The barbell bent-over row is a very effective compound exercise which builds strength and muscle in the upper posterior chain (Back). But since you’re using your arms to pull the weight, you’re biceps and forearms receive heavy stimulation as secondary muscles in the movement. Being able to work multiple muscles at a time is a great benefit of doing compound movements.
Now, this is a great exercise for any level of lifting experience but it’s recommended to start slow and get the technique down before training with heavy resistance loads. The barbell row is a must in any workout routine with the goal of making some serious gains!
In This Exercise:
- Target Muscle Group: All back muscles (Latissimus Dorsi, Rhomboids, Traps, Erector Spinae)
- Type: Strength
- Mechanics: Compound
- Equipment: Barbell
- Difficulty: Beginner
- Place a loaded barbell on the floor or on a rack at about knee level.
- Then, bend your knees and lift the barbell with an overhand grip while keeping your back straight.
- Now, bend your torso over just above parallel to the floor and pull the barbell to the to about the top of your ribcage until it stops a few inches short. Retract your shoulder blades and squeeze your back muscles while exhaling.
- Slowly lower the barbell back down until you’re arms are extended in the starting position but don’t lock your elbows out at the bottom. Inhale during this portion of the exercise.
- Repeat for the desired number of reps.
Variations & Tips:
- You can also use dumbbells or cables to perform a bent-over row.
- You can use an underhand grip to target more of the spinal erector muscles.
- Always keep your knees slightly bent to protect your lower back during the exercise.
- Beginners should practice with the bar only at first and then add weight as they become more experienced.
- The bent-over barbell row works all back muscles but the biceps and forearms receive heavy stimulation secondarily.