Upper and Lower Back Workout - At Home Back Exercises to Tone & Strengthen


Calorie burn:

165 to 210





Equipment Needed:

Dumbbell, Physio-Ball

Workout type:

Low Impact, Toning

Body focus:


Workout Details

Far too many people focus on abdominal work, and then completely neglect the complimentary back muscles.

Aside from all of the superficial benefits in regularly training this particular aspect of your core, strengthening your back muscles can play a huge role in warding off lumbar pain, stiffness, and injury.

Make sure that you warm up before jumping right into this home workout video with at least 5 minutes of light cardio.

Back Bows – This Pilates exercise is a great way to use your own bodyweight to tone your upper and lower back. As an added bonus, lifting your legs up off of the ground, along with that upper body, ends up toning your obliques, glutes, and hamstrings as well.

Russian Twists – Doing the twisting motion at an angle engages your entire core; obliques, abdominals, and general lumbar region. You can easily make this more challenging by holding onto a dumbbell through the motion, or by lifting your feet up off of the ground and balancing on your tailbone.

Pilates Swimmers – While the primary benefit of is that these are a low impact way to engage both the lower and upper back simultaneously, these actually end up being a total body exercise. It might take a few awkward motions before you get your arms and legs in synch, so don’t get frustrated if you take an extra few seconds to get your upper & lower body coordinated. Make sure that you use smooth, controlled motions and never jerk in order to get more range of motion as this can increase the likelihood of injury.

Roll Downs – Standing tall with a light pair of dumbbells, roll your upper body down towards the ground as far as you can before uncurling as you come back up. Make sure to roll shoulders forward and focus on “rolling” your back down downwards, keeping your chest and shoulders relatively close to your thighs. As long as you choose a light weight, this is great for your lower back.

Kneeling Supermans – This is a low impact back exercise that feels great as a sort of a partial stretch. Make sure and squeeze at the top of each motion in order to get the most toning from the movement – not only in the upper and lower back, but also in the glutes.

Reverse Fly – For this motion that targets the rhomboids of the upper back, keep your back flat and a slight bend in your knees. Aim to get your arms just above the level of your chest, with your hands roughly out at the level of your ears. If you don’t have dumbbells, don’t let that stop you; you can always use resistance bands, water bottles, or cans of soup.

Physio Ball Back Extensions – For this one, you will need an open wall in order to steady your feet as an anchor to complete the extensions over the ball. Make sure to get as full a range of motion as you can by wrapping forward over the Physioball as far as you comfortably can before raising back upward. Controlled, slow motions should be your priority with this movement.

Medicine Ball Pendulum Swing – Keep your back and legs straight for this motion, rotating very slowly in order to fully engage the back and obliques. This should not literally be a “swing”; you should be in full control of the movement through the entire range of motion – do not use momentum. If you don’t have a medicine ball, a dumbbell works just as well.

Make sure that you stretch thoroughly after this workout.

Though the key muscle groups in this workout are the lower & upper back, most of the exercises are dynamic enough that they end up incorporating many other muscles, bumping up the calorie burn a bit; we estimate that this routine burns 165-210 calories total.



04/18/14 12:50pm


i did this workout ... but coud'nt complete it.... bcoz my HB( hemoglobin) is very low........ can guyz suggest something....?


04/09/14 11:16am

4/9/14 day 17 of the 8 week workout plan! Guess how joyous I was today when I discovered I now can do the back bows! Back in the beginning my legs would not budge off the ground, I couldn't get them to move in that position for the bows or the swimmers and now I can lift them up and push into them even more so, I could not believe it! Woop woop!! Thanks you guys!


08/20/13 2:09pm

Really good workouts as many others on this site; thanks for your work. I was wondering if there's an alternative to the Physio Ball Back Extensions exercise since I don't owe one


08/15/13 7:24pm

I did this workout, scratch that, I did about 2/3 of this work out two days ago and I am STILL sore. I could tell I was pushing it a little. While being sore isn't fun clearly I have a lot of room for improvement for my poor weak back. Really enjoying your videos, thank you!


07/23/13 9:14pm

First off I love working using your videos, I've been struggling with upper back fat for quite sometime now and have been doing this exercise for 90 Days now. I do some results but I really want to speed the process in getting rid of my back fat. What other videos do you recommend added to this work out for faster results? Thank you very much.


07/03/13 8:33am

13)Wednesday upper body day. Love love love this one, I have a weak back and this feels awesome :)

new beginning

06/30/13 11:47am

Do you sell any Vidoes that I can buy? For Lowe Back Pain and Sciatica Exercises! new beginning


04/18/13 4:08am

[2013-04-18] @alanbro in the 8 week plan, FB recommend this set of stretches: http://www.fitnessblender.com/v/exercise-detail/Lower-Back-Stretches-for-Sciatica-Pain/88/


10/04/12 8:34pm

i really loved ur exercise routine. dying to try these out. thanx


09/17/12 8:35am

Which stretches would I use after this routine?

fitness blender

06/29/12 9:31am

@mima - We actually built an inexpensive 8 Week Fat Loss program that details exactly when to do which videos. This is my best advice because unfortunately we lack the time & resources to build individual programs for each person.


06/27/12 8:18am

Hi! I´ve just found your page few days ago and I think is excellent! Just what I was looking for. I have one question,though. If one works out every day what would be the good combinations of the exercises? For example would it be good to do a cardio workout followed with abs and upper body part exercises on one day, and than cardio followed by lower body exercises on the second day, so that every muscle group has a day of rest? Thanks so much for the answer and for great work!

fitness blender

02/25/12 4:22pm

If you are trying to strengthen a weak back then do this routine more often around 3-4 times a week. Once you have built up the strength you need/want then drop it down to once a week to maintain and replace the other days with various routines to target any other weak areas you may have or to focus on other goals.


02/25/12 2:20pm

How many days in a week should this work out be done?

Leave a Comment

Sign in required

To access this section, please sign in to your account. If you don't have an account yet, sign up now. It's free!