11 Best Back and Bicep Workout for Strong, Sculpted Muscles

A guy doing pull ups for strengthening back and biceps
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This is a detailed back and bicep workout plan tailored to help you build the muscles of your back and biceps, sculpt your figure, and fix your posture.

Getting the right muscle tone in your biceps and back is no easy feat. The primary issue is the number of muscles involved in drills that tune the biceps and back. Since isolating either region or muscle group will prove difficult, synergizing your routine to incorporate both should suffice.

A back and bicep workout will help you attain that sculpted physique you desire. So, let’s see some exercises you could try!

Anatomy of the back and biceps

The back and biceps are two of the most complex and vital muscles in the entire body. These muscles are essential for optimal health and fitness of the body since they heavily impact the balance and strength of your upper body. Below is a list of the major muscle groups that make up the back and biceps, along with a description of their function.

Back region

The back muscles are made up of four important muscles. They include the following:

Rhomboids: Rhomboids [1]National Library of Medicine: Anatomy, Back, Rhomboid Muscles are the upper back muscles. They function mainly in retraction, elevation, and the rotation of the shoulder blades.

Teres major: The teres major is a small muscle situated below the shoulder. These small muscles assist with the downwards and backward motion of your arms. 

Latissimus dorsi: These are the large chunks of muscle on the sides of your back that extend down and allow pulling and pushing motions of the arm. 

Middle and lower trapezius: The middle and lower trapezius are responsible for the depression and retraction of the shoulder blades.

Biceps Region

The bicep region is made up of two muscle groups. They are: 

Brachialis: This is the muscle that lies between the biceps and triceps on the outer side of the arm. It is the muscle that executes elbow flexion. 

Biceps brachii: Biceps Brachii [2]National Library of Medicine: Anatomy, Shoulder and Upper Limb, Biceps Muscle is the primary biceps muscle. It flexes the elbow and performs outward twisting motions for the wrists(supinates).

Is it good to work out the back and bicep together?

When performing exercises, you will find that most movements are not done by a specific muscle unilaterally. Instead, most exercises involve the flexing of several muscle groups. This implies that as you work on your back, you also unconsciously build your biceps. 

Hence it makes more sense to alternate between routines targeted at these closely related regions. You can apply this same analogy to the chest and triceps muscles. 

This is why it is essential to understand the effects of the different workout regimes you employ. It is also crucial to understand your body symmetry before choosing to build your back and biceps.

5 Back workouts to do at home

Doing back and biceps workout at home without equipment might seem impractical, but it can be pretty effective. Some of the easy-to-do workout routines for the back include:

1. Back extension 

Target Muscles: Erector spinae muscles and hamstring

To execute

  • Start by lying on your stomach with your feet together and your arms extended overhead.
  • Use your back muscles to raise your torso and legs off the ground.
  • Bring them back down in repeated motions. 
  • Repeat this process for 10-15 reps.

Tip: Back extensions are perfect for easing you into the back exercises routine sequence. It targets the entire back region of your body. 

2. Pull-ups

Target Muscles: Rhomboids, pectoralis major, erector spinae, and obliques. 

To execute:

  • You will need a pull-up bar or properly reinforced horizontal pole placed above you.
  • Place your hands on the bar with an overhand grip keeping both hands a little wider than shoulder-width apart. 
  • Pull yourself up with your arms until your chin goes above the bar. 
  • Slowly lower yourself back to the starting position.
  • Repeat this motion for 10 – 15 reps and increase as you get stronger. 

Tip: For beginners, pull-ups can be pretty challenging, but with perseverance and dedication, you reap massive rewards. It works on most of the major muscles of the back. 

3. Woodchop

Target Muscle: Muscles in the upper region of the back

To execute:

  • Hold the dumbbell straight above your head with both hands. 
  • Bring the dumbbell down by rotating your hips to the left, keeping your arms straight.
  • Return the dumbbell up to the starting position and repeat on the other side.
  • Do 10 – 15 reps on each side. 

Tip: The woodchop builds the muscles of the back, arms, and core. A 10 pounds dumbbell will come in handy here. 

4. Superman

Target Muscles: The erector spinae, the gluteus, and the hamstrings

To execute:

  • Start by lying face down with your hands extended forward in the horizontal direction beyond your head. 
  • Elevate your legs a bit so that they are above the ground. 
  • Hold this position for approximately 5-10 seconds before returning to the starting position.
  • Repeat 3-5 times and increase as you gain mastery. 

Tip: The superman exercise is another good exercise to get you started. It doesn’t require any equipment, and it strengthens your lower back. 

5. Pull-apart resistance band

Target Muscles: Trapezoid and rhomboids

To execute:

  • Stand upright with your arms extending forwards and holding a resistance band taut in between your hands. 
  • Pull your arms back while maintaining the tension in the band and return to your original position. 
  • Repeat this motion for 15 – 20 reps for 3 sets. 

Tip: Lastly, we have the pull-apart resistance band routine. Again, it is a simple yet effective workout routine. 

6 Bicep workouts to do at home

Biceps workouts tone the two muscles that make up the bicep and give you enviable gains. As with the back, there are some excellent bicep workouts that are simple and give you those perfect biceps. Here are some of the best bicep exercises:

1. Reverse hand push-up 

Target Muscles: Triceps, pectoral muscles, and shoulders

To execute:

  • Start with a standard push-up position with your palms facing backward toward your toes. 
  • Now, engage your core and lower yourself slowly. 
  • Don’t go too far downward beyond what your arms can carry. 
  • Hold the position for about 2 seconds, remain in this position, and lift yourself back up. 
  • Do 5 reps and increase when you gain more endurance. 

Tip: The reverse hand push-up is an excellent exercise for your biceps since it puts tremendous pressure on your muscles in your upper arms.

2. Diamond push-ups

Target Muscles: The pecs, deltoids, and core

To execute:

  • Start in the conventional push-up position. 
  • Slowly bring your hands together so that your thumbs and point fingers come together, forming the shape of a diamond. 
  • Lower yourself, hold for 2 seconds, and return up. 
  • Repeat this motion and do 5 – 7 reps. 

Tip: The diamond push-up style is a variation of the regular push-up routine that focuses on your biceps. Its name is derived from the shape the fingers make when the hands are brought together. 

3. Chin-ups

Target Muscles: Biceps brachii, brachialis, latissimus dorsi, and teres major

To execute:

  • Grab your pull-up bar with your palms facing backward in the opposite direction to your face. 
  • Pull yourself up till your chin goes above the bar. 
  • Repeat this motion doing 8 – 10 reps. 

Tip: Chin-ups are effective pulling exercises for building your biceps and your forearms. It is similar to the pull-up, with the only difference being that your palms face backward and hold the bar with an underhand grip. 

4. Side plank

Target Muscles: Oblique muscles and core

To execute:

  • Start in the conventional plank position
  • Turn your body to one side, and lift your free hand till it’s pointed upward. 
  • Hold your position for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat the process on the other side. 
  • Increase the duration as you gain endurance. 

Tip: The side plank is a variation of the plank exercise that puts your biceps to the test. 

5. Bicep curls

Target Muscles: Anterior deltoid, biceps brachii, brachialis muscle, and the flexors/extensors of the forearm

To execute:

  • Stand upright with your shoulders relaxed and feet hip-width apart.
  • Hold your dumbbells with both palms facing forward.
  • Pull your dumbbells to your chest and release them back down in a reverse motion.
  • Do 10 reps and increase the weight of your dumbbell when you get stronger. 

Note: You can try variations of dumbbell curls like the dumbbell rows, preacher curls, reverse curls, hammer curls, and so on for more gains.

Tip: This list would be incomplete without bicep curls. They significantly impact the biceps, pumping them faster than you would in most routines. Dumbbells come in handy here. 

6. Plank up-downs

Target Muscles: Quads, triceps, and core.

To execute:

  • Start in a push-up position.
  • Bend your right and left elbows one by one to switch to an elbow plank position.
  • Straighten your right arm followed by your left arm and return back to the push-up position.
  • Repeat this motion, doing 10 – 15 reps.

Tip: The plank up-downs are an easy workout routine with many rewards. It not only works on your biceps but also helps shred your abs. 

Sample 1 week back and bicep workout plan

Days/Workout Routine Pull Apart Resistance BandCurlsSide PlankSupermanWood ChopPull UpPlank up downChin upReverse Hand Push upBack Extension Diamond Push Ups
Monday30 reps20 reps30 seconds10 seconds15 reps15 reps10 reps10 reps10 reps5 reps 15 reps
Tuesday 35 reps20 reps40 Seconds15 seconds15 reps10 reps 15 reps8 reps10 reps 5 reps20 reps
Wednesday 35 reps15 reps30 Seconds15 seconds20 reps10 reps10 reps10 reps10 reps10 reps 20 reps
Thursday 40 reps20 reps45 seconds15 seconds20 reps15 reps15 reps12 reps 10 reps5 reps15 reps
Friday 30 reps15 reps45 Seconds 15  seconds20 reps20 reps15 reps10 reps10 reps5 reps 15 reps
Saturday Rest Days
Sunday 

Benefits of strong back and bicep muscles

Strong back and bicep muscles can provide many benefits in your daily life. These muscles are responsible for all movements that help you lift or pull something. Additionally, strong back and biceps muscles can help improve your posture. 

The following are some of the benefits of having strong back and bicep muscles:

Better posture: Good posture is important for overall health and can help to prevent pain in the back and neck. The strength of your back and bicep muscles is primary for good posture. Back and bicep muscles work together to stabilize the spine and enable normal movement patterns.

Improved endurance: Strong back and bicep muscles can improve your endurance levels when performing any type of physical activity. Back and bicep muscles help you complete everyday tasks requiring strength and endurance, such as carrying groceries or lifting heavy suitcases.

Reduced risk of injuries: Back and bicep muscles help to stabilize the shoulder joint. This can help to reduce the risk of injuries to the shoulder, such as a dislocation or rotator cuff tear.

Improved overall strength: Weak back and bicep muscles can result in imbalances in posture and movement. This can lead to injuries and pain. By investing time and effort in building your back and biceps strength, you are investing in your overall health and well-being.

Tips to avoid strain and injury

Performing back and bicep workouts always carries a risk of strain or injury. Since every back and biceps exercise works out several essential muscle groups, understanding the right form and movement while performing your back and biceps exercises is crucial. To avoid strain and injury, here are a few pointers to consider:

Pace yourself: Do not rush through your back and biceps exercises. Every exercise requires you to take it slow and perform with a good mind-muscle connection. Therefore, you should perform each rep slowly and with control. This will help you to avoid using momentum, which can lead to injury.

Use proper form: Use good form and technique when performing your back and bicep exercises. Do not sacrifice form for speed or reps. This will only lead to bad habits and put you at a greater risk for injury.

Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water and other healthy fluids before, during, and after your workout. Constant hydration [3]Australian Fitness Academy: THE IMPORTANCE OF HYDRATION DURING EXERCISE will ensure that your muscles and joints are well lubricated and supple. It will also keep your core temperature regulated while you work out.

Avoid using faulty equipment: If you are performing more challenging, weight-based back and biceps exercises like barbell curl, dumbbell curl, bent over barbell row, seated cable row, and so on, ensure that your equipment is in good condition. Do not use equipment that is damaged or broken. This can lead to serious injury.

Understand your limits: All the exercises mentioned above target multiple muscle groups in your upper body. Therefore, it is important to understand your limits and start with exercises that you are more comfortable with. 

Conclusion 

Undoubtedly, the correct application of this back and bicep workout plan will help you attain a more muscular back and firmer biceps. Feel free to customize the routines to your desired pace. Keep in mind the key to lasting change and muscle growth is consistency.

References

References
1 National Library of Medicine: Anatomy, Back, Rhomboid Muscles
2 National Library of Medicine: Anatomy, Shoulder and Upper Limb, Biceps Muscle
3 Australian Fitness Academy: THE IMPORTANCE OF HYDRATION DURING EXERCISE

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