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The BEST Back Exercise If You Can't Do Pull Ups

If you’re still training at home or unable to get to the gym and either cannot do pull ups or don’t have the facilities to do them, this exercise is exactly what you need to help improve your back workouts and overall back development.


This exercise is known as the Chinese back plank and is something you do with just a few raised surfaces, even just a few chairs and it will challenge and work your back muscles to help add extra definition and size.


Please note, this is not necessarily suitable for complete beginners as it requires some base strength to perform correctly. If you have a fairly strong core or have at least been doing normal plank variations, then this should be fine to take on. Just be careful and if you happen to have a weaker core, you might want to start off by doing easier core exercises first and gradually introduce this plank variation into your back and/or core workouts.


You are going to need to flex all your back, core and leg muscles to hold the Chinese back plank position, even just for a short period of time. To be on the safe side, try practicing Chinese back planks on slightly elevated surfaces before moving to taller surfaces, such as chairs.




To perform a Chinese back plank, lay down in between the three elevated surface points you previously arranged in a T-shape. This could be anything, as long as they are strong enough to support your bodyweight.


Place your heels on top of the object at the bottom of the T and the elbows on the other two points, then squeeze your muscles and lift your hips off the ground. Much like during standard planks, the aim is to hold your body as straight as possible, looking up and trying to keep the spine in a neutral position.


Hold this pose as long as you can but ideally for at least 30 seconds, then lower your hips back to the ground. Do 3-4 sets of these every time at least once per week along with your other back exercises and you’ll notice significant back development in no time!

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