercises.

The Bottom Line

Calisthenics back workout for beginners doesn’t have to be complicated or require any specialized equipment. 

These exercises will help you strengthen and tone your back while also improving your overall fitness level. 

Remember to keep your form in check, focus on proper breathing technique, and increase the intensity as you become more comfortable with the exercises.

DISCLAIMER:

This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!

SOURCES:

  1. The real-world benefits of strengthening your core (2012,harvard.edu)
  2. The Importance of Flexibility and Mobility (n,d,sites.psu.edu)
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Sets up work outs that you can do…

John M.
Sets up work outs that you can do anywhere any time. Completed two thirty day series of calistetics and am now moving on to other work outs.

Being able to workout without the…

Jack P.
Being able to workout without the feeling of judgment. But also to feel freedom and flexibility at the same time was amazing.

Simple and no equipment needed

Nazim M.
Simple and no equipment needed. Long enough with brakes to achieve my daily workout. I like it when I feel the burn and sweat.