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Barbell Back Exercises



No reason to bring up more workouts here than barbell rows and barbell deadlifts. These two barbell back exercises are the most common that you’ll see in the workout routines prepared by Daily Spot experts. They’re likely the most popular barbell back exercises that trainers user with their clients. Naturally, the barbell offers a less range of motion than the dumbbells. Don’t think that’s always a bad thing. It’s not. Once you find the right range of motion, the barbell will help to reinforce it. Once the form is perfected with a standard barbell row, a simple grip adjustment can hit an entirely different part of the back. In this case, having less range of motion is actually beneficial because it controls the motion of both arms simultaneously.

Underhand and Overhand Grips

With the presses, it was the width of the hands that made a huge difference. That still with back exercises. However, the other major adjustment that comes into play here is the grip. Specifically using and underhand or overhand grip. If your main goal is to work out the lats, then an underhand grip is more beneficial. On the other hand, the exercises that use an overhand grip will target the middle back. This is precisely the reason that you might do an underhand row and overhand row in the same workout. Doing 3 sets of underhand rows and 3 sets of overhand rows is NOT the same as doing 6 sets of underhand rows. Take advantage of the grip to make the most of your back workouts. If you don’t want to create your own back workouts or are unsure whether they make sense, take a look at Grant’s Body Series program on Daily Spot.

Examples of Barbell Bicep Exercises:

Check out a few examples below of some of our select Barbell Bicep Exercises. We've included select cable exercises as well, as these target the same muscles but may be good lower-impact alternatives.

Bent-Over Barbell Underhand Row

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Hold a barbell with your palms facing away from you. Bend over at the waist and extend your arms. Pull the barbell to the bottom of your chest. Slowly return to the starting position.


Standing Straight-Arm Pulldown

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Extend arms and grip cable-bar with an overhand grip. Keeping arms straight and shoulder-width, pull the bar down from shoulders toward the waist. Hold and then slowly raise to starting position.


Bent-Over Barbell Overhand Row

Stand with your feet a little wider than shoulder width apart. Hold a barbell with your palms facing you. Bend over at the waist and extend your arms. Pull the barbell to the bottom of your chest. Slowly return to the starting position.


V-Bar Pulldown

Sit at lat pulldown machine and use the v-bar. Your back should be straight up. Pull your shoulder blades down and back, and bring the v-bar to your chest. Pause before returning to starting position.



Dumbbell Back Exercises

Barbells and dumbbells both have unique abilities to isolate the back. One major difference with dumbbell exercises is a greater range of motion, which provides a nice benefit of isolating the back without having to engage other muscles. Here’s an example: when doing bent-over barbell rows, there are a lot of outside factors that could come into play. Your entire upper body must stay straight to full isolate the lats. You must have discipline not to engage the legs to help jumpstart the lifts. When opting for dumbbells, you could instead use the single-arm dumbbell row. It works the same muscle group, but here you have a bench supporting the rest of your body, allowing you to better isolate the back.


Bodyweight Back Exercises

Pull-downs for lats and rows for the middle of the back. This is impossible to do at home with no gym equipment, right? RIGHT? Actually, there are some great bodyweight back exercises that you can do at home, on the road, or at the office that hit the same muscles that weights do in the gym. Let’s start with the most obvious: the wide-grip pull-up.