Almost all bodyweight workouts for your back consist of pull up bar exercises and that’s all good as long as you have access to one. But what if you don’t have access to weights nor a pull up bar, should you forget working your back in those cases at all? While it’s difficult to work your back without any equipment whatsoever, there are some great less common exercises that you can do to train your back under any circumstances.
This workout consists of 3 floor exercises and the only thing you may need to use except your own body weight is a towel. Here are the exercises for upper, mid and lower back for a complete workout.
Lie on the floor on your back and plant your elbows firmly into the ground. Now raise your upper back off the floor by pushing your elbows. Don’t use your legs, really focus on your upper back and engage your core to lift yourself up. This works your lats and upper back in a similar way like sitting rows would.
Mid Back and Lats
You will need a slippery floor for this exercise to drag your feet but at the same time you’ll need your arms to stay firmly planted into the floor. I suggest using a rug/carpet (or a yoga mat) for the arms and a towel for your feet. Assume a plank position this way with your arms fully extended and your feet on the toes. Now push yourself back with your arms while dragging your feet until you’re fully extended. Then pull yourself pack up to the starting position.
This exercise works your mid back and lats in a similar way that a cable pulldown would, so really engage your core and back when performing it.
It’s difficult to isolate the lower back but we can do some compound exercises that tie in your core and back. A great compound exercise for the back is the reverse angel. The exercise is performed by lying on your stomach and raising your arms and feet off the ground by engaging your core (superman plank). Then move your arms back by contracting your shoulders (like you’d do a snow angel). This engages your glutes, core, lower and upper back, shoulders and lats, so it’s a great compound exercise to strengthen your core and back.
Do these three exercises in a row in as many repetitions as you can until failure. Move in slow controlled motions and really focus on muscle contraction. This way you’ll be able to train your back using just your own body weight and without even needing the pull up bar.