The Best Barbell Back Workout - 60 and 30 Min Options

deadlift barbell back workout

Johana Hernandez |

If you are looking to build a strong and muscular back, this barbell back workout is for you. 

Barbell back workouts are effective because you’re working and strengthening your back muscles from your traps to your spinal erectors. The movements target your latissimus dorsi, rhomboids, serratus, and trapezius muscles helping you achieve your “back goals." 

This workout might take you 60 minutes, depending on the individual, how much weight, and how long their rest periods take. Ideally, you want to rest 30 seconds to 1 minute between sets. Depending on the weight, perform the prescribed number of reps. The heavier and more challenging the weight, the less reps you need to perform and vice versa. If you don’t have 60 minutes to spend on your back, simply select 3 of the 5 exercises or reduce sets or reps for a 30-minute barbell back workout instead. Now let's get “back” to the gym and get our barbell back workout going!


Barbell Deadlift

Sets: 3 sets

Repetitions: 10-15 reps


The “King of Lifts” uses your lats, traps, rhomboids, erectors, quads, glutes, adductor magnus, hamstrings, abs, and obliques. 


  1. Stand behind the barbell with your feet hip-width apart and your knees slightly bent.
  2. Start leaning forward and hinge by bending at the hip joint. Push back as if you're shutting a door with your glutes.
  3. Grip the barbell with both hands-overhand or a mixed grip is fine as seen here-so that your hands are placed right outside of your knees. Use your back and shoulders to help you lift the weight. Looking forward and not at the ground will keep you from rounding your back.
  4. Keep the barbell close to your legs.
  5. Straighten your knees, push through your heels, and squeeze your glutes to pull yourself up.


Good Mornings

Sets: 3 sets

Repetitions: 8-12 reps


Good mornings add strength and muscle to the low back erectors, glutes, and hamstrings.


  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Rest a barbell across the back of your shoulders and not your neck. 
  3. Brace your core while pulling your shoulders back. 
  4. Bend at your hip joint, hinging and pushing your glutes back with your knees slightly bent.
  5. Lean forward until you can feel the stretch in your hamstrings.
  6. Reverse to stand up straight again.


Bent-Over Barbell Row

Sets: 3 sets

Repetitions: 10-12 reps


This effective compound exercise builds strength and muscle in your upper posterior chain. Choose your grip: a wide grip works your mid-traps, rhomboids, and posterior deltoids more while a narrower grip will work your lats more.


  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Bend at your knees and lift the barbell while keeping your back straight, in a neutral position.
  3. Bend your torso so you are almost parallel to the floor, and pull the barbell to the top of your ribcage. Do not lift the barbell engaging biceps. Instead, focus on scapular retraction and elbows as if you're targeting the ceiling with them. 
  4. Slowly lower the barbell with control back down until your arms are extended but not locked.


Seal Rows

Sets: 3 sets

Repetitions: 8-10 reps


This back exercise targets your upper back and isolates your lower lats. 


  1. Lie down on your stomach on a flat weight bench with your arms fully extended beneath you.
  2. Grip the bar with an overhand grip slightly wider than shoulder-width.
  3. Pull the bar as high as you can, using elbows, shoulders, and back. (It’s okay if it touches the bench.)
  4. Lower the barbell to the start position.


Reverse Barbell Shrugs

Sets: 3 sets

Repetitions: 8-10 reps


Reverse barbell shrugs work your upper back, lower back, and even your core.


  1. Begin with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Using an overhand grip, grasp the barbell behind your back. Place your hands shoulder-width apart. 
  3. Keep your arms straight.
  4. Without bending your elbows, (it's okay if they slightly bend) raise your shoulders as high as possible.


And now you have the perfect barbell back workout you can do at home or at the gym and around your schedule with the 60 and 30-minute options.



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