Resistance Band Back Exercises

8 Best Resistance Band Back Exercises for Muscle Size and Strength

A lot of exercisers spend too much time training the muscles they can see in the mirror and too little time on those they can’t. That’s not to say you should ignore your chest, biceps, abs, and quads. However, the muscles on the back of your body are just as important.

Unfortunately, back training is not always easy or convenient, especially for home exercisers. While you can do push-ups and chair dips for your chest and triceps and lunges and squats for your legs, back exercises are less obvious.

Sure, you can do pull-ups and inverted rows, but they require equipment you may not have.

[Related: How to Do Pull-Ups for A Bigger and Shredded Back]

The best solution for this problem is doing back exercises with resistance bands. In studies, resistance bands have been shown to be as effective as lifting weights for building muscle size and strength (1).

In this article, we share the eight best back exercises with bands.

The Best Resistance Band Back Exercises

Are you looking for the best back exercises with bands? Then you have come to the right place! Build your back workouts around these tried-and-tested resistance band exercises. All you need is some quality resistance bands, a door anchor, and handles for comfort.

Resistance Band Bent-Over Row

The barbell bent-over row is a classic bodybuilding back exercise. However, armed with your trusty resistance bands, you can replicate this exercise anywhere, even while traveling. As an added benefit, this awesome resistance band back exercise is easier on your lower back than the barbell version.


  • Stand on the middle of your resistance band, feet hip to shoulder width apart, and knees slightly bent.
  • Hold one end of your band in each hand and lean forward until your upper body is inclined to about 45 degrees. Do not round your lower back.
  • Brace your core and pull your shoulders down and back.
  • Leading with your elbows, bend your arms and row your hands up and into your lower ribs.
  • Extend your arms and repeat.

You can also do this exercise while seated on the floor, leg straight in front of you, and the band looped over your feet, i.e., a resistance band seated row.

Resistance Band Single-Arm Row

Doing rows with one arm at a time lets you identify and fix any left-to-right strength imbalances. In addition, this resistance band back exercise puts less strain on your lower back than the two-handed version. You may also experience a stronger mind/muscle connection.


  • Adopt a staggered stance so your front leg is bent and your rear leg is almost straight.
  • Loop your band under your front foot and hold it with the opposite hand.
  • Hinge forward from the hips so your upper body is inclined to around 45 degrees.
  • Leading with your elbow, pull your hand up and into your lower ribs. Extend your arm and repeat.
  • Do the same number of reps on both sides.

Resistance Band Face Pulls

Resistance band face pulls target the muscles of your upper back, namely the middle trapezius, and rhomboids. As such, they are good for your posture and building a thicker upper back. As a bonus, face pulls are also great for improving shoulder health.


  • Attach your resistance band to a chest-high anchor.
  • Grab one end of the band in each hand, extend your arms, and step back. Adopt a staggered stance for balance.
  • Bend your arms and pull your hands in toward your head. Imagine you are sticking your thumbs in your ears. Keep your elbows up and your wrists straight.
  • Extend your arms and repeat.

Resistance Band Pull-Aparts

Nowhere to anchor your resistance band? That’s okay; you can get a great upper back workout with band pull-aparts. As well as being an excellent back builder, this exercise is an effective way to warm up your shoulders before any upper body workout. If you lift weights, and even if you don’t, this exercise should be part of your training.


  • Hold your resistance band with an overhand, shoulder-width grip.
  • Raise your arms in front of you to chest height. Pull your shoulders down and back.
  • Open your arms and stretch the band out across your chest.
  • Bring your arms back in and repeat.

Resistance Band Lat Pulldown

Lat pulldowns are one of the best exercises for building a wider, more muscular back. However, home exercisers probably won’t have access to a suitable machine. That’s not a problem because you can do lat pulldowns with a resistance band.


  • Attach two resistance bands to a high anchor, e.g., the top of a door.
  • Grab one band in each hand and kneel down in front of the anchor. Extend your arms overhead.
  • Bend your elbows and pull your hands down to your shoulders. Squeeze your shoulders back and down and bring your elbows in to your sides.
  • Extend your arms and repeat.

Resistance Band Good Morning

There is more to building a great back than training your lats, traps, and rhomboids. You must also develop your erector spinae muscle, which runs up either side of your vertebral column. Good mornings are one of the best exercises for developing your lower back, and they also hammer your glutes and hamstrings.


  • Stand with your feet shoulder to hip-width apart. Loop your resistance band under your feet and over your head.
  • Stand with your legs slightly bent and hold the band to take pressure off your neck.
  • Bend your knees slightly and brace your core.
  • Push your hips back and lean forward until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings. Do not round your lower back.
  • Drive your hips forward and stand up straight.

Resistance Bend Deadlift

Squats are often called the king of exercises. However, that title probably belongs to deadlifts, as they involve more muscles and are arguably a more functional movement. While barbell deadlifts are a proven back exercise, you can also do this fantastic strength and muscle builder with a resistance band.

[Related: Deadlifting Checklist: Use These Tips When You Deadlift]


  • Stand on the middle of your resistance band with your feet between shoulder and hip-width apart.
  • Reach down and grab one end in each hand.
  • Drop your hips, lift your chest, pull your shoulders down and back, and brace your core.
  • Keeping your arms straight, extend your hips and knees, and stand up. Do not allow your lower back to round.
  • Return to the starting position and repeat.

Resistance Band Assisted Pull-Ups

Pull-ups are an excellent back exercise, but they’re also very intense. After all, you need to be strong enough to lift your entire body using just your arms. This is a significant feat of strength. The good news is that you can use a resistance band to take some of the strain, making pull-ups more manageable.

  • Hang your band over your pull-up bar and pass one end through the other to secure it in place. Pull the band tight.
  • Grip your bar with an overhand shoulder-width grip and then stand or kneel in the bottom of the band loop.
  • Bend your elbows and pull your chest up to the bar.
  • Extend your arms, return to the starting position, and repeat.
  • You can also do this exercise with a narrower, underhand grip. This is a chin-up.

Resistance Band Back Exercises FAQs

Q: Can you train back with resistance bands?

A: You certainly can! While bodyweight, freeweight, and machine exercises are effective, resistance bands back workouts can be every bit as good for building muscle and strength. Best of all, you can do them at home, while traveling, or any other time you cannot make it to the gym.

Q: Are resistance bands good for back pain?

A: Back pain is a serious problem affecting many people. Exercises like barbell bent-over rows and deadlifts often make it worse. Resistance band exercises are generally more lower back-friendly, as the tension comes onto your muscles and joints gradually. As such, you may find your back pain less bothersome if you switch from lifting weights to training with bands.

Q: How do you lose back fat with resistance bands?

A: Unfortunately, there is no way to preferentially burn back fat with any type of exercise, even resistance band training. Losing fat is primarily a matter of diet; you need to eat less to create an energy deficit and force your body to burn stored fat for fuel.

That said, resistance band back exercises will tone and condition the underlying muscles so that when your fat loss starts to show, your muscles will look their best.

Q: How do you warm up your back with resistance bands?

A: The best way to warm up your back with resistance bands is to do a couple of medium to high-rep sets with a very light band. This will pump plenty of oxygenated blood into the muscles you want to train while mobilizing and lubricating your shoulder and elbow joints.

Do one vertical pulling exercise, e.g., resistance band lat pulldowns, and one horizontal exercise, e.g., resistance band bent-over rows. 1-2 sets of 20-30 reps of each should be enough to prepare your body for more demanding exercises and workloads.

Q: How many reps and sets should you do with exercise band exercises for back?

A: The amount of tension you’ll get from a resistance band depends on its thickness and how far you stretch it. As such, it’s not easy to precisely control the difficulty of your workout. Consequently, effective rep ranges can vary from band to band and person to person.

For some people, 8-10 reps will be enough, but others will need 15-20 reps to get a good workout.

The good news is that your rep range doesn’t really matter as much as we once thought, and you can build muscle with anywhere from 6 to 30+ reps provided you work to failure (2). However, for strength, low reps (five or less) are optimal.

So, to get the best from your exercise band exercises for back, just rep out to failure, and you’ll get great results.

Regarding sets, 3-5 per exercise should be enough for most people. If you feel that’s not enough, you probably rest too long between sets or stop too far from failure.


Resistance bands are an underutilized but very effective way to train your back. In fact, you can use bands to train every muscle in your body. Light, portable, safe, and reasonably priced, they’re the perfect alternative to weights, and you can also use them in conjunction with many freeweight and bodyweight exercises.

While exercises like resistance band bent-over rows and lat pulldowns are a little unusual, they work your muscles the same way as weights and will help you build impressive levels of strength and muscle mass.

So, the next time you think you have no way to train your back, think again and break out the bands for resistance band back exercises


  1. Lopes JSS, Machado AF, Micheletti JK, de Almeida AC, Cavina AP, Pastre CM. Effects of training with elastic resistance versus conventional resistance on muscular strength: A systematic review and meta-analysis. SAGE Open Med. 2019 Feb 19;7:2050312119831116. doi: 10.1177/2050312119831116. Erratum in: SAGE Open Med. 2020 Sep 9;8:2050312120961220. PMID: 30815258; PMCID: PMC6383082.
  2. Lasevicius T, Ugrinowitsch C, Schoenfeld BJ, Roschel H, Tavares LD, De Souza EO, Laurentino G, Tricoli V. Effects of different intensities of resistance training with equated volume load on muscle strength and hypertrophy. Eur J Sport Sci. 2018 Jul;18(6):772-780. doi: 10.1080/17461391.2018.1450898. Epub 2018 Mar 22. PMID: 29564973.