Barbell Lat Workouts For Bigger and Stronger Back

You don’t need special gym machines to get a strong and sculpted Lat. All you require is a barbell and weighted plates, 15 minutes, and motivation to get the same results.

Barbell lat exercises are one of the best ways to strengthen your upper back if strengthening your back is your fitness goal. And, even better, these workouts will get the job done in less than 15 minutes, even if you don’t have a lot of time.

Adding barbell exercises to your routines helps you build the lat muscle and strength you want, layering thickness in between your shoulder blades and throughout your upper back. That’s especially true once you embrace heavier-weight barbell lat exercises, such as powerful bent over rows and upright row.

Muscles of the Back

The back consists of several layers of muscle stacked like a sandwich. The muscles of the back subdivide into three categories.

  • The upper back is made up of a large triangular-shaped muscle called the trapezius.
  • The middle back consists of the latissimus dorsi (Lats).
  • The lower back is made up of the erector spine muscles.
Back anatomy

This Blog contains the description of the best barbell workout that focus on the back muscles, named as latissimus dorsi (lat).

Best Barbell Workouts For Lats

Here are the Best 7 barbell lat workout that help to Build Massive back.

Start with these barbell workouts, which offer a mix of accessibility and challenge.

1. Bent Over Barbell Rows

If you are looking to strengthen the lats with barbell exercises and want to add massive muscle to the upper back region, then bent over barbell rows is one of the best options.

The bent over barbell row is a compound weightlifting exercise that primarily targets the muscles in the middle of the back, particularly the latissimus dorsi (lats), rhomboids, and trapezius, among others.

  • A narrower grip targets the central inner section of the lats,
  • whereas a wider grip targets the outer lats.
Bent Over Barbell Rows

How To Do

  1. With a narrow stance, grasp the bar with an overhand grip.
  2. Bend your torso forward at an angle of 30–45 degrees to the floor, with the knees slightly bent and the bar hanging in front of you.
  3. Now, use the lat muscles and raise the bar until it touches the abdominal region, not the chest region.
  4. Slowly bring the bar back to the starting position under control.


  • Only use as much weight as you can safely handle.
  • Exhale when you push movement and inhale when you return to the starting position.
  • Keep a neutral spine while you do the movement to prevent injury.

2. Landmine Row 

The Landmine row is one of the best barbell exercises for developing back thickness. Check the correct execution technique and blast your lat muscles.

It is a tough exercise, but building a strong back is a must to develop a quality physique, stay injury-free, and back pain-free for life.


How To Do

  1. Stand over the bar with a wide stance, with the barbell loaded.
  2. Get into a bent over position with your spine straight and your chest up.
  3. Keep your back arched while you bend at the hips.
  4. Lift the bar until it touches your chest, keeping your back straight.
  5. Now slowly lower the bar until it nearly contacts the floor.
  6. Repeat the desired number of reps


  • It is best to avoid hunchback bending as it can lead to injury.
  • Make sure you go through the entire range of motion.

3. Barbell Upright Row

The barbell upright row is an excellent exercise for building lats and trapezius muscles. It targets the muscles of the shoulder and upper backincluding the deltoids, trapezius, as well as the rhomboids, and even the biceps — making it a great addition to any full-body workout.

Research shows that the upright row is one of the best exercises for building shoulder strength and stability.

Upright rows can be done with both narrow and wide grips. The narrow grip focuses on the trapezius, and the wider focuses on the entire shoulder girdle and lats.

Barbell Upright Row

How To Do

  1. Stand facing the barbell with your feet shoulder width apart and load it with the weight you want to use.
  2. To grasp the barbell, hold it with an overhand grip and hands that are slightly closer than shoulder width apart.
  3. Pick up the bar with your back straight and bend your knees.
  4. Keeping your back straight and eyes facing forwards, lift the bar straight up while keeping it as close to your body as possible. 
  5. Hold for a moment before you go back to the starting position.
  6. Repeat for desired reps.


  • Keep your elbows higher than your forearms.
  • Keep your movements controlled and avoid sudden movements.
  • Maintain a straight posture.

4. Standing Barbell Rear Delt Row

The standing barbell rear delt row is another great exercise for your barbell workout that mainly targets the lats, rear deltoid and trap, but it also targets the biceps and shoulders.

If you haven’t done this exercise before, load the barbell with a reasonable amount of weight, focusing on an amount that lets you stick to proper form rather than trying to lift heavy.

Standing Barbell Rear Delt Row

How To Do

  1. Stand up straight while holding a barbell using a wide (higher than shoulder width) and overhand (palms facing your body) grip.
  2. With your knees slightly bent, bend at the waist until your chest is parallel with the floor.
  3. While keeping the arms perpendicular to the body, pull the bar up toward your chest as you squeeze the lats.
  4. Slowly return to the starting position as you breathe in.
  5. Do the recommended number of repetitions.


  • Avoid using your biceps to do the work. When you lift weights, focus on targeting the latissimus dorsi and rear deltoid.
  • The form is the most important thing before you go for a heavy.
  • Maintaining the right posture while working out is very important.

5. Landmine Single Arm Bent Over Row

If you are looking to strengthen the upper back and add massive muscle to the lat region, then landmine Single Arm Bent Over Row is the best exercise.

The one arm row, with your arm bent and brought over the row, works your rear deltoid, rhomboids, middle trapezius, latissimus dorsi, and biceps.

It’s also a good anti-rotation exercise because you need to keep your torso facing forward toward the ground to resist rotation.


How To Do

  1. Stand parallel to the bar with the end of the barbell at your left side.
  2. Your feet should be positioned at hip width distance.
  3. Get into a bending position by hinging your hip back, bending your knees slightly, and leaning your torso forward.
  4. Use an overhand grip to grab the collar of the barbell. Bring your elbow up as high as you can in a row.
  5. Focus on squeezing the top of the lift, really feeling the tension in your rear delts and lat.
  6. Slowly lower the bar back to its original position.


  • Only use as much weight as you can safely handle.
  • Hold a neutral spine throughout the movement.

6. Barbell Pullover

If you’re looking for a way to get more creative with your lat workout, why not try a barbell pullover?

Barbell pullover is the best exercise to build a strong rib cage, outer lat and build serratus anterior muscle to build a complete chest and back.

barbell pullover

How To Do

  1. Lie down on a bench with your head hanging and your shoulders touching the bench.
  2. Grasp a barbell with both hands and get it straight over your chest.
  3. Lower the barbell slowly in an arc, getting a good stretch in your outer lats and rib cage.
  4. Lower the barbell as far as you can and then lift it back up to the starting position.


  • Exhale while you exert.
  • Stretching as far as possible helps the rib cage expand the most.

7. Meadows Row

When doing a lat workout with a barbell, there are plenty of single-arm exercises you can add to correct potential imbalances.

The meadows row is a unilateral landmine exercise used to target the muscles of the back. This exercise is designed to target your latissimus dorsi, trapezius, and rear deltoid muscles.

If done properly, it will create small tears in your muscles, which will heal and cause your muscles to grow stronger and larger.

Landmine meadow Row

How To Do

  1. Place a barbell in a landmine attachment or against the wall.
  2. Hinge forward with a staggered stance and grab the barbell with an overhand grip.
  3. Start the movement by driving the elbow behind the body while retracting the shoulder blade.
  4. Pull the barbell towards your hip until the elbow is at or near the midline.
  5. The barbell should be slowly lowered back to its starting position.
  6. Do the exercise for the desired number of repetitions on both sides.


  • Don’t allow momentum to carry the barbell through the movement. Keep control of the bar throughout each rep.
  • Make sure to allow your arm to hang down for a greater stretch and improved range of motion.
  • Make sure you keep your core tight and don’t forget to breathe as you lift up and lower back down.

Why are lat exercises important?

Lat exercises are crucial for several reasons, encompassing both functional aspects of daily living and athletic performance, as well as aesthetic and health-related benefits. There are several reasons why targeting the lats through exercises is important.

1. Functional Strength

The lats play a significant role in various daily activities like lifting objects, pulling doors open, or moving items from one place to another. Strengthening the lats makes these tasks easier and reduces the risk of strain.

2. Improved Posture

Strong lats support the spine and help maintain an upright posture. Many people spend hours seated due to desk jobs or other sedentary activities, and strong lats can counteract some of the detrimental effects of prolonged sitting.

3. Shoulder Stability

The lats are crucial stabilizers of the shoulder joint. Strengthening them can reduce the risk of shoulder injuries, especially in movements or sports that require overhead motions, such as basketball, swimming, or weightlifting.

4. Aesthetic Appeal

Well-developed lats help you get the V-tapered look, where the upper body looks wider at the shoulders and narrows down to a narrower waist. This is a sought-after physique among bodybuilders and those who want to look good.

5. Athletic Performance

Athletes, especially those who do sports like swimming, rowing, rock climbing, or any sport that requires pulling movements, benefit from strong lats. The lats provide power and stability in these activities.

6. Reduced Risk of Back Pain

Strengthening the lats, in conjunction with other back and core muscles, can help alleviate and prevent lower back pain. Strong lats can help distribute load and stress more evenly across the back.

7. Improved Breathing

The lats, being attached to the ribs, can influence the rib cage’s movement. While they aren’t primary muscles of respiration, strong and flexible lats can aid in deep thoracic breathing.


This exercise is highly recommended for anyone interested in strengthening lat muscles and gaining muscle mass. It not only allows for targeted muscle development, but also provides an overall upper body workout.

It is easy to do and requires no more scientific details and fancy equipment. The results of these lat exercises will speak for themselves if you do them consistently.

Thanks for reading, enjoy working your workout!

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