The Back Muscles

The Back Muscles

The back muscles are the muscles on the back of your upper body and do the opposite of the pectorals and the abdominals. When you train your chest muscles, you press something away, and when you train your back muscles, pull something towards your chest => Barbell Row, Chin-Up etc. When you lie down on your back and do a crunch, you train your abdominals. To work your lower back muscles, lie down on your stomach and lift your chest from the floor or do barbell deadlifts. Find the best back exercises in the exercise- section of this article. For more exercises and information about other muscle groups, check out weight training main.


  • Latissimus Dorsi (Lats)
    The latissimus dorsi is the broadest back muscle and its upper part is covered by the trapezoid. Its function is to pull the arms down or back. For example when you do a pull-up or a barbell row.
  • Trapezius (Traps)
    The trapezius muscle is named after its shape and its function is to lift the shoulders. Typical exercise: Dumbbell Shrugs
  • Infraspinatus
    The infraspinatus connects the shoulder blade with the upper arm bone and its main function is to rotate the arm outwards. Your latissimus, your shoulder muscles and trapezoids cover most of the infraspinatus.
  • Rhomboideus Minor & Major
    The rhomboids have its name from its rhombus shape. They connect the shoulder blade with the spine and are mostly covered by the trapezoid. The rhomboideus minor is the upper and smaller muscle and the rhomboideus major is the larger, lower muscle.
  • Teres Minor & Major
    The teres muscles lead from the bottom of the shoulder balde to the upper arm and are in large part covered by the deltoids (deltoids = shoulder muscles). The teres minor is the upper muscle and goes directly to the shoulder joint, while the teres major goes to the upper part of the upper arm.


  • For overall strength and volume I recommend free weight exercises like the Barbell Row and the Barbell Deadlift.
  • Always warm-up before you start training with weights.
  • Use a weightlifting belt to protect your lower back.
  • Stretch your shoulders and your back muscles between sets and exercises. Find back stretches at stretching main.