Quick Home Workout – Series 2 – Back

For the second installment in the Quick Home Workout series I will cover a back workout that should take 10 to 15 minutes to complete. This is a high intensity weight training workout that will allow you to hit the 3 mechanisms for creating muscle hypertrophy that I covered in my Weight Training Tips for Beginners post that you can read here if you haven’t already.

In the first Quick Home Workout post I covered a chest workout that follows the same guidelines that this workout will, you can read that by clicking on this link. Quick Home Workout – Series 1 – Chest

The Exercises

Dumbbell Row

The Dumbbell Lateral Row is a great exercise to develop the laterals. I prefer doing this exercise with both feet on the ground vs having one knee on the bench since it puts less strain on the hip and far less chance of getting a hernia.

  • With feet shoulder width apart and one hand on a bench; or chair, extend your other hand with a dumbbell out in front of your chest and a little toward the bench
  • As you squeeze your lateral muscle on the side with the dumbbell pull your elbow up until it is as far behind your body as you can get it
  • Keep your elbow tight to your body and squeeze your lateral before slowly lowering the weight back to the starting position. If you are having trouble targeting the lateral or you find you are getting lots of strain in your forearm and bicep, think of the exercise as pulling your elbow back and not the weight.

Dumbbell Pullover

The Dumbbell Lateral Pullover has been called the squat for the upper body, it is a great exercise that will work your laterals and build overall upper body strength.

  • To target the laterals more than the pectorals lay perpendicular to a bench and hold a dumbbell with your hands cupped and palms facing up.
  • As you lower the dumbbell overhead as far back as you can reach, simultaneously lower your hips a bit to maximize the stretch in your laterals.
  • Next Squeeze your laterals as you pull the dumbbell back up over your body.


Pullups are a great lat exercise but they are one of the exercises most of us struggle with, if you aren’t able to do 8 good reps in a row you can substitute band assisted pullups. Also, check out my post on how to improve your pullups here.

  • Grab the pullup bar with your palms down (shoulder-width grip)
  • Hang from the pullup bar with straight arms and your legs straight (not tucked under your body)
  • Keep your core and legs tight throughout the movement
  • First pull your shoulders down with your scapula
  • Pull yourself up by pulling your elbows down to the floor
  • Go all the way up until your chin passes the bar, squeeze your lats at the top
  • Lower yourself until your arms are straight

Face Pulls

Face pulls work your upper back and are not only great for developing those muscles but they also help to fix bad posture.

  • Attach a resistance band it to an anchor point at chin height
  • Face the anchor, holding the band with your arms straight
  • Pull your hands toward you to either side of your face with your thumbs pointing behind you
  • Slowly and under control return to the starting position

Just remember to let your hand lead your elbow so you don’t cause shoulder pain, this means squeeze your back, pull your hands to your face and don’t pull your elbows back until your hands have passed them.

The Workout

Dumbbell row superset with Dumbbell Pullover

Choose a weight for the dumbbell row that will cause you to fail in the 10-12 rep range. Do a set of dumbbell rows for both sides and then move directly in to the dumbbell pullover with a weight that you will reach failure in 15 reps. Do 3 sets of this superset before moving on to the second half of the workout.

Pullups superset with Face Pulls

First do pullups to failure, try to get at least 8 reps, if you are not able to complete 8 reps without sacrificing form do as many as you can and then do the rest of your reps with the assistance of a resistance band. Then go straight in to face pulls, trying to complete 15 good reps before failure. Complete 3 sets of this superset to finish of your quick home workout.

I will be doing more workouts in the quick home workout series so you can do one per day or if time allows you can do a couple of them back-to-back.

What muscle group would you like to see covered in this series? Let me know in the comments below.

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