Bent-Over Row

Bent-Over Row

The bent-over row, also known as the barbell row, is a weight training exercise that’s great for strengthening your back!

Used in powerlifting and bodybuilding, it’s the perfect exercise for those looking to build up muscle strength and mass. There are several forms and varieties of the exercise, making it fairly accessible for beginners and advanced lifters to add to their routines. 

The Row And The Barbell 

The real impact of the bent-over row comes from the use of the barbell. 

A development of ancient clubs, the barbell became popular in the mid-1800s. Donald Walker is credited with making one of the earliest barbells. 

Though it isn’t quite like what we have today, Walker focused on taking inspiration from Indian club swinging to produce what he referred to as an ‘Indian scepter’. 

Later, towards the end of the 19th century, the idea of more heavily weighted barbells came to light with Hippolyte Triat, a French strongman. He promoted bars with weights on either end. 

Today, the barbell is a staple of weightlifting, deadlifting, and powerlifting exercises. The bent-over row is just one workout that utilizes the weight!

Work On Your Muscle Mass

The bent-over row is a great way to help build muscle mass in your upper body. There are several muscle groups that are engaged and impacted: 

  • Abdominal muscles
  • Glutes
  • Hips
  • Biceps
  • Triceps
  • Spine erectors
  • Latisimus dorsi 

Prepping For Your Bent-Over Rows

To add this exercise to your routine, make sure that you have the right equipment. Then: 

  • Determine how much weight you want to be working with. 
  • If possible, try and have a spotter with you for safety. 

Build Up Your Back 

If you’re ready to start the exercise: 

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. 
  2. Bend your knees and lean forward. Make sure to keep your back straight. 
  3. Grab the barbell with your hands palms down. Your hands should be about shoulder-width apart. 
  4. Bracing your core, row the weight up until it reaches your chest. 
  5. Carefully lower the bar back down to its starting position. 
  6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 for the desired number of repetitions. 

Back Strength Is Body Strength 

While you may be focused on toning your arms, legs, and abs, it’s important to remember just how much your back does for you every single day. 

By working to strengthen your back muscles, not only are you improving range of motion and helping to prevent potential injury, but you’re also helping set yourself up for success with other upper- and lower-body workouts. 

Changing Your Bent-Over Rows

Try the reverse-grip bent-over row. As the name suggests, this is simply a change in how you’re holding the barbell. Instead of grabbing it with your palms facing down, use a hook or underhand grip. 

This change in grip will help intensify the workout for your forearms and upper-arms. 

Get Started With Strength Building 

Add the bent-over row to your workout routine for a surefire way to build up your back! Not only will you help your body’s overall strength and stabilization, but you’ll see gains in muscle mass that can help you move closer to achieving your lifting goals. 

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