It’s 2023, and you’re living your best life; you have a strong, healthy mid back that sets the tone for a full and active lifestyle. You feel fit and energized! Did I describe your dream body? If so, then you’ve come to the right place.
Did you know that approximately 80% of Americans experience back pain at some point? It’s true – but with the right exercises, you can strengthen your mid back and prevent discomfort.
Let’s start with the basics; when we say “mid-back” exercises, we refer to exercises that strengthen the muscles in the middle of your spine. The mid-back is the area between your shoulder blades and upper rib cage. It’s essential to keep this area strong, as it helps support posture, form, and motion.
When these muscles get weak, it can lead to upper and lower back issues. A strong mid-back means more than just avoiding back pain. It also allows you to be active and agile, run and jump without feeling restricted or uncomfortable. Strengthening your mid back will help support activities like golfing, swimming, hiking, running, and yoga.
Plus, it’s good for overall health, as a strong mid-back helps support the entire back and spine. This includes our neck, lower back, shoulders, chest, and arms.
The exercises we’re about to cover will help keep your trapezius and rhomboids strong and healthy. So now that we know why it’s crucial to strengthen your mid back, let’s talk exercises!
Exercises to Strengthen the Mid Back
When exercising, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Always warm up your muscles before starting exercises. You can do this by doing a few laps around the block or light stretching for about five minutes to get the blood flowing.
- Start with exercises that are beginner friendly. Doing exercises that are too advanced could cause strain or injury to the muscles in your mid back.
- Take regular breaks between exercises, giving your body time to rest and recover.
- If any exercises cause you pain or discomfort, stop immediately.
- You should hold each posture for a minimum of 30 seconds and do each exercise 10 times.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or a pro. These exercises are great for all levels!
1. Seated Rows
This exercise helps develop strength and stability in the mid-back muscles. To do a seated row:
- Sit down on the floor with your legs bent and feet flat.
- Hold onto a resistance band with both hands and pull it back toward your chest, squeezing your shoulder blades together.
- Keep good posture throughout the exercise.
2 Dumbbell Pullovers
Dumbbell pullovers are a great way to work the mid back and core. To do a dumbbell pullover:
- Sit on the floor with your legs bent and feet flat, and hold onto a lightweight dumbbell.
- Raise the dumbbell up over your head and then lower it behind your back, keeping your arms straight.
- Bring the dumbbell back up to the starting position and repeat.
3. Bent Over Rows
The bent-over row is a classic exercise for strengthening the mid back. To do a bent over row:
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart and bend at the waist until your back is parallel to the floor.
- Hold onto a pair of dumbbells and pull them up toward your chest, squeezing your shoulder blades together.
- Lower the dumbbells back down and repeat.
This exercise helps to build strength and stability in the mid back, as well as your core. To do a superman:
- Lie on your stomach with both arms extended out straight.
- Lift up the opposite arm and leg simultaneously, keeping them in line with your torso.
- Hold this position for a few seconds before switching sides.
5. Reverse Fly
This exercise targets the mid-back muscles and helps to improve posture. To do a reverse fly:
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart and bend at the waist.
- Hold onto a pair of dumbbells and keep your arms straight.
- Raise the dumbbells out to the sides, squeezing your shoulder blades together.
- Lower the dumbbells back down and repeat.
6. Cat-Cow Stretch
This stretch helps to loosen tight mid-back muscles. To do the cat-cow stretch:
- Begin on all fours with your knees directly below your hips and your hands directly beneath your shoulders.
- Arch your back up like a cat, squeezing your shoulder blades together.
- Then round your back downwards, pushing your chest towards the floor.
- Repeat this stretch a few times.
7. Wall Slides
Wall slides are great for strengthening the mid-back muscles while improving posture. To do a wall slide:
- Stand with your back against the wall and raise your arms up above your head.
- Slide your arms down slowly, keeping them in contact with the wall.
- Once your arms reach shoulder height, slide them back up and repeat.
8. Chest Opener
This exercise helps open the chest and stretch the mid-back muscles. To do a chest opener:
- Clasp your hands together behind your back and lift them up towards the ceiling.
- Hold this position for about 30 seconds and then release.
- Repeat this exercise a few times to really open up the chest.
9. Prone Swimmers
This exercise helps to strengthen both the mid back and core. To do a prone swimmer:
- Lie face down on the floor with your arms and legs extended.
- Raise one arm and the opposite leg simultaneously, keeping them in line with your torso.
- Hold this position for a few seconds, and then switch sides.
10. Band Pull Aparts
This exercise helps to strengthen the mid back and improve posture. To do a band pull apart:
- Hold onto a resistance band with both hands and extend your arms straight out in front of you.
- Pull the band apart, squeezing your shoulder blades together.
- Hold this position for a few seconds and then slowly release. Repeat the exercise a few times.
We recommend doing these exercises a minimum of 2-3 times per week for at least 30 minutes each session. With consistency and dedication, you should start seeing results within the first month or two. Don’t be disheartened if you don’t see any progress right away. Your mid-back muscles will become stronger with practice, patience, and perseverance.
When Will You Begin Seeing Progress?
There is no overnight transformation to a strong mid-back, so don’t expect immediate results. Do the exercises mentioned above regularly and with proper form if you want to see any real progress.
Remember, exercises to strengthen the mid-back should always be done with proper form and technique. If you find yourself feeling any pain, stop immediately and consult with a professional. With consistency and commitment, you can see real progress with exercises to strengthen your mid-back in about 4-6 weeks!
Good luck and happy exercising!