5 Lat Exercises Barbell Variations For Strength and Muscle Growth

Growing your lats with a barbell can be done through both horizontal pulling variations and hinging variations, though horizontal pulling movements are much more specific to the lats than hinging variations and these will be the movements provided in this list. If you don’t have access to a pull up bar these movements will help grow your lats without doing direct vertical pulling exercises like lat pull downs and pull ups. If you don’t yet have the strength to perform pull ups, these barbell lat exercises will help move you toward this goal.

3 min read
Sean Klein
Written by
Sean Klein
Published on
Last updated

Get weekly roundups of the best training tools in your inbox, every Monday.

No spam – just thoughtful training advice

In This Resource
  • The 5 Barbell Lat Exercises For Strength and Muscle Growth

The 5 Barbell Lat Exercises For Strength and Muscle Growth

The barbell bent over row is one of the best variations available for growing your lats using a barbell. It will engage all the musculature of the upper back and can be a great tool for those looking to improve their upper body strength and size or those moving towards their first pull up.

The supinated barbell bent over row is very similar to the traditional bent over row with just a slightly different grip position. This grip position will prevent you from loading the same weight as the traditional bent over row. It can be an effective tool for growing the lats.

The single arm landmine row is an excellent uni-lateral horizontal pulling variation that can be used to increase strength and muscle mass in the lats. It can be a challenging exercise as it requires a challenging hinge positional hold throughout the exercise. As its uni-lateral it also requires the resisting of rotation while pulling, adding additional complexity to the exercise.

The landmine single arm low row is a great alternative to the landmine single arm row for those who struggle holding the hinge position as the knee and hand are used to support the external load. It’s a great exercise to work the horizontal pulling movement pattern, just be wary of the path of the barbell head as its path is fixed unlike that of a dumbbell or kettlebell.

The landmine bar row is a great but slightly awkward horizontal pulling variation that can be effective at building volume in the horizontal pulling movement pattern. I say it’s awkward as you need to be very wary about where the plate is finishing in conjunction with your body, obviously you don’t want to pull and hit yourself with the plate. Remember to not use any momentum on this exercise and put emphasis on just using the muscles of the upper back.

If you enjoyed this resource you can find more below or try Programme, a fitness app that plans every workout for you – based on your progress, equipment and lifestyle.

This resource was written by Sean Klein. Sean Richard Klein has thousands of hours of coaching experience and a BSc in Sports Science with Management from Loughborough University. He owns a gym in Bayonne France, CrossFit Essor, which runs group classes and a Personal training studio.

Sean Klein


Programme is a workout app that plans every workout for you

Programme learns from your past workouts, training experience and available equipment to create your optimal workout plan that adapts to your progress.