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10 Best Calisthenics Exercises For An Incredibly Strong Back

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Calisthenics are awesome if you’re looking to get in shape and build some serious muscle. Here’s an excellent back workout that focuses on calisthenics exercises instead of dumbbells or machines, both of which you don’t need to get an incredible workout. Here are the 10 best calisthenics exercises for an incredibly strong back. However before that we would like to tell you about anatomy of back muscle for your clear perception.

Anatomy of Back Muscle.

Back muscles can be organized into 3 categories based on their location: superficial back muscles, intermediate back muscles, and internal back muscles.

Internal muscles are given such a name because their embryonic development begins in the back, opposing the superficial and intermediate back muscles that develop elsewhere and are therefore classified as external muscles.

Anatomy-of-Back-Muscle
Anatomy of Back Muscle

Superficial back muscles are muscles found just below the skin. Within this group of back muscles you’ll find latissimus dorsi, trapezius, levator scapula, and rhomboids.
These muscles are able to move the upper limb because they originate from the vertebral column and are inserted into either the clavicle, scapula or humerus.
While the superficial muscles of the back allow movement on the shoulder, the middle muscles of the back serve to lift and press the rib cage. There are 2 major muscles within this category – the serratus posterior superior and the serratus posterior inferior.
The inner (deep) muscles of the back can be further divided into their own superficial, intermediate, and deep layers. These muscles collectively work to help with the activities of the vertebral column and control posture.

What is Calisthenics Workout?

Calisthenics workout is a form of exercises that uses your own bodyweight as resistance. It is one of the best ways to get stronger, build muscle, and improve your posture.

These exercises can be done anywhere and are low-impact on the joints. They also have a high caloric burn rate which helps with weight loss.

benefits of Calisthenics Exercises for Back.

  • Calisthenics is a full-body workout that helps you build muscle without weights. You use your own body weight to provide resistance and tone your muscles by using different exercises.(1)
  • Training the muscles with calisthenics exercises help to maintain mobility in your lower back and keep it strong for everyday tasks. For example, people who have good flexibility in their lumbar region (low-back) will be able to bend over without rounding their backs or slouching; they will also be able to stand straight without excessive effort, get on or off the floor without bending their knees too far forward, or sit with proper posture. These small changes may seem insignificant now but as we age they can become more difficult or even impossible to do on our own.
  • Additionally it strengthens your spine, increases flexibility, and builds muscular endurance.(2)
  • Plus, it’s a great way to get in shape on the go – no gym required.

Here are some of our favorite calisthenics back exercises that will strengthen your upper body and core. If you have any lower back pain or injury, consult a doctor before doing these exercises.

10 Best Calisthenics Exercises For An Incredibly Strong Back.

1. Pull Up.

Pull-ups are one of the best exercises you can do to strengthen your back. It engage your lats, which are the large muscles that run along the sides of your back and connect to your arms.

Pull-ups also engage your abs, because they stabilize you as you pull up. You don’t need any equipment to do a pull-up – all you need is a bar or some other sturdy object from which you can hang from.

pull ups
Pull Up
How to Do Pull Up?
  • To start doing pull-ups, position yourself under the bar and grip it with both hands facing away from you. Your palms should be pointed towards the ground.
  • Then use your legs to lift your body so that you’re hanging from the bar and form a straight line from head to feet.
  • Thereafter pull yourself up until your chin reaches over the bar. Slowly lower down and repeat this process for reps or time intervals.

2. L-Sit Pull Up.

L-sit pull up is a pull up variation that combines a pull up with an isometric hanging leg raise hold.
It is a best and effective exercise to engage your back, while also providing a stamina challenge for the core.

L-sit pull down
L-Sit Pull Up
How to do L-Sit Pull Up?
  • Using a pronged grip, hold the bridge bar slightly wider than the shoulder-width grip. Squeeze the abs and raise the legs to 90 degrees.
  • Thereafter take a deep breath, press the shoulder blades and move the elbows straight down to the floor while activating the lats.
  • Pull your chin toward the bar until the lats have completely shrunk, then slowly bring yourself back to the starting position. Place the legs parallel to the floor and repeat for a repetition of the due number.

3. Tuck Planche.

This exercise is a challenging one. To perform it, you will need to have mastered the tuck planche from a push-up position first. It means that you will need to be able to do a tuck planche at least 15 seconds before attempting the tuck planche from the floor.

Tuck Planche
Tuck Planche
How To Do Tuck Planche?
  • At first make push up position. Thereafter, slowly round your back and push yourself off the ground and move your body weight forward.
  • Your knees won’t come to rest on your arms but will grow behind you until your weight is towards the back. During this move, bend your knees and press your feet under your abs.
  • You will maintain this posture for some time and then bring your body back to the starting position while keeping yourself in control.

4. Front Lever.

The front lever is an another effective Calisthenics exercises for an incredible back. It is actually a fundamental gymnastic strength hold that develops core and upper body muscles. Learn how to perform the front lever and progress exercise path to build up to full lever grip.

Front Lever
Front Lever

The front lever is rarely achieved without proper strength and gymnastics training. Check out the progress practice section below to learn how to build hold.

How To Do Front Lever?

Assume the position of hanging upside down on the pull-up bar or gym rings. Slowly lower the body until it’s completely horizontal (your body upwards). Hold on as long as you can.

5. One Arm Chin-up.

It is another best exercise for strong back muscle. Follow the undermentioned steps to achieve a perfect posture of one arm chin up exercise.

How To Do One Arm Chin Up?
  • Keeping your core tight and upper back locked, you should now focus on the pull-up. With your feet off the floor, it’s time to start the chin-up. Start by grabbing onto a bar with your palms facing away from you and then bend your knees to bring them closer to the bar.
One Arm Chin-up Calisthenics Exercises for Back
One Arm Chin-up, Image Source: One Arm Chin Up
  • Next, pull yourself up as high as possible so that your chin is over the bar and hold it there for a few seconds before releasing back down.
  • Repeat this process until you have completed ten reps of one arm chin-ups on each side.
  • You can also use a resistance band or set of rings if you don’t have access to a pull-up bar.

6. Human Flag.

The human flag is one of the toughest upper-body exercises – without a strong arm, shoulder, back and core muscles, it is almost impossible. But there is also the challenge of posing that makes it satisfying. With strength training and exercises, fulfilling the human flag is attainable. Start by practicing a vertical human flag that requires minimal strength, then do your bit to complete the classic human flag pose.

Calisthenics Exercises for Back
Human Flag
How To Do Human Flag?
  • Hold the pull-up bar with one hand. Place the other hand on one of the vertical sidebars. Keep both hands straight so that the muscles of the upper part of your body remain active. Upper body strength is of utmost importance when performing the human flag.
  • Raise your feet off the ground. Press into the support beam with your lower hand, then pull your upper body and legs up with your upper hand. Avoid bending your elbows, because if your arms are straight then your posture will be stronger.
  • Lift your hips into the air. Kick your legs forward to lift your hips further into the air. Pull your lower arm away from your top arm while pressing it into the side pole. Keep your knees close to your body so they don’t pull your hips downwards.
  • Maintain this posture for as long as you can to strengthen your upper body. This is the first stage of the human flag – from here, you can do the vertical or classic human flag pose. If you see your hips bending downwards, lift them up and align them with your shoulders.

7. Superman (Floor bridge).

Calisthenics Exercises for Back
Superman

Lie on your stomach, with your arms and legs extended. Keeping your body rigid, raise yourself up off the floor until you are in a bridge position. Thereafter, lower yourself back down to the starting position. Repeat as needed.

8. Side Plank.

Side Plank Calisthenics Exercises for Back
Side plank

Lie down on your right side, legs extended and stacked from hip to toe. The elbow of your right hand is directly below your shoulder. Make sure your head is straight to your spine.

Your left hand may be aligned to the left side of your body. Engage your abdominal muscles, pulling your navel toward your spine. Lift your hips and knees above the mat while exhaling.

Your torso is in a straight line without any procrastination or bending. Hold the position. After several breaths, inhale and return to the starting position. The goal should be to hold for 60 seconds. Change sides and repeat.

9. Hindu pushup.

It is one of the best challenging calisthenics back exercises that targets the lats, shoulders, and triceps. To perform this exercise, place your hands on the ground with your feet flat on the ground.

From this position, bend your arms until they are parallel to the ground and then push yourself up from this position.

Once you are at a standing position, bend at the knees until you are in a squatting position before pushing yourself back up into a standing position once again.

Video Source: Hindu Push-ups | Combining Strength & Mobility

You should feel a lot of tension in your core and upper body during this exercise. Remember to maintain a straight back throughout the entire movement by keeping your stomach tight as you move.

There are two variations of this movement: one can use hands instead of feet; another way is to start in an upright kneeling position (Indian style).

10. Dragon Flag.

Dragon flag is a great exercise to work on your abs, back, and shoulders. To perform the dragon flag, you will need a sturdy pole or bar. Stand with your back to the pole or bar. Place your hands about one foot from the top of the pole or stand.

Dragon Flag Calisthenics Exercises for Back
Dragon Flag, Image Source: How To Do The Dragon Flag

Lift your legs off the ground so that you are standing on foot and have it close to perpendicular to the ground. Slowly bend at the waist, lowering yourself until your chest touches the pole or bar.

Straighten up as quickly as possible to create momentum for yourself. As you straighten up make sure that you keep pulling yourself in towards the pole or bar by squeezing your core and pulling your elbows in towards each other.

Lower yourself again slowly until you feel tension in your abdominals before repeating this motion again.

Frequently Asked Questions.

1. Is calisthenics better than gym?

Both are better in there own terms. However, calisthenics is more better than gym as it helps in burning more calories thereby, helps in weight loss. Because in these exercises we perform more body movements which leads to more calorie burn.

2. Is it OK to do calisthenics everyday?

Yes, anyone can do calisthenics everyday.

3. Is calisthenics better than weights?

It depends upon your goal. If your goal is to burn calorie than it is better to choose calisthenics as it burn more calories. However if you want to build muscle than it is better to choose weights.

4. How many days should I do calisthenics?

Anyone who wants to perform calisthenics should do 2-3 times a week and atleast for 48 hours.

5. Who is stronger calisthenics or bodybuilder?

Bodybuilders are more stronger than calisthenics.

6. What happens if you only do calisthenics?

It will help you losing weight.

7. Is calisthenics better than cardio?

No, calisthenics helps in improving endurance in your cardio workouts.

8. What are negatives in calisthenics?

Some cons of calisthenics are difficult to engage specific muscle groups and lack of increase the resistance like weight training.

Bottom Line.

These are the best calisthenics back exercises. They will help you to have a stronger and more toned back. This is crucial if you want to be able to do any of the other exercises mentioned in this article, as well as all of your day-to-day activities with ease. Give these a try next time you head over to the gym and let us know how they work out.

+2 Sources

Freaktofit has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, educational research institutes, and medical organizations. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and up-to-date by reading our editorial policy.

  1. Effect of Progressive Calisthenic Push-up Training on Muscle Strength and Thickness; https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29466268/
  2. Effect of calisthenics workouts for weight loss and flexibility; https://www.journalofsports.com/pdf/2020/vol5issue1/PartA/4-2-118-976.pdf

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Fact Checked

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This article is reviewed by a registered dietitian and medical expertise indulged in practical clinical and public health experience“.
FreakToFit strict editorial guidelines- we only link to academic research institutions, academic journals, reputable media sites and medically peer-reviewed studies. If there is any lack of sufficient evidence, it will be noted. All sources are labelled as numbers in parentheses (1, 2, etc.), which are clickable links to studies referenced. However, all primary sources, including studies, scientific references, and figures, are linked within each article or can be found in the resources segment at the bottom of our articles.
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