Top 8 Upper Body Exercises for Building a Bigger Back

With the exception of moving the dumbbell further back, near your hips rather than your belly button, this exercise is virtually the same as the dumbbell row.

Long Angle Dumbbell Row

According to Posternak, "both grips will offer special benefits for your back." Close grip pull-ups integrate more of the biceps and pecs, enabling you to perform more reps or heavier weight. Wide grips work the lats more and the biceps less.

Close Grip and Wide Grip Pull-Ups

The greatest muscle group on the human back is called the latissimus dorsi. They give the spine stability and support and are vital for all pulling activities.

 Standing Cable Pullover

This version on the row focuses more on the lower lats than the midline of the back. Posternak advises keeping your natural spine curvature by sticking out your chest and pulling your shoulders back.

Reverse Grip Rows

According to Posternak, this is one of the greatest workouts for building a thicker, wider, and stronger back. Once you have mastered the appropriate form for the deadlift, make sure to add more weight as you can lift the most weight with this exercise than any other.


When performed correctly, this is another of the greatest workouts for a wider back. When performed correctly, the exercise works your abs, lats, triceps, and bottom of the pecs.

Dumbbell and Barbell Pullovers

A common machine exercise used in gyms to develop and strengthen the lat muscles is the lat pulldown.

Lat Pulldown

A horizontal seated pulling exercise that strengthens and challenges the upper body is called a cable row.

Seated Cable Row