Bodyweight Back Workout | Calisthenics

Principle of Training

#1. it must be challenging. The workout should be challenging enough to stimulate muscle growth.

#2 it must consists of varieties of exercise, weight, angle so as to stimulate every part of the muscles.

#3. the training volume is should be sufficient.  Too high volume would cause negative effect while too low volume would not make a difference.


Back Workout Routine

Back is a large group of muscle that can be trained with 20+ sets.  You can train with a heavier load.  The movement patterns of back muscles include: Vertical Pull, Horizontal Pull, Straight-arm Pull Down.

The workout consists of 5 exercises, 4 sets per each.  Total 20 sets.  2 exercises are intense while 3 are moderate load.  The first 2 exercises are quite difficult and focus more on mechanical tension, while the latter ones focus more on metabolic stress.  The rest time will decreases accordingly.

This workout is suitable for the intermediate or advanced, and it is not suitable for beginners.  Each one should adjust the workout according to your own status, and should not follow the workout completely.


#1 Adv. Tuck Front Lever Rows

This is a horizontal pull exercise.  Do 4 sets of 5-8 reps.  Rest 2 minutes.  The first 2 exercises are hard to do and are strength demanding.  The reps should be low and try your best.

Advanced Tuck Rows

If you cannot do adv. version, please do basic tuck version instead.  Basic tuck version is that your legs are leaning towards to your chest while advanced version is that your legs is perpendicular to your body.


#2 Front Lever Raises

This is a straight-arm pull exercise.  Do 4 sets of 5-6 reps. Rest 2 minutes.  This exercise is quite difficult and you should not rely on momentum.  Make sure the movement is performed in a control manner.  You may feel fatigue during set 3,4, please finish it even if you are struggling.

Front Lever

If you cannot do a straight leg version, you can do an easier progression instead such as single-leg, straddle, bent-leg versions.

Front Lever Variations


The followings are vertical pull exercises, variations of pull-ups,  and are metabolic stressed-focus exercises.

#3 Wide Grip Pull-Ups

It focus on your lat. Do 4 sets of 8-12 reps. Rest 2 minute.  After these 4 sets, your muscle should feel the pump.

Wide Grip Pull-ups


#4 Shoulder-Width Pull-Ups

Stimulate your back muscles with different angle.  Do 4 sets of 6-10 reps. Rest 1.5 minute.  Your body should be fatigue by this point.  You can feel the strength are sharply decreased.  If necessary, please extend your rest time if you are not able to do at minimal 6 reps.



#5 Chin-ups (Close-Grip)

Do 4 sets of 6-8 reps.  Rest 1 minute.  Your back and biceps are exhausted, but the rest time decreases.  Your body is sore when executing these sets and may not be able to do minimal 6 reps.  Please finish it with additional intra-set rest of 10-20s.


You can execute this workout in the park or the gym.  It takes 45-60 minutes.  It is suggested that you should execute this workout 1 – 1.5 times/week.  1.5 time means 3 times in 2 weeks or 2 times in a week.  One is full workout while the other one is a portion of the workout.  Adjust the workout according to your body by changing the sets/reps/exercises etc. Warm-ups and cool downs are necessary.




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