11 Back Exercises With Resistance Bands To Reduce Pain And Improve Posture

Reviewed by Sabrina Rahman, Certified Fitness Trainer
Written by Charushila Biswas, MSc (Biotechnology), ISSA Certified Fitness Nutritionist

If you want a strong and toned back, do resistance band exercises for the back. They also help reduce pain and correct poor posture. Pete Colagiuri, a sports physiotherapist with over 20 years of experience, says, “Resistance bands are a great tool for rehabilitation of back pain.” He adds, “The elastic nature of the band is perfect for strength training as well.” Dr. Alex Tauberg (DC, CSCS, CCSP®, EMR) says, “Resistance bands are a great piece of home gym equipment. You can get resistance bands of all different intensity levels. They are inexpensive, portable, easy to store, and you can modify almost any exercise to use a resistance band.”

Resistance band exercises target and strengthen muscles like the abs, obliques, and glutes. This, in turn, helps in stabilizing the pelvic and lower back region. If you are working long hours sitting in front of a computer or lead a sedentary lifestyle and/or experience back pain – do resistance band exercises. Here are the 11 best at-home resistance band exercises for the back with pictures. Scroll down!

11 Best Resistance Band Exercises For The Back

1. Single Arm Press

Single arm press resistance band exercise for the back

Single arm press with resistance bands works on the lats and shoulders. It helps reduce neck pain, shoulder, and back pain and relieves muscle tension. Here’s how to do it:

Steps

  1. Take a loop resistance band. Hold it with your hands. Place your left hand on your right shoulder and keep the right hand free for movement. This is the starting position.
  2. Now, stretch the band in an out-and-up motion and bring it down the same way back to the starting position.
  3. Do 10 reps on each side.

2. Lat Pulldowns

Lat pulldowns resistance band exercise for the back

Resistance band lat pulldowns work on the lats to improve spinal stability and promote good posture. Here’s how to do it:

Steps

  1. Secure an open-ended resistance band on a doorknob or pull-up bar. Hold the ends of the resistance band and kneel down. Keep your arms extended and your head at the same level as your arms while looking at the floor. This is the starting position.
  2. Now, pull the resistance band, bring your elbows back, and squeeze your shoulders.
  3. Go back to the starting position.
  4. Do 2 sets of 10 reps each.

3. One Arm Lateral Raise

One arm lateral raise resistance band exercise for the back

One arm lateral raises work on the lats and shoulders. They help reduce muscle tension, improve shoulder and upper back posture, and improve muscle strength. Here’s how to do it:

Steps

  1. Take a loop resistance band. Hold it with your hands. Place your left hand on your right thigh and keep the right hand free for movement. This is the starting position.
  2. Now, pull your right hand up with your elbows and away from your body.
  3. Pause for a moment and bring the right arm back to the starting position.
  4. Do 10 reps on each side.

4. Lat Pullovers

Lat pullovers resistance band exercise for the back

Lat pullovers with a resistance band are a great workout for the lat muscles and the whole back. They help reduce shoulder muscle tension and pain. Here’s how to do it:

Steps

  1. Secure your resistance band under a sofa or a bench.
  2. Lie down on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Hold the resistance band with your arms shoulder-width apart and extended slightly above the floor. This is the starting position.
  3. Now, pull the resistance band toward your pelvic region.
  4. Bring them back to the starting position.
  5. Do 2 sets of 10 reps each.

5. Shoulder Press

Shoulder press resistance band exercise for the back

This exercise works on the upper back pain, shoulders, and triceps. It helps tone the shoulder and neck area, strengthen the muscles, and improve shoulder posture. Here’s how to do it:

Steps

  1. Place a loop resistance band under your feet. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart to secure it. Keep your knees bent. Hold the resistance band with your hands and bring them up to your chest, palms facing upward. This is the starting position.
  2. Now, extend your arms up and bring them down to the starting position.
  3. Do 2 sets of 8-10 reps each.

6. Upright Row

Upright row resistance band exercise for the back

Upright rows with resistance band work on the upper and middle back as well as the shoulders. It helps strengthen the shoulder and upper back. Here’s how to do it:

Steps

  1. Take a loop resistance band, place your feet on it shoulder-width apart to secure it. Keep your knees bent. Hold the resistance band with your hands close together. This is the starting position.
  2. Pull the resistance band up to your chest, with your elbows sticking out.
  3. Slowly lower your hands back to the starting position.
  4. Do 2 sets of 8-10 reps each.

7. Rear Deltoid Squeeze

Rear deltoid squeeze resistance band exercise for the back

This exercise works on the back of the shoulders and helps open up a rounded or hunched back. Here’s how to do it:

Steps

  1. Hold the resistance band with your arms wider than shoulder-width apart. Keep your legs shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent. This is the starting position.
  2. Now, stretch the resistance band and pull your arms back slightly.
  3. Go back to the starting position.
  4. Do 2 sets of 8 reps each.

8. Bent Over Rows

Bent over rows resistance band exercise for the back

Resistance band bent over rows target the middle back or lats, as well as the biceps. Here’s how to do it:

Steps

  1. Take a loop resistance band. Hold it at shoulder-width. Step on the band to secure it. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart and knees bent. Bend forward from the pelvis, keeping your hands extended. This is the starting position.
  2. Now, pull the resistance band up. Let your elbows stick out to the back and squeeze your shoulder blades.
  3. Slowly extend your hands back to the starting position.
  4. Do 2 sets of 10 reps each.

9. Seated Row

Seated row resistance band exercise for the back

Resistance band seated row works on the upper back (traps), middle back (lats), and between the shoulder blades (rhomboids). This exercise helps strengthen the muscles and reduces rounding of the shoulders. Here’s how to do it:

Steps

  1. Sit on a mat with your knees bent and heels on the floor.
  2. Wrap an open-ended resistance band around your feet to secure it. Keep your thumbs up and elbows by your side. This is the starting position.
  3. Now, pull the resistance band back and squeeze your shoulder blades.
  4. Pause for a moment and release.
  5. Do 2 sets of 8 reps each.

10. Chest Flys

Chest flys resistance band exercise for the back

Chest flys are great for targeting the chest muscles as well as work on the back muscles. It helps improve shoulder and upper back posture, opens up the chest and collar bone area, and helps reduce shoulder and neck pain. Here’s how to do it:

Steps

  1. Hold the resistance band behind your back. Lie down on the floor with your knees flexed and feet flat on the floor.
  2. Start with your arms open.
  3. Bring your arms together right above your chest.
  4. Bring your arms back to the open position.
  5. Do 2 sets of 8 reps each.

11. Alternate Hip Flexion

Alternate hip flexion resistance band exercise for the back

To improve your posture and reduce back pain, strengthening the glute muscles is also important. Here’s how to do resistance band alternate hip flexion:

Steps

  1. Lie down on a mat.
  2. Wrap a loop resistance band around your feet.
  3. Lift both the feet off the floor and bend your knees. Your thighs should be perpendicular to the floor. Push your lower back down so that there’s no lower back curvature. This is the starting position.
  4. Now, press the right leg and extend it.
  5. Pause and bring it back to the starting position.
  6. Next, extend the left leg. Pause for a moment and bring it back to the starting position. This completes one rep.
  7. Do 2 sets of 8 reps each.

These are some great resistance band exercises for the back to improve your posture and reduce pain. A common notion is that resistance band exercises can help burn back fat. We asked the experts, and here’s what they had to say.

Expert Answers: Can Resistance Band Exercises Burn Back Fat?

Pete Colagiuri (a sports physiotherapist) says, “Resistance bands won’t help shift back fat specifically, but it can help with body fat generally. The body is not selective about where it stores or uses its energy reserves. So you can’t “target” fat in a specific location. The good news is that strength training will reduce overall body fat percentage, which can help shift back fat as part of an overall fat reduction strategy.”

If you do decide to go for these exercises, keep these tips by the experts in mind.

Expert Tips

Colagiuri advises, “It’s worth including resistance band exercises in a regular strength program but pause them during any acute back pain flare-ups.” He further adds, “Commence any program with only 1-2 sets of each exercise and pay particular attention to mastering the technique. Take the following day off to see if there’s any residual muscle soreness and gradually increase the sets of each exercise over the next week or so. It’s better to start slow and train consistently than to push hard and need extended recovery time after each session.”

From fixing your posture to improving your strength and reducing neck, back, and shoulder pain, the benefits of resistance band exercises for the back are wide-ranging. The exercises listed above work on the lats, shoulders, triceps, biceps, upper and lower back, chest and back muscles, and glute muscles and help improve muscle strength besides easing muscle tension. Talk to a physiotherapist to help you pick the right resistance band. If you are a beginner, it is better to do these exercises under the supervision of a professional to get your form right and achieve desired results.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the pros and cons of resistance bands?

Even though resistance band workouts are easy to do, versatile, and apply low levels of stress to the joints, it is challenging to quantify and measure your growth, reflect your progress, and build muscle with these exercises.

Should you use resistance bands every day?

No. You should have rest days to ensure you give your muscles appropriate time to recover. You can train with resistance bands up to 5-6 days a week.

Can resistance bands replace the gym?

Yes. Exercise bands can help you get the most out of your home workouts and provide almost as many benefits as going to the gym.

Are resistance bands good for people over 50?

Yes. Resistance bands help strengthen your bones and muscles, are easy to get started on, and are easier on the joints for people over 50.

Key Takeaways

  • Resistance band exercises target and strengthen muscles like the abs, obliques, and glutes and that helps in stabilizing the pelvic and lower back region.
  • Resistance bands won’t help to reduce back fat specifically, but it can help with overall body fat reduction.
  • Resistance band exercises should be a part of a regular strength program but paused during acute back pain flare-ups.

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Sabrina Rahman

(Certified Fitness Trainer)
Sabrina Rahman is a certified fitness trainer. She coaches 200 clients every month and trains thousands of women all over... more

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