4 Exercises for a Ripped Back

4 Exercises for a Ripped Back

Whether you’re preparing for an MMA fight, a body-building event or just trying to build muscle, finding the workouts to develop your back is tough. Your back muscles are what promote power and stabilize your body. They help you develop stronger shoulders, a more stable core and support your legs in explosive exercises.  

You have to get somewhat creative with how you work your strength and weight training into your routines to ensure you’re targeting some of those key muscles. In this article, we’ll look at five different exercises you can use to get a ripped back.

1. Kettlebell Swings

This is a great exercise to work your back and your core. Kettlebell swings are all about control as they work your lower posterior muscles and your abdomen on each end of the swing. Your back helps to bring the kettlebell up and your abs maintain control as it swings down. 

To do a kettlebell swing:

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  • Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart and bend your knees.
  • Hold the kettlebell with both hands and let it hang between your legs. 
  • Swing the kettlebell up in an outward arc, straightening your legs as you do so. The kettlebell should reach eye level at the height of its swing.
  • Use your abdominal muscles to control the kettlebell as it falls back down between your legs.
  • Repeat as many times as you need for your set.

2. Resistance Band Pull Apart

Targeting the shoulders in your back, a resistance band pull-apart exercise is another great option for building your back muscles. This exercise focuses on your scapular muscles between the shoulder blades, building strength through resistance. It helps with your range of motion and increases power in your shoulder and pectoral muscles.

To do a resistance band pull apart:

  • Stand with your hips width apart. Hold one end of the resistance band in either hand.
  • Lift your arms so they’re level with your shoulders. 
  • Pull the resistance band outward, so it stretches and resists your force.
  • Hold the full range of your pull for three counts. Then slowly release the band. (It’s important to focus on control over speed in this exercise.)
  • Repeat as many times as you need for your set.

3. Lat Pulldown

Lat pulldowns are an excellent exercise if you want to target almost all of the muscles in your back at once. It primarily uses the latissimus dorsi, muscles in your mid to lower back, but also works your traps, rotator cuffs, rhomboids, posterior deltoids, biceps and forearms! That’s one powerhouse workout. 

Because it works so many muscles, you might consider looking for the best protein powder for your type of exercise to support these muscles as you work to develop them.

To do a lat pulldown:

  • This exercise can be done on a machine or with a resistance band.
  • Sit down facing the wall or machine, with the band or bar over your head.
  • Reach out and secure a wide grip, keeping your hands a little wider than shoulder-width apart.
  • Pull the bar or band down toward your chest, bending your elbows and reaching your full range of motion.
  • Slowly, with control, release the bar back up.
  • Repeat as many times as you need for your set.

4. Back Extensions

This exercise is important because it both strengthens and stretches your back. All you have to do is lie on the floor or a yoga ball and lift your hands and feet. You’ll balance on your midsection and feel the power in your back stabilize and hold your body.

These are some of the best workouts to try if you’re looking for a ripped back.


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