4 exercises for a beautiful back

November 23, 2014

Learn the best exercises for getting a beautiful back, both in and out of the gym.

What do Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively and Alexander Ludwig all have in common? Aside from being named to Hello! Canada's list of the 50 most beautiful Canadian stars, they all have beautiful backs. You can, too, if you do the following exercises.

4 exercises for a beautiful back


Swimming is one of the very best back exercises because it doesn't just focus on one or two back muscles, it works them all through a fairly full range of motion. Combined with the way cardio helps you slim down, you have a recipe for a beautiful, lean and muscular back.


No time to hit the river with an elite rowing crew? You can get the same back-building workout on a rowing machine in the gym, or even at home. Technique really matters here, so keep in mind that rowing actually uses your full body, not just your back alone. Keep the resistance relatively low and start each stroke with your legs, then follow up with a slight backward lean and quick hands to bring the imaginary oar handle against your sternum.

Pump some iron

A couple of dumbbells are all you really need to create a strong, beautiful back. Focus on pulling exercises such as bent-over rows, pullovers and upright rows. Done together, these will build sleek, supple muscles throughout your entire back. If you're not comfortable with free weights, you can do the same exercises on weight machines in the gym.

Swing kettlebells

Swinging kettlebells builds the sort of long, lean muscle everybody wants to have; in fact they'll give you a beautiful backside and back thighs, too. But anytime you start flinging around a cannonball-shaped weight, there's potential for damage, so make sure you're using the proper technique.

Get creative

Even if you don't have gym equipment hanging around, you can still get fit with a little creativity. Install a pull-up bar in your doorway, fill milk jugs with sand to create improvised weight or play tug-of-war with friends.

There's just one catch: As you build muscle, the exercises will feel easier. When that happens, it's time to step up the intensity, duration or amount of weight you're using. Each new challenge will push you towards that beautiful back you've always wanted.

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