8 Circuit Training Workouts to Shape Your Back

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back-image-design-1There are so many workouts that will help build your arms and legs. Some of them are even designed just for your stomach and bum. But what about when it comes to the back.

We all have areas of our bodies that we hate. The back isn’t as common, but shaping it isn’t always easy. There can be flabby sections around the shoulder blades or the need to improve the shape towards the bottom, closer to your butt.

And shaping your back isn’t just about your looks. A stronger back will mean a better life for you. There is the benefit of further supporting your spine and building the lower back muscles, so you can do more. This isn’t just about being able to go hiking or running, but actually being able to do your everyday tasks.

With the right diet and exercises, you will be able to trim the fat and tone the muscles. Here are the top circuit training workouts you need to start doing to shape your back and don’t forget the dumbbells set.

Remember It’s Not All About Exercise

Circuit Workout for Beginners

Before you solely rely on the circuit training workouts, keep in mind that to shape your back you will need to change your lifestyle. This means changing your diet and the things that you drink.

Don’t make changes temporarily. Start as you mean to go on. Improve your overall lifestyle so that you can lose weight and keep it off. You’ll find it much easier to keep this new shape to your back, and you’ll find other parts of your body tone and lose weight at the same time.

This means to cut down on the high bad fat and sugary foods. Focus more on the fruits and vegetables and don’t forget about the protein. When it comes to circuit training, protein, and good carbs will fuel your body and muscles, so you build, tone, and shape.

While you’re exercising, don’t forget about drinking enough water. While we’re recommended to get eight glasses a day, exercising will lead to more fluids being sweat-out. Our bodies need the hydration, so get extra before and after your workout—even during when you can.

Now it’s time to get the right types of exercises for your back workout.

Start the Straight-Leg Deadlift Exercise

Woman Doing Dumbbell Deadlift

Start your circuit training with some weights. You can work with light weights, to begin with and build your way up as your back strengthens. If you don’t have any weights to start with, you can use filled water bottles or tins of beans to begin.

Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart and bend forward. You need to keep your legs and back both straight. This exercise doesn’t just work the spine, but the glutes, arms, hamstrings, and abs at the same time. But the biggest benefit is to your back, especially the lower back because of your need to keep your core strong.

Hold your dumbbells at arm’s length, just in front of your legs. Keep your torso parallel to the floor, as you pull the weights up to your body. Keep them there for a few seconds and then lower the weights back down.

While you should feel some strengthening and tension, you shouldn’t feel like your muscles are being pulled. Nor should you feel any pain in your back or legs. If you do, then you will need to stop the exercise. It is likely that you’re not doing it correctly.

If you feel a pull in your legs, you may need to bend your knees very slightly. As you do this exercise more, you’ll gain some extra flexibility, and it will help you with your deadlifting.

Do a Deadlift Variation

Fit woman fitness performing doing deadlift exercise with dumbbell.

While you strengthen your back, you may need to do a slight variation of the above exercise. Even once your back is strong enough to do the deadlift, you may want to do a slight variation to put more emphasis on your core strength.

Instead of standing, take to an all-fours position. Put the weight on your hands on the dumbbells so you can lift them easily. Keeping your back straight, lift one of the dumbbells up to your chest. You need to keep the triceps level with your back, so you’ll bend at the elbow. Keep the shoulders as flat to the floor as possible to keep the core working hard.

Lower the weight and then repeat on the other side. Try to do at least 10 repetitions on both sides with a minute rest in between. You want to repeat this three to five times to build your back muscles.

As you get better at this, you can add a leg lift, bringing the knee up to the weight. Don’t try this from the very beginning, though, to avoid injury.

Take a Slight Lifting Twist with this Exercise

woman in a blue fitness tank top working shoulders
Rather than bending your arm upwards while you do this exercise, you can keep it straight. You’ll need to lift your arm out to the side for this, and it can build up the upper back a lot quicker. Make sure you get the right weight for this. If you’re shaking while lifting, your weight is slightly too heavy.

Keep yourself on all fours, as you were for the last exercise, and place your hands on the dumbbells. Lift one arm out to the side, keeping the arm completely straight and the wrist facing down to the floor. Only lift until it is in line with your back. Hold for a few seconds and then lower back down to the floor.

Repeat this on the other side. Do 15 reps on both sides for one set, and repeat this three to five times.

Don’t be ashamed if you need to lower your weight compared to the previous exercise. As you do this more, you will build the strength up in your upper body and back. You’ll also find that your core is much stronger the more you work on it.

Alternate Your Dumbbell Lift to Turn Into a Row

Fit couple doing dumbbell rows in crossfit gym
Why just do a deadlift, when you can add more of a physical cardio component to your workout? Instead of doing the deadlift, you’ll want to add a rowing element to your circuit training.

Start in the same position as your initial deadlift. Instead of lifting both arms up to your chest, work on one arm at a time. As that arm goes back down, raise the other arm up.

You’ll want to lift your arms back a little, so there’s almost a right angle between your back and your triceps. The elbow should be raised directly above the floor, but you’ll need to keep your wrist completely straight.

You can include a slight twist with your shoulders, but avoid twisting your back too much. This will just lead to injury of the spine.

Do 15 reps with both arms on this exercise. Rest for a minute and the repeat again. Do this three to five times. If you feel anything, pull or twist, stop doing the exercise to avoid injury.

You can do this exercise with your elbows sticking out. This is a wide row and will work different muscles in the arm. You could even make two workouts out of this one exercise!

Box with the Dumbbells

Two beautiful young women doing fitness exercise with dumbbells
This exercise has two names. It’s a little like boxing, but it’s also known as the Bow and Arrow exercise.

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. This time keep your back upright and straight. You can add a small bend to the knees for some stability while you do this workout.

Keep your two dumbbells in your hands and place your arms straight out ahead of you. Pull one arm back as if you’re pulling the string of your bow. Keep your back straight, but turn your shoulders and waist to the side. You’ll want to keep looking ahead as if you would with a bow and arrow.

Stretch your arm out again and repeat on the other side. You should feel this working in your shoulders and upper back, but there will be some tension in the lower back and core to keep yourself steady.

Repeat this 15 times in total for one set. Take a minute’s break and then repeat again. Like with the other exercises, you should do this three to five times.

Be Superman for Your Circuit Training

Superman
This is a bodyweight exercise so you won’t need any of the dumbbells, weights, and other items. You just need yourself, and this is a great home workout.

Start by being on your hands and knees in the all fours position. Keep your back as straight as possible when you lift one arm and one leg off the ground. For balance, lift the opposite arm to the leg.

Stick the leg and arm straight out behind and in front of you respectively. Hold this position for 10 seconds and then return to the all four position. Repeat with the other side.

You should do this exercise 15 times on each side and then rest for a minute. Try to repeat this at least three times.

You’ll find that there is an element of engaging your core muscles to keep your balance for this. It works the whole of your back and your abs.

Start Planking During Your Workout

Planks
Another great bodyweight exercise for your back is the plank. There are a few ways to do this, so let’s right now just start with the easiest.

Lay on your front flat on the floor. Get your elbows tucked in behind your shoulders, ready to raise up on them. Lift your body up off the floor, so only your elbows and your toes are touching it. Keep your bum down and your back completely straight. There should be a straight light from your shoulders all the way down to your toes.

You’ll need to keep the core engaged throughout all of this to avoid a wobble. Try to hold it for at least 30 seconds, although 90 seconds is much better.

If you want to do a slightly different take, you could raise up onto your hands instead of your elbows. This puts more weight for your core to handle.

You can also lift one arm up and straight out to the side. This is one of those exercises to do when you know you can hold your bodyweight without wobbling. It’s great for building the back, though.

Get Spidey With Your Pushups

Gym woman push-up strength pushup with dumbbell

Pushups are excellent exercises for building your back muscles, and you should start with these before moving onto anything else. Basic pushups are hard enough for some of us, right! If you struggle to do full pushups, build your strength by starting on your knees.

When you’re able to do full pushups, it’s time to adapt them to work on your back a lot more. This calls for the Spider Pushup, and you’ll understand why when you start doing them.

Start by doing a normal pushup. As you lower yourself towards the floor, life one of your legs up and out to the side. You should bend your knee, so it touches your elbow. When you raise out of the position, put your leg back to the original position. With the next push, up, lift the other leg to the side.

It’s almost like you’re Spiderman with this workout, and your back will really feel it.

Now It’s Time to Create Your Back-Circuit Training

Shaping your back will come from following the right types of exercises. These eight exercises are definitely ones that you want to add to your circuit training. As you build your muscles, you’ll find that the exercises get easier. You can either find adaptations or add in extra weights.

Now it’s time for you to create your circuit training to shape your back. With these eight exercises, you can have a strong 30-minute session that will be great for building muscle, shaping the body, and burning calories. Now just make sure your overall lifestyle will help with shaping and toning your back.

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