Many fitness enthusiasts love to train their chests but not their backs. When most people focus on exercising their chest or biceps, a robust and well-developed back is the foundation of overall strength and health.
The back muscle is a huge muscle, which occupies a critical position in our upper body, so we often use various methods to exercise the back muscles. There are many ways to exercise the back muscles, freehand and equipment, including dumbbells and barbells. Our 7 barbell compound moves today not only significantly train and stimulate the lats but also help strengthen muscles like the rhomboids, serratus, and trapezius.
7 Barbell Back Workout
The deadlift is the best muscle-building exercise ever, which engages every muscle group in the back of the body. Heavy deadlifts stimulate every muscle fiber from the lats to the rhomboids.
How to do:
The starting position of the deadlift is the key to performing the deadlift correctly. Stand next to the barbell with your feet in the middle of the barbell while holding the barbell with hands shoulder-width apart. While keeping your core engaged, bend your knees and drop your body straight down until the bar almost touches your calves.
Keep your back straight, your chest out, and your spine neutral. Pull straight up until you are standing and your hips are locked. In addition to working every muscle in your back, you’ll improve core stability and activate muscles throughout your entire posterior chain.
2.Barbell Bent-over Row
The bent-over row is the best exercise for building a robust and wide back. This move’s unique because it targets several back muscles more explicitly than other moves. If the training is performed correctly, it will help strengthen and thicken the mid-back.
How to do:
From standing upright, grip the bar slightly above the shoulders. Move the bar up to contract the lats and peak into a contraction, keeping the upper body in a fixed position. Bend your knees slightly, bringing your body part forward while maintaining a neutral spine. Concentrate on pulling your elbows back, eliminating as much arm motion as possible. Using a booster strap will allow you to lift more weight and prevent your grip from limiting your movement.
This move is one of the favorite moves of the greatest bodybuilder of all time, Mr. Arnold Schwarzenegger. The beauty of this movement lies in its simplified nature. The T-bar row must be part of your training routine if you want a thicker back. In the classic movie “Pumping Iron”, I have been using a few barbell plates to practice my back.
How to do:
Place the barbell in a landmine attachment (if you have one) or snap it firmly into a corner. Add the desired number of plates to the side of the bar facing out. Stand in the middle of the bar with slightly bent knees and a neutral spine (the starting position may resemble a deadlift).
It’s best to take a V-bar and put it inside the plate. If not, you can just grab the barbell itself. Keeping your core engaged and your spine neutral, row the barbell up to your midsection. Before starting the movement, be sure to retract your shoulder blades and focus on keeping them still to eliminate the involvement of your biceps.
The popularity of this rowing variation is due to the hybrid movement created by trainer Glenn Pendlay, which uses techniques from both the deadlift and the bent-over row. A unique feature of the Pendlay row is that the weight comes to a complete stop at the end of the movement. Therefore, the stimulation of the latissimus dorsi is forced to increase in every direction. The bonus of this move is increased power, making it a valuable secondary exercise that improves on other primary activities.
How to do:
With the barbell on the floor, it’s like a deadlift. Bend over the bar so your back is nearly level with the floor. Keep your chest straight, and your spine neutral, and push your elbows behind your torso at the top of the exercise. Lower the barbell to the floor, so it is entirely on the ground.
5.T-Bar One-arm Row
While this particular exercise isn’t the most common back exercise, it doesn’t detract from its overall effectiveness. This unilateral barbell move focuses on isolating each lat. In some strength training, it is considered to be the only movement that promotes full muscle development. This movement is a dumbbell row because it activates one back muscle unilaterally. However, there is no other similarity.
How to do:
Start by pushing one end of the barbell into a corner or landmine tube. Raise your hips so that your side faces the barbell. Keeping your spine neutral, focus on pulling your elbows back across your torso. Some barbells may have a slightly thicker end, so a booster strap can be used to remove the restriction on grip strength. When done with the right form, you’ll get those lats that most people dream of seeing.
6.Chest Supported Row
If you’re having a hard time feeling the contraction of your back muscles, skip the other exercises and start with the chest-supported barbell row. This move is better known to some as an excellent lat hit because the bench will force the rest of the body to remain still. Several other secondary muscles are also stimulated, including the humerus, medial deltoid, posterior deltoid, and even the teres minor.
How to do:
First place the flat stool at about the appropriate height from the ground. If your gym has boxes available, use these to raise the weight bench to the proper size. Or lift the bench off the ground with 45Lbs weight plates. Place the barbell directly under the middle of the bench. With the desired weight on each side of the barbell, lie face down on a bench and grip the barbell firmly with a shoulder-width grip. Concentrate on lifting the barbell until it touches the bottom of the bench. Keep constant tension on the muscles while focusing on pulling the elbows.
7.One-arm Long Barbell Row
A typical back problem most fitness enthusiasts have is unbalanced lats. This is mainly because most back movements are done on both sides at the same time. By incorporating unilateral rows into your workout, you’ll be able to properly train each side separately to perfect the balance of your back muscles.
How to do:
Place the barbell in a fixed barbell tube or firmly against a corner. Add the desired weight to the bar, remembering that this is a unilateral exercise (so the weight will be less). Stand next to the barbell and hold the front of the barbell firmly. Transition into a bent-over position and bend your knees slightly. Begin to pull the barbell upwards, contracting for a second at the top. Be careful to keep your upper body still and not shake throughout the movement.