Often people neglect their back a little when working out. Many people focus on their chest, abs, and arms when doing strength or resistance training. If you want a balanced physique, however, then it’s important not to forget the muscles you can’t see behind you.

Your back muscles are there for a reason. Strengthening your back helps to improve your posture, safeguard your shoulders, and gives you great muscle definition. Build up your whole back from your lats, your rhomboids to your traps for a more complete workout. Here are five exercises to get you started building a strong back.

Rhomboid workout

Let’s start with a rhomboid workout. Your rhomboids are situated in the middle of the upper back and strengthening them provides essential support to the shoulders. Target your rhomboids with a shoulder blade squeeze. Sit or stand in an upright position and squeeze your shoulder blades together and release. You could also try darts which is a similar action but more strenuous, lying on your stomach. 

Rows

Horizontal rowing is a go-to if you’re looking to build a strong back, any cable row, dumbbell or barbell row should do the trick. To properly work your back, make sure you get the timing right. As you pull the weight towards you, pull your shoulder blades back and squeeze them together. Allow your shoulders to slowly glide apart as you release the weight. Start with a basic dumbbell row.

Pullups

Pullups work a lot of muscles in both your back and your core. They’re a vertical pulling exercise but will engage your horizontal pulling muscles as well. There are numerous variations on pullup exercises. The classic version is done with your hands facing away from you. Pullups train your body to use its own weight and strengthen the upper back, shoulders, lats, and abs.

Band pull-apart

The band pull-apart can be done at home with a resistance band. This exercise promotes shoulder health as well as building a strong back. Get your shoulder blades moving with a proper rhythm. You could start with three sets of fifteen reps. You’ll feel the heat building immediately, so you know it’s working. 

Deadlift

The squatting motion of a deadlift means most people associate it with leg day, but it actually really helps to build a strong back as well. In order to lift the weight of the ground correctly, you need to flex your back and shoulder muscles. Your back muscles also play a very important part in strengthening your core as you lift. As you pull the bar up towards you, you’re also engaging the lats. To start, have a go at four sets of eight reps. Choose the weight you’re comfortable with. Check out this ultimate guide to the deadlift.

Don’t neglect your back muscles. A strong back helps to brace your entire upper body and protects and stabilizes your spine. Strengthening your back will enhance the rest of your workout as well, and you will feel the benefits.