Mass-building back workout (complete routine)

A muscular and wide back is a very good indication for a fit physique. You thought that getting that v-shaped upper body is just not something you can achieve? Wrong, you absolutely can! I’m not saying that getting that v-shape is a piece of cake but this back workout routine will help you achieve it. All you need to do is select the right exercises and apply the right fitness technique. And you will get your results. Check out the other upper body musle-building workout plans as well!


Your back is not just one muscle and we are not going to treat it as such. This workout routine includes 5 exercises that focus on every single part of your back: your trapezius, latissimus dorsi, rhomboidus and lower back (lumborum). This will ensure an overall increase of strength and mass in every part of your back.


This article includes a powerful and effective strength-building back workout routine with a full explanation of every exercise. A workout instruction video is included! It will tell you exactly which exercises you have to perform and what the weight, number of sets and number reps per exercise need to be. Follow these instructions to build a strong and muscular back.


back workout routine

Workout routine

This workout plan tells you exactly which exercises to perform. The number of sets and reps is also included. Let me explain two more important elements before you start.


1. Weight: select a weight that allows you to perform 8 to 12 reps per set. If you perform 6 reps and still feel like you have energy left then increase the weight.


2. Rest time: rest around 1.5 minutes in between sets. It gives your body time to recover before starting the next set. Don’t rest more than 2 minutes! You want the muscles to be sore and damaged at the end of the workout.


Another important element Progressive Overload is explained in this article.


Exercise 1: wide pull up (warm up)

Exercise 2: deadlift

Exercise 3: cable row

Exercise 4: lower back extension

Exercise 5: lat pulldown (front and back)


Instruction video


Wide pull Up

back exercises wide pull up

You perform this exercise on a high bar. Grab the bar as wide as possible with your palms facing forward. Pull yourself up until your chin reaches the same height as the bar. Then slowly lower yourself back to starting position. Just before your arms are completely stretched you pull yourself up again.


back exercises deadlift

Place your feet at hip width, grab the bar via an underhand grip and stretch to an upright position. Bring your hips and buttocks backwards and bend your knees, as if you want to sit down. Your back remains straight or slightly hollow in your lower back during the exercise. When the bar almost touches the ground you stretch out from your legs and back to bring yourself back to starting position.

cable row

back exercises cable row

Take a seat on the machine and put your feet firmly on the ground or on the footrests in front of you. Keep your knees slightly bent during the exercise. Keep your back straight and push your chest forward. Grab the grip with both hands and pull it towards your body at the height of your belly button. Only move your arms during the exercise, your back and legs remain in the same position. Bring the grip as close to your navel as possible and let it slowly move back to starting position. 

lower back extension

back exercises lower back extension

Take a seat on the machine. Clamp your heels behind the support bar and place your pelvis on the cushion in front of you so that you face forward. You start moving from your lower back. Your legs remain in the same position during the entire exercise and your upper body moves towards the ground and back. To make the exercise more difficult you can use additional weight that you hold in your hand or press against your chest. 

lat pull down

back exercises lat pulldown

Take a seat on the machine. Make sure that your upper legs are in a horizontal position and place them firmly under the support bar. Your back is in a straight position and remains like that during the exercise. Grab the bar at both ends and pull it down towards your neck and upper back, hold it there for a moment and let it slowly get back in starting position. Keep your elbows slightly bent, don’t stretch your arms out completely.