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Daniel Mesa

Calisthenics Back Workout For A Wide Back

calisthenics back workout

The back is made up of a series of powerful muscles that can transform your physique if trained properly. On top of that, a strong back will provide a strong base for you to get stronger on other calisthenic movements as well.

In this guide, we will go over a full calisthenics back workout that you can do for years to come to build a stronger, bigger back. We will also break down some other calisthenic back exercises that you can rotate into your routine to target different muscles and keep things fresh.

Calisthenics Back Workout

This entire workout should not take more than an hour. Some of these movements may require equipment. If you do not have the needed equipment, do not worry, will provide some alternative movements you can do as well!


Pull-ups will be the bread and butter of any calisthenics-based back workout. Feel free to use any grip that you want, your back will get a great workout regardless. Once you get more advanced, feel free to make the movement more challenging by adding weight or incorporating muscle-ups.

5 x 8-12 reps

How To Do Pulls Ups

  1. Find a pull-up bar that is sturdy enough to support your body weight.

  2. Grab the pull-up bar with an overhand grip, shoulder-width apart, and your palms facing away from you.

  3. Hang from the bar, keeping your arms fully extended and your core tight.

  4. Pull yourself up towards the bar until your chin is above the bar, keeping your elbows close to your body.

  5. Lower yourself back down to the starting position, fully extending your arms.

  6. Repeat for the desired number of reps and sets. For beginners, aim for 2-3 sets of 5-10 reps.


  • If you’re new to pull-ups, start with assisted pull-ups using a resistance band or machine.

  • Focus on keeping your core tight and pulling with your back muscles, rather than relying on momentum or swinging.

Inverted Rows:

Rows will help your back get that thick look from the side. Not to mention, a stronger row will help provide a solid base from some of your other lifts.

5 x 8-12 reps

How To Do Inverted Rows

  1. Find a sturdy, waist-high surface, such as a table or bar, that you can use for inverted rows.

  2. Lie underneath the surface with your feet on the ground and grasp the surface with an overhand grip, shoulder-width apart.

  3. Keep your body straight and pull yourself towards the surface until your chest touches it, squeezing your shoulder blades together.

  4. Lower yourself back down to the starting position, fully extending your arms.

  5. Repeat for the desired number of reps and sets. For beginners, aim for 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps.


  • Keep your body straight and avoid sagging or arching your back.

  • Use a controlled tempo, focusing on squeezing your back muscles at the top of the movement.

Bodyweight Rear Delt Flyes:

The rear delts are often one of the more neglected muscles when it comes to training. However, considering the large role the rear delts play in overall shoulder health, you should be doing isolation work. Bodyweight rear delt flyes are very challenging but will need to better health and gains down the line.

5 x 15-20 reps

How To Do Bodyweight Rear Delt Flyes:

  1. Lay down in a cross position

  2. Keeping your arms straight, pull your shoulder blades together and squeeze your back muscles as you lift your arms out to the sides.

  3. Pause for a second at the top of the movement before lowering your arms back down to the starting position.

  4. Repeat for the desired number of reps and sets. For beginners, aim for 2-3 sets of 10-12 reps.


  • Focus on squeezing your back muscles and keeping your arms straight throughout the movement.

  • Use a controlled tempo and avoid swinging or jerking your body.


It can be hard to load the lower back using calisthenics, but Superman’s are one of the safest ways to do it. To get the most out of this exercise, you want to really focus on your posterior chain.

3 x 12-15 reps

How To Do Superman’s

  1. Lie on your stomach with your arms extended in front of you and your legs straight.

  2. Lift your arms, legs, and chest off the ground at the same time, squeezing your back muscles.

  3. Hold this position for 1-2 seconds before lowering back down to the starting position.

  4. Repeat for the desired number of reps and sets. For beginners, aim for 2-3 sets of 10-12 reps.


  • Focus on squeezing your back muscles and keeping your core engaged throughout the movement.

  • Avoid lifting your limbs too high, which can put unnecessary strain on your lower back.

The Full Calistehnic Back Workout

Putting it all together, here is the full routine. As you can see, all parts of your back and all movement patterns are being trained properly. If you are going to swap a movement, be sure to swap in a movement that follows a similar movement pattern. For beginners, doing this routine once per week should be more than enough. If you are more advanced, feel free to do this routine twice a week.

  • Pull-ups: 5 sets of 8-12 reps

  • Inverted Rows: 5 sets of 8-12 reps

  • Bodyweight Rear Delt Flyes: 5 sets of 15-20 reps

  • Supermans: 3 sets of 12-15 reps

What Equipment Do I Need For A Calisthenics Back Workout?

equipment need for back calisthenics

Of course, there is plenty of exercises that you can that require no equipment or basic household items that can support your body weight. While this may work, it should be noted that using equipment that was designed for calisthenics will always lead to a better and safer experience.

For that reason, if you are serious about taking on the challenge of calisthenics, you should consider getting a few of the pieces of the best calisthenics equpiment:

  • Pull up bar

  • Dip bars

  • Resistance bands

Benefits Of Back Calisthenics

Here are the reasons why you should incorporate the calisthenics back workout into your fitness routine:

Improved Aesthetics

In terms of an overall look, the back is arguably the muscle group that has the most drastic impact on your overall appearance. With a wide back, you get that desirable V-taper that so many people are after. Furthermore, a dense, thick back will help you fill out clothing and appear thicker from the side as well.

Increased Strength

Movements such as the pull-up and innervated row require serious levels of upper-body strength. The stronger you get on these types of exercises, the more you will notice the strength gains in your back, biceps, and shoulders alike.

Reduce Injury Risk

As the saying does, a stronger back is a healthier back. If your back is used to supporting your body weight, the chances of an injury from the everyday movement are drastically reduced. Not to mention, many calisthenic back movements require the development of your back mobility.

What Muscles Are Worked In A Calisthenic Back Workout?

Your back is made up of a series of muscles that work together usually in a pulling movement pattern. An effective bodyweight back workout like the one we have outlined will target the following muscles groups:

back calisthenics anatomy

Latissimus dorsi (Lats)

This is the largest muscle in the back and is responsible for the adduction, extension, and rotation of the arm at the shoulder joint. It runs from the upper arm bone to the spine and helps with overall upper body strength and stability.


These are two small muscles located between the shoulder blades that are responsible for scapular retraction (bringing the shoulder blades together) and rotation of the scapula.

Trapezius (Traps)

This is a large, diamond-shaped muscle that covers the upper back and neck. It is responsible for shrugging the shoulders, extending the head and neck, and rotating the scapula.

Erector Spinae (Lower back)

These are a group of muscles that run along the spine and are responsible for the extension and rotation of the spine. They help with overall back strength and posture.

Rear Delts

These are the posterior shoulder muscles that are responsible for shoulder extension, horizontal abduction, and external rotation. They help with overall shoulder stability and are often neglected in back workouts.

Final Thoughts

Developing a strong back is one of the best ways to drastically improve your health and appearance. While there are many exercise options out there, a basic workout that targets all portions of your back is more than enough to develop your back.

As long as you focus on getting stronger week after week. you will notice the changes in your physique.


Can you build back with calisthenics?

Yes, you can build a great back with just calisthenics. Movements such as the pull-up and an inverted row can be very challenging and lead to dramatic gains across your back. You can also use things such as resistance bands and rings to make your calisthenic back workouts even more challenging.

How do I get a bigger back with calisthenics?

To get a bigger back with calisthenics, focus on the compound movements like the pull-up and inverted row. As long as you are using proper form and getting stronger consistently, you should notice significant gains over time.

How do calisthenics train lower back?

For most calisthenic back movements, the lower back will mostly be used for stabilization. However, you can use movements like back extensions and superman to isolate the lower back to ensure it is not a weak point.