Best Barbell Workouts For Versatility & Optimal Growth


Barbells are perfect for enhancing exercise performance and aiding in competition and serve as a versatile and effective piece of exercise equipment for great gains.

Barbells can be seriously effective when looking to enhance strength and performance and can be used for a variety of exercises to offer great benefits to keep you healthy and fit. While we often associate barbells as tools for those big lifts, there are many isolated exercises that simply use the barbell. When looking to build a stellar home gym, consider looking into barbells in order to execute your workouts and really add diversity to your barbell routine.

Barbells can help build functional strength for people looking to gain muscle mass while also enhancing overall strength. A good, quality barbell workout can tear down muscle in order to rebuild that muscle tissue in a safer, more effective manner. This is where a good protein supplement would come into play, for they can pump you with vital nutrients like BCAAs to stimulate protein synthesis and aid in that much needed recovery and recuperation.

Unlike some more complicated equipment that requires some tutorial which you just don’t have time for, barbells are easy to use, versatile by nature, and can really work to perfect lifting techniques so you can tackle any of those big lifts, like the big three powerlifting exercises being the squat, bench press, and deadlift. The ability to add more resistance can increase time under tension and lead to deeper muscles being worked that often times get overlooked, seriously enhancing all aspects of your growth and maximizing total performance. This makes the barbell worthwhile for all your bodybuilding goals.

The benefits of barbell training should not be overlooked and these top barbell workouts will surely convince you to incorporate barbells into your training, if you don’t already. Let’s dive more into barbells and see what all this hype is about.


Benefits Of Barbell Training

Barbells are great for offering full body workouts to see enhanced growth and size, while also aiding in functional movements and working to improve range of motion, flexibility, and ultimately, more solid mobility. Mobility comes from both flexibility and stability, also referred to as strength, and is important for all sorts of athletic performance as you look to advance in your goals (1). Since barbells work to really improve mobility, barbell training has become a great way to get the edge up on all your competitors.

The benefits of barbell training include:

  • Versatility: With the ability to build both strength and cardio, barbells offer just the right amount of weight to work your muscles to increase mass and size, while also allowing more quicker movements to be performed without a serious overload.
  • Improve athletic performance: A great full body workout, any exercise performed with a barbell will work to promote better training and competitive performance. Barbells are perfect for building better mind muscle connection in efforts to work on technique and better muscular focus (2).
  • Convenient: Barbell training allows you to perform an entire workout by simply using one piece of equipment. Instead of constant changes to prolong your workout, barbell training can be quick and convenient, while also still very effective.
  • Promote better cognitive function: Barbell training, like most all training, can really work to boost your confidence and mood in knowing you are bettering yourself and seeing great gains (3). Other benefits like productivity and better sleeping habits also come from barbell training.


Top Barbell Workouts For Maximum Growth

Landmine Rainbow

The landmine rainbow is a great core exercise to really fire up those abs and start to see that shredded physique. Through various twists and turns, you work your core by moving your arms in an arc while maintaining good form through your spine.

How to: Place one end of the barbell on the ground, preferably in a stand for added support. Hold the other end at around eye-level and twist the barbell with your arms, keeping your body as straight as possible. Alternate sides and perform for desired number of reps.

Zercher Squat

The Zercher squat may look similar to a front squat but the grip and bar placement are different, really working to target your core as well. It is important to stay as tall as possible to avoid any unwanted pain and injury.

How to: Place the bar in the pit of your elbow and maintain a solid core. With your feet spread slightly at around shoulder width apart, drive down into a squat, keeping a neutral spine. Push through your heels and return to the top.


Overhead Press

The overhead press is a mean shoulder workout to really round out your upper body. This will not only increase shoulder strength but also helps maintain proper muscular balance. This can be done seated or standing (4).

How to: Place your hands slightly more than shoulder width apart on the bar. With the bar at ear-level, drive it over your head, extending your arms. Gently lower back down and repeat for your desired number of reps.

Upright Row

The upright row is great for shoulders and traps while also engaging your biceps and back. This is a great exercise for toning and getting those mountains for traps that you’d love to have. Feel free to add weight as well if you’re comfortable.

How to: Using an overhand grip, place your hands at around shoulder width apart. With the bar close to your body, raise your elbows so they are parallel to the ground and the bar at about chin height. With a controlled motion, lower back down to the starting position.

Wrap Up

Barbell training is a great way to see awesome growth in your muscles while also aiding in functional movements to support any big lifts, complex exercises, or competitive performance. The perfect at home tool for training, barbells are convenient, versatile, and affordable, making this a much sought after piece of workout equipment. Check out barbells and the benefits they can offer you and really work to see that desired growth really come to life.

Let us know what you think in the comments below. Also, be sure to follow Generation Iron on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. 

*Images courtesy of Envato


  1. Haley, Jimmy. “The Importance of Flexibility and Mobility”. (source)
  2. Lucero, Rhys AJ.; Fry, Andrew C.; LeRoux, Christopher D. (2019). “Relationships between barbell squat strength and weightlifting performance”. (source)
  3. Cassilhas, Ricardo C.; Viana, Valter A. R.; Grassmann, Viviane; et al. (2007). “The Impact of Resistance Exercise on the Cognitive Function of the Elderly”. (source)
  4. Waller, Mike; Piper, Tim; Miller, Jason (2009). “Overhead Pressing Power/Strength Movements”. (source)
Austin Letorney
Austin Letorney is a writer, actor, and fitness enthusiast. As a former rower, he has shifted his focus to sharing his knowledge of the fitness world and strength sports with others.