How to Tone the Lower and Upper Back With Exercise Bands

Tone your upper back with resistance bands.
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Exercise resistance bands provide a gentle, yet effective way to improve the strength and tone of your lower and upper back. The bands are available in a variety of lengths and tensions to continue to provide adequate training resistance as your strength improves. The bands are easily transportable, easily stored and are inexpensive -- all benefits for an at-home piece of equipment.

Upper Back

    Step 1

    Stand or sit with your back straight. Hold near the center of the band with both hands. Leave approximately 1-foot of open space between your hands, palms turned toward the floor.

    Step 2

    Extend your arms out straight in front of you and at shoulder level. Tighten your stomach by pulling your belly button toward your back. Look straight ahead.

    Step 3

    Exhale and pull your hands apart as you stretch the band. Move your shoulder blades toward each other and, with your elbows slightly bent, open your arms as wide as possible.

    Step 4

    Inhale and slowly return to the starting position. Control the band as it tries to return to a pre-stretched state. Repeat the upper back pull eight to 12 times.

Lower Back

    Step 1

    Tie your exercise resistance band into a large loop that is 1 to 2 feet in length. Place one end of the loop over the back of a sturdy chair.

    Step 2

    Sit in the chair facing the back. Place the other half of the loop over your head and slide it down until it is across the middle of your back.

    Step 3

    Bend your arms and cross them over your chest. Place your right hand near your left shoulder and your left hand near your right shoulder. Make sure the band is passing underneath your elbows along the sides of your body to avoid the band slipping up.

    Step 4

    Sit tall and tighten your stomach. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor. Exhale and sit backward as you pull against the band to strengthen your lower back.

    Step 5

    Inhale and slowly return to an upright, seated position. Repeat the seated back extension eight to 12 times.


    • Begin with a light resistance band until you can complete eight to 12 repetitions with proper form. Either type of band works; one with handles and a tube, or one without handles that is flat. Increase to the next level of resistance when you can easily complete 12 repetitions.


    • Always check with your doctor before you begin an exercise program. Keep your band out of direct sunlight to prolong the length of the band. Avoid wearing rings or having long fingernails when you use the band to avoid puncturing the band.

    Things You'll Need

    • Exercise bands

    • High-backed chair

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