16 Back Exercising Equipment and Machines for Your Home or Commercial Gym
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When you think of gym-goers, you probably imagine people focusing on cardio, arms, and lower bodies. One area that often is a game-changer for fitness is a strong back. Often many overlook this and want to improve the front-facing body areas.

However, if you dedicate a session a week to focus on your upper back, middle back, or lower back muscles, you could dramatically improve your quality of life. After all, you need your back to hold you upright, perform functional movements and keep you stable. Plus, having the best back makes you look pretty cool.

Therefore, to know how to gain a good back at the gym, keep reading to learn about some useful back exercise equipment and back exercises.

Which are the best back workout machines and equipment?

When entering the gym, you might be intimated by the sheer amount of machines to use. Therefore to help you, here are some of the most effective machines to use:

Lateral Pulldown Machine

Lateral Pulldown MachineThe lat pulldown machine allows you to train your latissimus dorsi muscles (lats). If you’re not familiar with this muscle, it’s the broad part that overlaps the back of your ribs. Most of the time, these machines are the same; the only different part is some may be freestanding. The lat pulldown machine works by pulling handles or a bar down to your collarbone. While you’re pulling with your lats, you’re sitting down on a cushioned seat, and your legs are locked under a pad.

Pros

  • Strengthens the latissimus dorsi
  • Strengthens your shoulders
  • Simple movement
  • Low impact exercise

Cons

  • It does not build the foundations for your back.

Price range:

  • Used: :$30-$500
  • New: $200-$7000

Beginner-friendly: Yes

Suitable for elders: Yes

Dangerous for: If you have rotator cuff tears or back pain, you should not use the lat pulldown machine.

Usage tips: When using the lat pulldown, squeeze your lats when you bring them down. Always keep your torso upright and pull the bar down with a wide grip.

Assisted Pull-Up Machine

Assisted Pull-Up MachineThe pull up machine is a fantastic piece of equipment if you want to learn how to do pull ups or develop your technique. They work by letting you stand or kneel on padding while holding onto the bars. There is also a lever connected to a weight stack to counterbalance your body, providing you with resistance. The pull up machine targets your chest, lats, and shoulder muscle groups.

Pros

  • It can give you strength for other lifts
  • Builds core strength
  • Pull-ups can improve your grip
  • Strengthens your lats
  • You control the resistance

Cons

  • They aren’t as challenging as regular pull-ups

Price range:

  • Used: $300-$1000
  • New: $350-$4000

Beginner-friendly: Yes

Suitable for elders: Yes

Dangerous for: If you have back pain, don’t use it until it subsides.

Usage tips: Always pull up in negative to replicate free standing pull ups. You should opt for less heavyweights to depend on your body weight more.

Pull-Over Machine

Pull-Over MachineThe pull-over is a machine that works similar to barbell and dumbbell pullovers. It mainly works by sitting down and holding onto a bar, pulling it over your head. This machine isolates your lattimus Dorsi and allows your rib cage to expand. It also targets your core muscles when the bar is lowered down.

Pros

  • Safer to use than dumbbells
  • Allows you to apply a consistent level of resistance due to a greater range of motion
  • Easier to use than dumbbells as they have a semi-circular arc

Cons

  • It’s difficult to form mind-muscle connection
  • Not every gym has a pullover machine

Price range:

  • Used: $300-$700
  • New: $1800-$6000

Beginner-friendly: Yes

Suitable for elders: Yes

Dangerous for: Do not use these exercise machines if you have shoulders issues.

Usage tips: Use an overhand grip when holding the bar and keep your core engaged at all times.

Functional Trainer

Functional TrainerFunctional trainers are often one of the best back machines. It’s versatile. You can perform lots of different exercises in a single workout. Therefore this machine helps people who can get bored easily. The machine has attached weight stacks, cables, pulleys, and handles. Some machines also have ankle cuffs, wrist cuffs, and more which are customizable. While they target back muscles, they can also help you strengthen other muscles based on what exercise you do.

Pros

  • You can do a range of workouts with this machine
  • Increased calorie burn
  • More likely to have lean back muscles
  • Targets several muscles

Cons

  • It does not allow you to isolate traditional muscle groups
  • It can be expensive to purchase
  • Requires some fitness knowledge
  • It takes up a lot of space

Price range:

  • Used: $300-$1000
  • New: $500-$2000

Beginner-friendly: No

Suitable for elders: Yes

Dangerous for: People who lack fitness knowledge or are new to working out should not use unless supervised.

Usage tips: If you’re not familiar with exercises, try and take your time to look at multiple tutorial videos.

T-Bar Row

T-Bar RowThe T-Bar Row is a back exercise involving a barbell with weight. It works by you straddling over the bar and gripping the weight at the end with a cable, handle, or towel. It involves you pulling the barbell towards your chest while keeping your elbows tight and squeezing shoulder blades at the same time. The t bar row motion targets your latissimus dorsi, trapezius, posterior deltoid, and rhomboids.

Pros

  • Helps with better posture
  • Greater strength
  • It targets multiple back muscles
  • Stronger upper back

Cons

  • There are no variations
  • Less flexibility

Price range:

  • Used: $50-$500 (used barbell and plates)
  • New: $80-$1200

Beginner-friendly: Yes

Suitable for elders: Yes

Dangerous for: People with chronic back pain.

Usage tips: Keep a neutral grip and let your palms face each other. When pulling the weight, make sure you keep your core engaged and head neutral.

Seated Row Machine

Seated Row MachineThe seated row machine involves sitting on a padded moving chair and allows you to pull a cable simulating rowing. It’s both a cardio and resistance machine combined. It targets your latissimus dorsi, rhomboids, trapezius, biceps brachii, and other muscles.

Pros

  • It’s a fantastic for cardiovascular endurance
  • It’s low impact
  • The seated row targets a range of muscles
  • All fitness levels can use it

Cons

  • It can easily cause back pain and injury if not doing proper form
  • Long rowing sessions can add a lot of pressure to the back
  • The exercise can become a bit boring
  • It takes up a lot of space
  • Produces a lot of noise

Price range of the seated row:

  • Used: $200-$850
  • New: $600-$2500

Beginner-friendly: Yes

Suitable for elders: Yes

Dangerous for: If you have chronic back and shoulder pain, do not use.

Usage tips: Always keep your head in a neutral position and shoulders level. Try not to use the rowing machine for too long as it can place unnecessary pressure on the back.

Back Extension Machine

Back Extension MachineA back extension machine allows you to do back exercises while facing the floor. When doing this, you have to place your thighs on a pad and then let your spin extent upward. This is also commonly referred to as a hyperextension bench.

You can typically find two workout machines of this type, 45 degree, and 90 degree. The back muscles it targets are the erector spinae, spinallis, longissimus thoracis and iliocostalis lumborum. Basically, it helps the muscles that help extend your spine.

Pros

  • Can increase coordination
  • Contributes to a stronger back
  • Helps with better back posture
  • Lowers risk of injury

Cons

  • Flexing your lower back repeatedly using this machine can increase injury.

Price range:

  • Used: $100-$300
  • New: $300-$800

Beginner-friendly: Yes

Suitable for elders: Yes

Dangerous for: If you suffer from lower back pain or have a back condition, speak to a doctor first before using.

Usage tips: To benefit your spine, use a slow controlled movement when using this machine.

Air Rowing Machine

Air Rowing MachineThe air rowing machine is versatile for different types of workouts. It allows you to pull on a rope on a sliding seat, mimicking a rowing motion. The faster and harder you go, the greater the intensity of the machine. It targets your deltoids and lats back muscles, and your lower body.

Pros

  • It’s a total body workout
  • Burns calories quickly
  • Low impact

Cons

  • The rowing machine may take a toll on your lower back
  • Noisy
  • Requires a lot of space
  • The movement can become boring

Price range:

  • Used: $200-$850
  • New: $600-$2500

Beginner-friendly: Yes

Suitable for elders: Yes

Dangerous for: Speak to a doctor first if you have chronic back and shoulder pain.

Usage tips: Use the rowing machine in short intervals. If you use it for too long in one go, it may cause back pain.

Glute Ham Developer (GHD) Machine

Glute Ham Developer (GHD) MachineThe GHD machine is a unique piece of equipment that helps you strengthen your back muscles, hip flexors, and core. The padded stationary equipment can allow you to do different extensions, sit-ups, and flexes.

Pros

  • A versatile piece of equipment
  • You can work on eccentric and isometric strength
  • Helps with weight lifting, powerlifting, and other sports

Cons

  • Requires a baseline level of knowledge

Price range:

  • Used: N/A
  • New: $400-$1500

Beginner-friendly: Yes

Suitable for elders: Yes

Dangerous for: If you have any lower back or body pain, seek medical advice first.

Usage tips: Always keep your knees bent at 90 degrees.

Resistance Bands

Resistance BandsThese are flat elastic bands that are elastic or tubular. They’re great for resistance training and strength training. They are a total body workout helping you stabilize other muscle groups allowing for a greater range of motion and flexibility.

Pros

  • You can use them at home and in the gym
  • Inexpensive
  • Versatile
  • Can help with rehabilitation

Cons

  • It can be difficult to build muscle mass
  • The bands can break
  • Difficult to measure progress

Price range:

  • Used: $10-$20
  • New: $10-$50

Beginner-friendly: Yes

Suitable for elders: Yes

Dangerous for:

Usage tips: Don’t stretch the band more than 2.5cm over its original length. Don’t release the band under tension.

Dumbbells

DumbbellsThis is a form of free weight which can be used as a pair on their own. They are usually held in your hands, but you can also place them between your legs. Exercises like the upright row, shrug, reverse fly, wide row, and more can help work your lower back, middle back, and upper back. However, dumbbells can target pretty much any other muscle group on the body.

Pros

  • They can increase your flexibility and strength
  • You can use them for different back exercises
  • Dumbbells help coordination and stability

Cons

  • It can be difficult to target specific back muscles

Price range:

  • Used: $3-$900 (based on the size of weight and set)
  • New: $3-$900 (based on the size of weight and set)

Beginner-friendly: Yes

Suitable for elders: Yes

Dangerous for: People who do not know proper form and technique.

Usage tips: Always start with the lower weight before going heavier.

Pull up bars

Pull up barsPull-up bars come in two types freestanding and wall-mounted. They are great for home gyms to help you undergo bodyweight exercises for your back. The exercises you can do on the bar are chin-ups, pull-ups, and more variations. They mainly target your posterior and torso.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Strengthens the back muscle
  • Improves general fitness level
  • Helps with grip strength

Cons

  • Requires some space to install

Price range:

  • Used: N/A
  • New:$19-$150

Beginner-friendly: No

Suitable for elders: Yes

Dangerous for: People who do not know how to do pull-ups. If you are using the bar incorrectly, you could overstrain your back muscles.

Usage tips: Always keep your shoulders back and core engaged.

Barbells

BarbellsThe barbell is a weighted bar where two weights can be attached to each end. It’s usually used for heavy lifting for the whole body.

Pros

  • Versatile
  • They can help you gain muscle strength easily
  • It can help improve your posture

Cons

  • A certain level of fitness knowledge is required to use barbells

Beginner-friendly: No

Suitable for elders: Yes

Dangerous for: For people who lift heavy, there’s an increased risk of joint damage.

Usage tips: Always pick up barbells with your knees bent.

Roman Chair

Roman ChairThis piece of equipment allows you to target your lower back muscles. The roman chair will enable you to perform different back extensions while leaning on pads. It’s a stationary piece of equipment that targets the glutes, abdominals, and hamstrings.

Pros

  • It can reduce pressure on your lower body
  • Improves core strength
  • It can strengthen your back
  • Good for functional fitness

Cons

  • Likelihood of injury if you flex your back

Price range:

  • Used: $100-$300
  • New: $300-$800

Beginner-friendly: Yes

Suitable for elders: Yes

Dangerous for: Seek medical advice if you have back pain before using it.

Usage tips: Always keep a slow controlled movement when using the roman chair.

Chest support row machine

Chest support row machineThe chest row machine helps target your back muscles, mainly your lats. It involves you lying on a pad resting your chest. Then you use the machine for rowing towards your chest.

Pros

  • Improves upper body position
  • Helps with core stabilization
  • It helps build muscles in the back easily

Cons

  • They’re expensive
  • Take up a lot of space

Beginner-friendly: Yes

Suitable for elders: Yes

Dangerous for: If you have chest and back problems, speak to a doctor first.

Usage tips: Keep your head and neck in line with your spine.

Cable Machine

Cable MachineThis is a machine that allows you to do functional training or weight training. The machine has a rectangular and vertically steel frame with a weight stack, cables, and pulley. Using this machine, you can target all your major muscles.

Pros

  • Allows you to apply constant tension to your muscles
  • Helps with greater gains
  • Controlled motion
  • Versatile

Cons

  • The resistance is not direct
  • They isolate muscles and therefore could make other muscle groups weak

Price range:

  • Used:
  • New: $100-$1000

Beginner-friendly: Yes

Suitable for elders: Yes

Dangerous for: If you’re a beginner, watch tutorials or seek guidance when using.

Usage tips: Pull or push the cables using a controlled movement.

Buying back workout machines & equipment

Buying back workout machines & equipmentWhen purchasing back exercise equipment, there are a few things to consider, such as:

Location

Always consider what type of gym you want the equipment for, whether for a home gym or commercial gym. For instance, cable machines may not fit in a home gym or may stop other machines from fitting in.

Cost

When buying this equipment, you should always pick it according to your budget. If you’re buying back exercise equipment for a home or commercial gym, you might want to consider used machines. Often used back equipment can be highly affordable online. One of the best suppliers is BUGE, which buy, sell, and deal with trade-ins.

Conclusion

Overall, a back workout is essential to help you have good posture, greater range of motion, balance, and stay strong. There’s a range of machines and equipment available to help you achieve this too.

Always speak to a doctor first and start with light resistance. Their advice can be beneficial to stop you from compromising your back. Finally, you should not skip back exercises and workouts as they can reduce the likelihood of an injury occurring when working out other muscle groups. It’s essential to stay on top of them so your muscles don’t weaken.

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