Female Strength Training Exercises for the Perfect Back Line

Building strong back muscles should be a priority on everyone’s list. Because even though we can’t see our backs, they’re still a massive part of the body with numerous muscle groups, and shaping them correctly can take your physique to the next level. Not only that, but strong back muscles can also improve your posture and alleviate back pain.

As a woman, it can be oddly difficult to focus on the upper body muscles, despite their importance. But you should take a look at the following exercises and add them to your repertoire for a toned and strong back.

Which Back Muscles Should I Focus On?

The back houses so many muscle groups that it can be daunting to even learn about them, but there are only a few to focus on.

Latissimus Dorsi

The latissimus dorsi (or lats for short) are the largest and arguably the most important muscles on the back. They run alongside the sides of the back and span almost its entire length, so you will need to train them well to sculpt your back line.

But it’s not just about the aesthetics. The lats are crucial for most of the body movements that involve the back, and they also take a massive load off your spine, which can help you maintain a better posture.


The trapezius (traps) are another large set of muscles that span the upper back, starting at the side of the neck and ending around the mid-back. Their proximity to the shoulder and position at the upper back means they play a huge role in defining your posture and alleviating shoulder pain.

As for the looks, their size and location mean that they’re also crucial for building a consistent definition along your back line.

Other Muscles

There are other muscles along the back. And while they’re all important, most of them are either less visible or entirely hidden under other muscles. They also work alongside other larger muscles, which eliminates the need to train them separately.

One example is the rhomboids, which are the small muscles alongside the upper spine near the traps, and the erector spinae (spinal erectors), which are employed in big stabilizing movements like the deadlift or back extension.

Strong Side Back With These Lats Movements

The best movements to build the lats are rows. These involve pulling a weight towards the body while bending the elbow to ensure you’re pulling with the lats instead of the arms. You can do rows on a machine, with free weights, or with a resistance band, depending on your preference. Though we recommend machines for beginners to minimize form mistakes.

One of the most common machines is the cable row machine (sometimes called the low row), but you can also use a seated mid row machine.

And if you’d rather do free weights, then try the dumbbell bent-over row. To do it, grab a pair of dumbbells, bend forward while maintaining a straight back and slightly bent knees, and row the weights towards the side of your ribs back and forth. You can row both dumbbells at the same time or alternate them – that’s up to you.

Another great exercise is the pull-up. However, that movement is often for advanced lifters who have enough upper body strength to pull their bodies up and down for several reps. If you’re not at that level yet, you can simulate the movement on a lat pulldown machine, which has a similar movement pattern to a row but vertically.

If you don’t have access to weights, then no worries! You can still build a beautiful back using bodyweight movements, and one such great exercise is the Superwoman.

To do it, lie on your stomach and extend your arms and legs, then raise them slightly so that they’re level with your face. Try to hold this movement for as long as you can while ensuring your back and neck are neutral (no bends).

Shape Your Upper Back With These Traps Exercises

Thankfully, the traps already get a decent amount of secondary activation through common exercises you might be doing already, including rows, deadlifts, and rear delt flyes. Wide-grip rows are particularly good for growing bigger traps.

However, if you want to take them to the next level, you should incorporate some shrug exercises. These are very simple and can be done with a heavy load; all you need is to hold the weight (barbell or dumbbells) and lift it only using your traps by shrugging. Make sure your back is always straight and you don’t use any other body part to lift.

Wrap Up

That’s all we have for you about building a stronger back. Although there are several muscles there, most of them get more than enough secondary activation during common exercises, which is why you won’t need to isolate the spinal erectors or rhomboids, for example.

Make sure you focus on the lats above all else, as they’re the largest muscles along the spine and will contribute to building your dream rear physique. And throw in a shrug exercise for bigger traps while you’re at it.


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