10 Best Back and Shoulder Workouts in 2023

Best Back and Shoulder Workouts

Regardless of whether you’re aware, we use our back and shoulder muscles quite frequently. In fact, we use our back and shoulder muscles in most activities. Even when you reach for a mug in the cupboard, you’re already using your back and shoulder muscles to help get the job done. 

We use our back and shoulder muscles in actions like us carrying things, twisting, lifting, or bending. That’s why, to stay in tip-top form, it’s essential that you make use of back and shoulder workouts for life in general. 

The Importance of Back and Shoulder Workouts

While most people associate workouts with fitness enthusiasts, they’re not always for bulking up or losing weight. With back and shoulder workouts, there are a lot of ways you can benefit in your day-to-day life, for example:

They Prevent Injuries

One way you can prevent injuries is by strengthening your shoulder muscles. Shoulder exercises and workouts help stabilize the joints and hold them in place. 

Equipment like dumbbells can also help while working out shoulders. This is because you usually use your shoulders to carry around things in your everyday life. The workout equipment must be functional to what you use the muscle most for. 

With the right workout and equipment, you could strengthen your shoulders and prevent your shoulders from becoming dislodged. 

Improve Spinal Stability

Every movement you make relies on the core muscles of your body. Your lower back muscles are part of the core. 

If you have spinal stability, you can prevent back pains. This is because exercise and workouts can increase blood flow which reduces the stiffness which causes your back pain. 

If you have back pains, you might want to consider strengthening your lower back muscles. After all, the core supports your body, and actions such as twisting your body rely on the back muscles. 

Help Improve Your Posture

If you have poor posture and want to correct it, back and shoulder workouts may be the answer to your problem. 

This is because when your back and shoulders are strong, it would be much easier for you to hold the proper posture. The back muscles support our muscles to make it in an upright position and you need strong muscles in order to do that. 

5 Back Workouts That You Can Do

1. Pull Ups

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Pull-ups are one of the classic back workouts. If it is your first time doing pull-ups on a bar, you should have a spotter. This is because this workout requires a lot of back strength so be assisted to avoid any injuries. 

How to Do Pull-Ups:

  1. Grab a pull-up bar with your grip overhand. 
  2. Put your hands on the bar and make sure they are wider than the width of your shoulders.
  3. Lift your feet off the floor.
  4. Start the workout by pulling up your body to the bar by bending your arms 
  5. You can lower back down when your chin touches the bar.
  6. Complete a set of 1-3, with a repetition of 8-12.

2. Forearm Plank

Planks are actually a full-body workout that focuses on more than core muscles. Planks train your deep back muscles in order when holding the position allowing you to strengthen your back muscles. 

How to Perform Planks

  1. Get into a plank position with your elbows on the floor and your legs extended. 
  2. Make sure that your elbows, forearms, and legs support you
  3. Your body should be in a straight line starting from the head all the way to the toes. 
  4. Hold the position for at least 30 seconds or even 1 minute if you can.

3.  Seated Rows

Seated rows keep your muscles tense during the process allowing you to build a stronger back. 

How to Do Seated Rows

  1. Adjust the seat to match your chest.
  2. Sit in an upright position and make sure your feet are flat on the floor.
  3. Grab the handles firmly.
  4. Pull the handles towards your chest while maintaining a neutral spine and your chest up. 
  5. Keep your elbows close to your body 
  6. Return to your starting position at a slow, steady pace.
  7. Repeat with 1-3 sets, 8 – 12 reps each. 

4. Superman 

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If you want to start working out at home and you have no equipment available, superman is a great way to start since it doesn’t require any equipment. 

It may look easy because you are lying down but it is challenging and can strengthen your lower back. 

How to Perform Superman

  1. Lie facing the floor.
  2. Keep arms overhead and extended.
  3. Slowly lift your arms and feet off the floor reaching the highest you can.
  4. Pause for 1 second when you reach your highest point.
  5. Return to your starting position slowly and repeat the previous steps.

5. Reverse Fly


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Reverse fly helps strengthen postural muscles that are important in our everyday lives. You can start this workout with a light dumbbell. If you have back pain, have safety precautions before doing this exercise. 

You can gradually switch to heavier dumbbells as you progress with your workout. 

How to Do Reverse Fly

  1. Hold a dumbbell at each hand 
  2. Slightly bend your elbows 
  3. Lift your arms up and then out engaging your core
  4. Return to your starting position while slowly lowering your arms with the dumbbells

What Are Shoulder Workouts That I Can Do?

Now that we have discussed some workouts for your back, let us now move on to workouts for your shoulders.  The exercises for your shoulder can also help with your bicep short head. Short-head biceps are located in your inner arm. 

Short head bicep exercises can strengthen your shoulders and help in further bending your elbows allowing you to become less fatigued when doing lifting in your everyday life. 

5 Shoulder and Short-Head Bicep Exercises

1. Hammer Curl

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Aside from strengthening shoulders, hammer curls can also improve your grips and at the same time, improve the stability of your wrists. 

How to Perform Hammer Curls

  1. Stand up straight.
  2. Hold dumbbells with each hand.
  3. Rest arms with dumbbells on the side of the thighs.
  4. Curl both arms towards the shoulders.
  5. Slowly lower both arms and repeat the process.

2. Barbell Overhead Press 

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Barbell overhead press can increase the size and strength of your shoulders. Aside from that, these overhead presses can also strengthen your core muscles. 

How to Perform Barbell Overhead Presses:

  1. Set the barbell at the same height as your chest.
  2. Grip the barbell with a shoulder-width gap and palms facing away from you.
  3. Plant your feet for balance.
  4. Take a deep breath.
  5. Slowly push the bar from your chest towards the ceiling or on top of your head.
  6. Once you have reached the point, lock your elbows and slowly return to your starting position.

3. Seated Dumbell Overhead Press

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Standing overhead press is a core workout that can increase the strength of your shoulders. The seated dumbbell overhead press has the same purpose but it focuses on the shoulder as the core activation goes away when you are seated. 

How to Do Seated Dumbbell Overhead Presses

  1. Sit on an upright bench.
  2. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and rest your arms on your thighs.
  3. Raise the dumbbells to your shoulder level first.
  4. Raise the dumbbells even higher, above your head. 
  5. Lower the dumbbells to the position where you started 

4. Inclined Dumbbell Curl 

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You will need a dumbbell and a workout bench for this type of shoulder workout. We’ve said this before but we’ll remind you again to choose weights that fit your level. 

You can go up or down the weights as you proceed with your workout. You may also want to adjust your workout bench to a 45 or 60-degree angle, whatever you need. 

To perform incline dumbbell curl:

  1. Sit against your bench with your back straightened. 
  2. Lift each with the dumbbell. Go slowly if it’s your first time. 
  3. Remember to keep your arms tight to isolate your biceps 
  4. Slowly lower each arm. This is important so you do not strain your muscles. 
  5. Repeat the process.

5. Supinated Grip Cable Curls 

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Supinated grip cable curls work out your short-head biceps. This exercise can help improve your lifting and pulling motions. The primary tool for this is a cable that you usually can see at your local gyms. 

How to Perform Supinated Grip Cable Curls

  1. Stand up straight in front of the cable column.
  2. Keep elbows tucked as you thrust forwards.
  3. Bend your hips.
  4. Lift yourself back up bringing the handles of the cables close to your chest.
  5. Repeat the steps.

The Bottom Line

Health should always be our priority. When we do our everyday tasks, we use our back and shoulder muscles mostly. 

This is why you should work on strengthening these muscle groups. If you are a first timer, there are a lot of people that could help you. 

Working out does not only increase the size of your muscles, but it could also make you feel confident about yourself. You can work out whenever you want to start but always remember to take precautions and have warm-ups to avoid any injuries. 

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