8 Best Barbell Back Exercises for Building a Big Back

While most people just build up their chest or biceps, they don’t realize how important having a strong back is to their overall strength and fitness. So, here we are listed 8 best barbell back exercises, a complete barbell back workout routine.

Well, having a stronger back has a number of benefits, it will improve your body posture, reduce your risk of injury and give greater source of strength for performing big lifts in the gym. 

The barbell is a great training equipment that you can load up with a lot of weight and control the barbell with two hands, and perform the workout effectively.

So, here we listed 8 best barbell back exercises for building your stronger back and improving your overall strength.

Back Muscles

Back Muscles

Your back consists of two main muscles: upper back and lower back, these two muscles consist of multiple muscles. It’s very important to understand what they are and how they work.

Here is a breakdown of the major back muscles.

Latissimus Dorsi: Also called lats and they are from the lower part of the back and it covers a wide area.

Rhomboids: they are from the cervical (neck) vertebra and attach to the inside of the scapula.

Erector Spinae: this muscle includes major three muscles which run the length of the spine on the left and the right. These muscles play a very important role in keeping the neutral spine under load.

Trapezius: this is a large muscle that is flat triangular on each side of your upper back. Its main functions are scapula adduction, elevation, depression and outward rotation.

The Benefits of Training Your Back

A lot of beginner’s neglect training their back muscles because they can’t see it. Training your back once in a week is a great way to improve your overall strength.

You can strengthen the main support structure (called spine) of your entire body. Having a strong and healthy back can allow you to perform big three exercises such as deadlift, squat and bench press with correct form and protect against injury. It also improves your good body posture.

How to Warm-up Your Back Before exercise

It’s very important to warm up and mobilize your back muscles. because your back muscles get ready for workout effectively and they can avoid risk of injuries.

Fitness experts suggest getting your scapula and shoulder rotating and moving well is a great warm-up move.

The face pulls and band pulls will help you strengthen and provide you muscular endurance so your overall back muscles get you ready for bigger exercises. 

8 Best Barbell Back Exercise

These 8 best exercises for building your strong back muscles, with a barbell. Barbell exercises for the back target your upper and lower lats very effectively. Try these exercises so you will know how you can benefit from back training.

01. Wide Grip Barbell Bent Over Row

Wide Grip Barbell Bent Over Row

Barbell bent over row is one of the best exercises and primarily targets your back muscles, and as they improve your strength and posture. Directly work your lats, traps, rhomboids and rotator cuffs.

How to perform:

  • Stand up and reach down in order to grab the barbell with your both hands, wider than shoulder-width apart and your palms facing down.
  • Keep your arms straight and knees slightly bent.
  • Brace the core and squeeze your shoulder and lift the barbell straight up without moving your back until it touches your sternum.
  • Try to keep your back straight and only the arms should move.
  • Then, slowly lower it back down to the starting position. That’s one rep.
  • Repeat 2 to 4 sets of 10 to 14 reps.

02. Barbell Good Morning

The barbell good morning exercises work your hamstrings, abs and lower back. This exercise works effectively with a barbell only, don’t go with other weights like dumbbells.

Well, before adding this exercise to your routine you should have a good understanding of weight training fundamentals.

How to perform:

  •  Stand straight with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  • Position the barbell across (behind) your shoulder and hold the bar tightly with your both hands.
  • Engage your core and lean forward until your upper body (torso) is perpendicular to the floor.
  • Hold the position for a second and then, slowly raise back up your upper body to the starting position. That’s one rep.
  • Do 2 to 4 sets of 8 to 12 reps.

03. Barbell Deadlift

Barbell Deadlift

Barbell deadlift is one of the great exercises to increase your strength, improve your posture and increase your core stability. This exercise trains most of the muscles including lower back, core and leg muscles.

How to perform:

  • Stand tall with legs shoulder with apart and arms extended.
  • Load the bar with an appropriate weight and grab the bar with an overhand grip in a medium-grip position.
  • Keep your core engaged and lower back arched.
  • Raise yourself up with keeping your arms straight and slowly lower yourself back down in a controlled movement.
  • Do 2 to 3 sets of 8 to 10 reps.

04. Barbell High Pull

Barbell High Pull

The barbell high pull is a great exercise to build strength and power. This exercise targets your back, shoulder and arms, and also builds hip and core strength.

How to perform:

  • Stand tall in front of the barbell with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Hold the barbell with both hands in a medium-grip position and keep your arms extended.
  • Raise the bar until the bar reaches shoulder level. Hold the position for second at the top of the movement.
  • Then, slowly lower back down to the starting position.
  • Repeat 2 to 4 sets of 10 to 12 reps.

05. T-Bar Row

T-bar row is the favorite exercise for most bodybuilders and weightlifters. This exercise works your major back muscles and also works the shoulder.

How to perform:

  • Grab a barbell and place it into a landmine station or position it firmly into a corner.
  • Stand over the middle of the bar, slightly bend your knees and maintain a neutral spine.
  • Engage your core and row the bar upwards to the middle portion of the abdomen.
  • Pause the movement for a second and slowly lower back to the starting point with a fully controlled motion.
  • Try to focus on engaging the lats.

06. Meadows Row  

Meadows Row

The meadows row is great exercise to target your lats, traps and rear delts. If you do it properly, which will grow your muscles stronger and larger, this exercise are also a great way to improve your grip.

How to perform:

  • Start by positioning the bar in a corner landmine attachment.
  • Place your hip closest to the bar higher than the other hip.
  • Hold the bar with your right hand with an overhand grip, and rest the left elbow on your front thigh.
  • Row the weight up so your right hand ends up outside your chest. Pause the movement for a second.
  • Then, slowly lower the weight back down. That’s one rep.
  • Repeat 2 to 4 sets of 10 to 14 reps.

07. Power Clean and Press

The power clean and press is the best exercise to develop power, which will increase your strength and muscular endurance. This exercise works your back muscles, leg muscles, shoulder, glutes and abs.

How to perform:

  • Stand in front of the bar with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Hold the bar with both hands with a medium-grip position.
  • Keep your core engaged and arms extended.
  • Take a breath in and raise the bar by standing up until the bar is up at arm’s length.
  • Hold the movement for a second and then, slowly lower the bar back to the starting position.
  • Repeat 2 to 3 sets of 8 to 10 reps.  

08. Barbell Shrug

The barbell shrug is great exercise for your upper back and primarily targets your traps. This exercise is a bit challenging and if you’re using heavy weight for the movement it will grow your traps stronger and bigger.

If you’re looking for effective exercise for the upper back then the barbell shrug is great exercise that you can consider in your back workout routine.

How to perform:

  •  Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart, hold the barbell down in front of the thighs with both hands.
  • Keep your back straight and engage your core.
  • Raise the barbell by raising your shoulders up.
  • Then, slowly lower the weight back down to the starting point after a short pause.
  • Repeat 2 to 4 sets of 12 to 14 reps.

QNA’s on Barbell Back Exercises

What are the Best Back Exercises?

Here are 7 best back exercises that build you back muscles and improve strength.

·         Lat pulldown
·         Wide Dumbbell Row
·         Barbell Deadlift
·         Good Morning
·         Renegade dumbbell row
·         TRX row
·         Reverse fly

How Many Barbell Exercises Should I Do for My Back?

The short answer is 2 to 3 exercises per back workout and allow your body one day to recover after back workout. You can choose any 3 exercises in the above list, and aim for 2 to 3 sets of 10 to 12 reps.

How Do You Get the V Shape Back with Barbell?

There are many barbell exercises for your back, here we are listed 8 best barbell back exercises that target your overall back muscles effectively. You should know the correct form for better benefits.

Try to add any 3 barbell back exercises in your workout routine and take advice from a personal trainer to avoid any injuries.  


Here we explained 8 best barbell back exercises which improve your overall strength and build back muscles. try these barbell exercises and get your desired V shaped back.

If you are going to try any workout, take advice from a personal trainer or fitness expert, because they can suggest the best exercises according to your strength and fitness level.

Hopefully, you like this article, if you have any questions and suggestions kindly put them in the comment box below.  

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