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I am a 21 years old male, around 1.80 cm and 72 kg.

I study at college so I spend most of the day seated, I try to keep a good posture but if I spend a lot of time seated I end up having bad postures and my lower back aches from time to time. I especially feel this if I don't do any kind of physical exercise. I've been told that strengthening the muscles of my back would help me.

I usually swim and it's quite effective but I will spend most of this month travelling and I won't have access to a swimming pool. I would like to do some kind of physical exercise to keep up during this month. I have tried doing some bodyweight exercises like Freeletics and I was looking for something like that.

What kind of bodyweight exercises would you recommend me to gain strength in my back?

  • Does corporal weight mean the same thing as body weight? – Kneel-Before-ZOD Sep 6 '15 at 19:23
  • Yes, that was what I wanted to say. I'm not a native english speaker and I didn't know the proper way to say it. I will edit the question to change that. – A. A. Sep 6 '15 at 19:26
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    Basic postural exercises are covered in this posture question. You can easily take some resistance bands with you when you travel. After you have the basics, you can add reverse hyper-extensions for lumbar paraspinals assuming you don't have a back condition that is a contraindication to hyperextension. – BackInShapeBuddy Sep 6 '15 at 19:51
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Only A Few Recommended BodyWeight Exercises

  • Pullup and Chinup: Seriously, this should be an exercise in everyone's arsenal. These exercises guaranteed to build your upper body, make you stronger, agile, and increase your strength and flexibility.

    Pull up (fingers pointed away from your body):

    Chin up (fingers pointed towards from your body):

  • Push up: If pull up is designed to build your back, push up is designed to build up your front. It's absolutely necessary to build both the back and the front; otherwise, you'll suffer from muscular imbalance and your posture will suffer for it.
  • Running: This won't necessarily strengthen your back; however, it's generally recommended for overall fitness.
  • Yoga and Pilates: These are slow moving set of exercises that are designed to strengthen your body.

There are variations of these exercises that you can perform and regularly performing them will result in strong back, front, and core.

Note: While strengthening your back is a great idea, you need to build your legs as well. Strong upper body and weak lower body isn't balanced.

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Strengthening the/any muscles is rarely a bad idea, as long as you balance the tightening of said muscles with lengthening/stretching muscles that work contrary to the stronger muscles.

Without an assessment it is very hard to ascertain the real cause for your pain, but i suspect its postural by nature. Slumped over a keyboard, with the back in a slightly kyphotic position, i.e. curved at the lumbar and thoracic regions.

One thing you need to do is fix that postural habit by sitting 'straight' i.e. with a neutral spinal shape (google it). This will strengthen the postural muscles anyway but adding some mid/low back exercises along with some shoulder girdle retracting movements (well, as most mid back movements involve girdle retraction i suppose that statement is redundant) like rope face pulls. Shoulder external/lateral rotations. Band pull aparts...

Low back raises are going to be indicated too.

Do chest stretches, abdomen stretches, hamstring exercises, quadriceps/thigh flexor stretches.

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