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Top 5 Back Exercises For Smaller Waist

back exercises for smaller waist

Everybody dreams of that v-shape summer body which will also make your waist look smaller. While for some people it comes easier, for others it may require more effort and training to achieve. In this article, we’re going to take a look at the exercises you can do to achieve that look.

Here are the top 5 best back exercises for smaller waist:


Pull-ups are a classic upper-body exercise that works your lats, biceps, forearms, and other muscles. The main advantage of pullups is that they can be adjusted to any level of strength. If you’re just a beginner, you can attach a resistance band to the bar and step into it in order to make the exercise easier. If you’re intermediate, you can do regular pull-ups without support. And if you’re advanced, you can do harder variations like clapping pullups or weighted pullups.

The reason why pullups are the best back exercise for a smaller waist is that they work your lats, which are the biggest muscle in your back that gives your back a wider look.

Latissimus Dorsi (Lats) Muscles

How to do a pull-up:

  • Step under the bar and grip the bar with an overhand grip
  • Use a shoulder-width apart grip or even wider to increase tension on your lats during the exercise
  • Keep your core and quads tight in order to prevent you from swinging
  • Pull yourself up using your lats
  • Once your chin is above the bar, pause for a second a slowly lower yourself

Barbell Row

Barbell rows are one of the best back exercises you can do for your back. This exercise also works your lats (especially the lower and inner parts), but also your mid-back muscles like rhomboids and lower traps. This will help you build a wider and thicker back as well as improve your posture which is crucial if you really want to achieve a v-shape body.

How to do a barbell row:

  • Load the bar with a weight that you can do 8-12 reps with until you reach failure
  • Hinge in your hips a bit and bend over until your upper body is almost parallel to the ground
  • Grab the bar with an overhand grip about shoulder-width apart
  • Keep your lower back neutral to prevent injuries
  • Once you’re all set, pull the bar to the lower chest area of your upper body. Don’t let your elbows flare out too much, as then the focus will shift more towards your upper traps and rear-delts
  • Lower the bar down in a controller manner

Lat Pulldown

A lat pulldown is a great back exercise to make your waist look slimmer as it works your lats which will make your upper body look wider. This movement is great for anyone: from a complete beginner to an advanced lifter. That’s because you can easily adjust the weight that you’re using for the exercise.

How to do a lat pulldown:

  • Sit comfortably on the pulldown machine seat and place your legs on the floor
  • Take the bar with a wide overhand grip
  • Retract your shoulders and pull the weight down to your upper chest. Try not to lean back too much
  • Pause for a second and slowly let the weight go up

You may also like: 11 Best Lat Pulldown Alternatives.

Dumbbell Pullover

The dumbbell pullover is another great old-school back exercise that will help you build a wider back to make your waist look slimmer. In order to perform this exercise, you will need a dumbbell and a bench.

How to do a dumbbell pullover:

  • Take a dumbbell and sit on a bench with it
  • Grab the dumbbell with both hands placed under one side
  • Lay down on a bench placing your head on the edge of one side. Put your feet down on the ground for stability
  • Keep the dumbbell right above your head with your elbows extended
  • Slowly lower the dumbbell down behind your head
  • Go down as low as you can and pause for a second
  • Bring the dumbbell back up above you while keeping your arms straight in the elbow

While doing this exercise, keep your elbows flared out to target your lats. If you bring the elbows closer to your body, the focus will shift more towards your chest.

Back Hyperextension

Hyperextension is a great lower back exercise that will help you build strength and muscle in your lower back area. This will help your waist look more in shape and in tone.

In order to do this exercise, you will need access to a hyperextension bench.

How to do a back hyperextension:

  • Lie down on a hyperextension bench tucking your ankles securely under the foot panel
  • Keep your body straight and cross your arms in front of you. If you need extra resistance, you can grab a plate or a dumbbell and hold it close to your body
  • Bend forward slowly while keeping your back flat
  • Once you’ve reached the bottom position, pull yourself back up by contracting your glutes, hamstrings, and lower back muscles

What Exercises Give You A Smaller Waist?

Besides the ones mentioned above, you can do other exercises to get a smaller waist. These include not only back exercises but also exercises for your core and your shoulders:

  • Planks (Main focus: core muscles)
  • Side Planks (Main focus: core muscles)
  • Russian Twists (Main focus: core muscles)
  • Lying Back Extensions (Main focus: lower back muscles)
  • Glute Ham Raises (Main focus: lower back, glutes, and hamstrings)
  • Lateral Raises (Main focus: shoulders)
  • Landmine Press (Main focus: shoulders)

Many of these exercises can be done at home without any equipment.

How Can I Get A Smaller Waist?

The main idea behind getting the appearance of a smaller waist is that you need to make your upper body look wider while training your obliques, abs, and lower back muscles to be in tone and fit.


As you can see, building a v-shape look with a small waist is doable. Include these 5 of the best back exercises to make your back look wider and your waist look smaller and you will be able to achieve your goals much faster.

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