Upper back barbell exercises are a great way to challenge and strengthen your upper back. These exercises improve your scapula, rhomboids, and serratus anterior muscles. To fully understand the benefits of performing these upper back barbell exercises, you must first learn how to perform them correctly. This article will guide you through 5 upper back barbell exercises you should add to your routine.
Barbell shrugs are one of the best exercises for your shoulders. They work the entire upper back, and it’s a great compliment to other movements such as pushups and pullups. It’s a compound movement that contributes to the proper development of the muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, and blood vessels.
Here is how you do barbell shrugs:
- Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent.
- Grasp a barbell with your hands shoulder-width apart.
- Keeping your back straight, shrug your shoulders up to your ears and hold for a count of one.
- Slowly lower your shoulders back down and repeat.
Many consider this exercise the best back exercise due to its size-building nature. It is a fundamental movement that you should never take for granted. Keep in mind that the development of your back muscles will significantly impact other lifts such as squats and bench presses.
Barbell Upright Rows
If you want to build bigger muscles and get stronger, there’s no better exercise than barbell upright rows. This muscle-building exercise targets your traps, lats, and lower back. With this exercise, you’ll also get an extra burn in your biceps because you pull with both arms simultaneously.
Here is how you do this exercise:
- Grab a barbell with an overhand grip and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Bend your knees slightly and lean forward slightly from the waist.
- Keeping your back straight, raise the barbell to your chin.
- Lower the barbell back to the starting position and repeat.
Barbell upright row is a great combination of exercises that will help you get bigger. Concentrating all the lifting on the upper body, especially the back and shoulder area, means you’re likely to have some great results. It is also low-impact and easy to do even if you have joint issues due to injury.
Barbell Bent Over Rows
A barbell bent over a row is a powerful compound exercise that works for all your major muscle groups. It also develops the whole posterior chain, working the upper and lower back muscles, as well as your traps and core. A barbell bent over a row is great for building impressive upper body strength. Still, it is also incredibly functional for sports-specific work, such as improving single-leg calf raises and preventing lower back pain and injuries in runners.
To do this exercise:
- Start standing upright while holding a barbell in your hands using an overhand grip.
- Bend at the hips and lower your torso until it’s approximately parallel to the floor.
- From here, drive your elbows back and retract your shoulder blades as you row the bar up to your belly button.
- Once the bar touches your body, lower it back down under control to the starting position.
- Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
Overall, the barbell bent-over row is a great exercise for an impressive back. It hits all of your major muscle groups for muscle growth and power and helps improve your body’s performance during other sports. There are many variations to this exercise, so be sure to try out different styles until you find the one that best complements your training.
Barbell T-Bar Rows
The barbell T-bar row is a compound exercise that works a lot of muscles. The most important muscle groups are the lats, glutes, biceps, and forearms. This is an excellent strength-building exercise for making your back more toned and fit. Whether you want to build muscle or tone your midsection, this is a great exercise to add to your workout.
Here is how you do Barbell T-bar Rows:
- Start by loading one side of a barbell with weight. You can use plates or dumbbells to add weight to the bar.
- Next, secure the other end of the barbell in the corner of the gym. You can use a weight rack or a corner of the room.
- Straddle the bar and grip it with your hands at the weighted end.
- Pull the bar towards your chest, keeping your elbows tight to your body.
- Squeeze your shoulder blades together at the top of the movement.
- Lower the bar back to the starting position and repeat.
This exercise is great for toning the upper back and building strength in the arms, lats, and forearms. After you begin working out regularly, you may find that you’d like to increase the amount of weight used on this particular exercise. However, before you do that, it’s important to build up your stamina with this exercise. Using a variety of rep ranges can help you get the most out of your workout.
Barbell Landmine Rows
The barbell landmine row is a great exercise to strengthen your lats. Because you are lifting the weight out in front of your body, it works all your arm muscles, including the biceps, front delts, and even the triceps. This compound movement requires greater strength than isolation exercises like curls and flies, so it’s ideal for increasing upper back size without ballooning up your chest. Here’s how to perform this back exercise.
- Start by securing a barbell in a landmine attachment or by placing the end of the barbell in the corner of the room.
- Step over the barbell, so it’s in-between your legs, and pick it up with both hands. Your back should be facing away from the attachment or wall.
- Bend your knees slightly and hinge forwards at the hips until your back is in a neutral position.
- Use both hands to pull the barbell towards your chest. Engage your shoulder blades and squeeze them together as you pull up. Keep your elbows close to your body.
- Lower the barbell back to the starting position and repeat for the desired number of reps and sets.
Whether you’re new to barbell workouts or are looking for more ways to work your postural muscles, the landmine row is a great addition to your routine. Because it targets the lats, upper back, and shoulders, it’s a highly functional exercise that can help you gain strength in those areas. And its simple variation from the normal barbell row makes it accessible and effective. It’s worth a shot.
Barbell exercises for the upper back are a great way to strengthen and build up your upper back muscles. These movements also help to build core strength throughout your body. To properly get the most from these barbell exercises, you must make sure that you are using the proper form and technique. Work your way up on weights and repetitions until you are able to perform five sets of 10 reps per exercise. Perform each of these barbell exercises once a week.