The Best Back Exercise You Never Thought to Do

When you think of back exercises, what comes to mind? A row, maybe? Perhaps a pull-up? These are both great exercises for strengthening the back, and I highly recommend including them in your routine. There’s another back exercise I’ve been doing lately that I’ve been loving. It’s great for engaging the lats (latissimus dorsi), and all you need to do it is a light resistance band.

This exercise is a resistance band pullover. It’s similar to a dumbbell or barbell pullover, and it’s also reminiscent of a straight-arm lat pull-down. Like I said above, this exercise is great for engaging the lats.

How to Do Them

To do these pullovers, start by looping a resistance band under the bottoms of your feet. I’m using these resistance bands, but any kind of light resistance band will work.

Once the band is securely under your feet, lie back while holding the other end of the band and raise your arms so they’re straight out in front of you. Keep your elbows slightly bent and pull the band up over your head.

Don’t let your torso move or your back arch while you do this, and don’t let your elbows bent or straighten — keep them locked in place. If your arms bend or you let your torso take over, your lats are going to relax and this will become an arm exercise instead.

Ideally, you’ll pull the band all the way up over your head so that your arms align with your ears. If you lack the shoulder and upper body mobility for this, though, just raise your arms as high as you comfortably can.

When to Do Them

When you do this exercise depends on your goals, what you want to get out of your workouts, and what you struggle with during your workouts.

If you have a hard time feeling your lats working when you do pull-ups or rows, you could do these pullovers first as a priming exercise to improve your mind-muscle connection. You could also do them at the end of your workout as an accessory exercise.

If you’re working on growing your back and building up those muscles, you might also want to do these as a trigger session on your off-days. Doing a few sets on your off-days will help to strengthen the muscle-building signal to your lats and help them to grow faster.

Watch How It’s Done

If, after reading the exercise breakdown above, you’re still a little confused about how to do these, here’s a video showing you how it’s done. Check it out and give them a try!

If you give this exercise a try during your next workout, please let me know in the comments below! I can’t wait to hear how it goes!

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