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Daniel Mesa

12 Best Crossfit Barbell Workouts

crossfit barbell workouts

In CrossFit, every barbell movement has a purpose. It’s not just about tossing weights around; it’s about precision, technique, and commitment.

CrossFit is a fitness regimen that combines a wide range of functional movements performed at high intensity. It combines weightlifting, cardiovascular conditioning, gymnastics, and more elements to create an effective workout program.

But what makes the barbell so special in the world of CrossFit?

In this article, we’ll unveil the top 12 CrossFit barbell workouts that will reshape your body and redefine your fitness journey. 

Whether you’re a seasoned CrossFit enthusiast or a newcomer, these exercises will challenge your limits and ignite your passion for functional fitness. So, let’s grab that barbell and start exercising!

Best Crossfit Barbell Exercises

Before we delve into the specific workouts, we need to understand why barbells are an essential component of CrossFit. Barbells offer several advantages, including:

1. Versatility

Barbells are like the Swiss Army knives of CrossFit equipment. They offer many exercises, making them incredibly versatile tools for CrossFit athletes. Whether performing explosive Olympic lifts or raw powerlifting movements, barbells offer endless possibilities for building strength, power, and agility. 

2. Functional Strength

CrossFit focuses on functional movements that mimic real-life activities. Movements like squats and deadlifts, commonly done with barbells, build functional strength that directly translates to real-life activities. Whether lifting heavy grocery bags or moving furniture, the functional strength gained from barbell work proves helpful in everyday tasks.

3. Full-Body Engagement

One of the key advantages of barbell workouts in CrossFit is their ability to engage multiple muscle groups at once. When you perform exercises like clean and jerks or thrusters, you’re not just targeting one muscle but muscles from head to toe. 

4. Scalability

Whether you’re a CrossFit newbie or a seasoned competitor, barbell exercises can be adapted to suit your abilities. The weight, reps, and complexity of movements can all be adjusted to accommodate your current fitness level. This scalability ensures that barbell training remains accessible and challenging for everyone.

Now, let’s dive into the 12 best CrossFit barbell workouts.

1. Deadlift

How to:

  1. Stand with feet hip-width apart and the barbell over the mid-foot.
  2. Bend at the hips and knees to lower your body and grip the bar with hands shoulder-width apart.
  3. Keep your back flat, chest up, and drive through your heels to lift the barbell.
  4. Stand tall, extending your hips and knees.
  5. Lower the barbell back to the ground with control.


  • Strengthens the posterior chain, including the lower back, glutes, and hamstrings.
  • Enhances grip strength.
  • Promotes good posture and core stability.

2. Clean and Jerk

How to:

  1. Begin with the barbell on the ground, hands just outside shoulder-width apart.
  2. Lift the bar explosively from the ground to your shoulders.
  3. Dip and drive with your legs, then split your feet to catch the barbell overhead.
  4. Stand up with the barbell locked out overhead.


  • Develops explosive power and coordination.
  • Engages the entire body, including legs, back, and shoulders.
  • Enhances cardiovascular fitness.

3. Snatch

How to:

  1. Start with the barbell on the ground, hands wide apart.
  2. Lift the barbell overhead in one fluid motion, keeping it close to your body.
  3. Lock out your elbows and stand up.


  • Improves speed, agility, and balance.
  • Engages the shoulders, back, and core.
  • Enhances flexibility and mobility.

4. Front Squat

How to:

  1. Begin with the barbell racked on your front shoulders, elbows high, and feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Lower your body by bending your hips and knees while keeping your chest upright.
  3. Keep your elbows up and the barbell balanced as you descend.
  4. Go as low as your flexibility allows while maintaining proper form.
  5. Push through your heels to stand back up.


  • Develops quadriceps, glutes, and core strength.
  • Enhances front rack mobility and wrist flexibility.
  • Improves posture and functional lower body strength.

5. Push Press

How to:

  1. Start with the barbell on your front shoulders, feet hip-width apart.
  2. Bend your knees slightly and dip your hips.
  3. Explosively drive through your legs, extending your hips and knees.
  4. As you rise, press the barbell overhead by extending your arms.
  5. Lock out your elbows at the top.
  6. Lower the barbell back to your shoulders with control.


  • Develops shoulder and triceps strength.
  • Enhances overhead stability and power.
  • Boosts overall upper body pushing strength.

6. Bent Over Row

How to:

  1. Stand with feet hip-width apart, barbell in front of you.
  2. Bend at your hips while keeping your back flat, maintaining a slight bend in your knees.
  3. Grip the barbell with hands slightly wider than shoulder-width.
  4. Pull the barbell to your lower ribcage while keeping your elbows close to your body.
  5. Slowly lower the barbell back to the ground.


  • Targets the upper back, lats, and biceps.
  • Improves posture by strengthening the back muscles.
  • Enhances grip strength.

7. Thruster

How to:

  1. Begin with the barbell in the front rack position, feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Perform a front squat.
  3. As you rise from the squat, explosively press the barbell overhead.
  4. Lock out your arms at the top.
  5. Lower the barbell back to the front rack position.


  • Combines a squat and overhead press for a full-body workout.
  • Builds leg, core, and shoulder strength.
  • Enhances cardiovascular conditioning.

8. Barbell Lunges

How to:

  1. Start with the barbell on your back, feet hip-width apart.
  2. Take a step forward or backward.
  3. Lower your body by bending both knees until they are at 90-degree angles.
  4. Push through the front foot to return to the starting position.
  5. Alternate legs for each repetition.


  • Strengthens the legs and glutes.
  • Improves balance and stability.
  • Develops single-leg strength.

9. Barbell Burpees

How to:

  1. Begin with the barbell on the ground in front of you.
  2. Perform a standard burpee by squatting down, kicking your feet back into a plank position, and then returning to the squat position.
  3. Pick up the barbell and clean it to your shoulders.
  4. Press it overhead.
  5. Lower it to the ground and repeat.


  • Combines strength and conditioning in one movement.
  • Enhances cardiovascular fitness.
  • Works the entire body, including shoulders, legs, and core.

10. Barbell Box Step-Ups

How to:

  1. Place a box or bench in front of you.
  2. Hold the barbell on your back, as in a back squat.
  3. Step up onto the box with one foot.
  4. Fully extend your hip and knee on the elevated leg.
  5. Step back down and alternate legs.


  • Targets the quadriceps, glutes, and hamstrings.
  • Improves unilateral leg strength and stability.
  • Enhances lower body endurance.

11. Barbell Russian Twists

How to:

  1. Sit on the ground with your knees bent and feet flat.
  2. Hold the barbell with both hands at chest height.
  3. Lean back slightly, engaging your core.
  4. Twist your torso to one side, bringing the barbell close to the ground.
  5. Return to the center and repeat on the other side.


  • Strengthens the core, particularly the oblique muscles.
  • Enhances rotational power and stability.
  • Improves posture and overall core endurance.

12. Barbell Turkish Get-Up

How to:

  1. Start lying on your back with the barbell extended overhead.
  2. Bend one knee and place the foot flat on the ground.
  3. Keep your eyes on the barbell at all times.
  4. Use your free arm to push off the ground and sit up.
  5. Stand up while keeping the barbell extended overhead.
  6. Reverse the movement to return to the starting position.


  • Develops full-body strength and stability.
  • Enhances mobility and functional movement patterns.
  • Improves coordination and body awareness.

Full Barbell CrossFit Workout

1. “Barbell Blitz”

Workout Description:

  • 5 Rounds for Time
  • 10 Deadlifts (225/155 lbs)
  • 15 Front Squats (135/95 lbs)
  • 20 Push Press (95/65 lbs)

2. “Iron Warrior”

Workout Description:

  • For Time
  • 21-15-9 Reps
    • Power Cleans (135/95 lbs)
    • Thrusters (95/65 lbs)
    • Bar-Facing Burpees

3. “Barbell Burnout”

Workout Description:

  • 4 Rounds for Time
  • 10 Hang Power Snatches (95/65 lbs)
  • 15 Overhead Lunges (95/65 lbs)
  • 20 Barbell Rollouts

Why Barbells Are Essential To CrossFit

In CrossFit, barbells are really important because they help with building strength, power, and overall fitness. They help you lift heavy things and strengthen you to do everyday activities.

When you use a barbell, you’re practicing movements that you do daily, like picking up stuff or standing up from a chair. So, it’s not just about getting fit; it’s about getting better at doing regular things.

CrossFit is all about being ready for anything, and that’s where barbells come in. They help you adapt to different challenges because all workouts are different.

One thing that makes CrossFit stand out among other exercises is that it caters to everyone You can adjust the barbells to your level, whether you’re a beginner or a pro.

Final Thoughts

CrossFit barbell workouts offer a well-rounded approach to functional fitness. These 12 exercises, when part of your regular training, help you get stronger and more powerful and increase your endurance while making you an all-around better athlete. Always focus on using the right form and staying safe to get the most out of these exercises.


Can beginners do CrossFit barbell workouts?

Yes, beginners can start with lighter weights and gradually progress to more challenging loads as they develop their skills and strength.

How often should I include barbell workouts in my CrossFit routine?

The frequency of barbell workouts depends on your goals and overall programming. However, 2-3 times a week is a common recommendation for balanced development.

Are barbell workouts safe for everyone?

When performed with proper technique and appropriate weight, barbell workouts are generally safe. It’s essential to seek guidance from a qualified coach or trainer, especially if you’re new to lifting.

Can barbell workouts help with weight loss?

Yes, barbell workouts can contribute to weight loss by increasing your metabolism and building lean muscle mass. When combined with a balanced diet, they can be an effective component of a weight loss plan.

Are there any age restrictions for doing CrossFit barbell workouts?

CrossFit barbell workouts can be adapted for individuals of various age groups. However, you must consult a healthcare professional and work with a knowledgeable coach to ensure safe and appropriate training for your age and fitness goals.


  1. 10 Benefits Of CrossFit Training for Strength & Fitness. Retrieved from
  1. What is CrossFit? Retrieved from
  1. Cardiovascular Endurance Is a Huge Part of Any Fitness Routine. Retrieved from