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Bent-Over Barbell Rows - Exercise for the Muscles of the Back


 

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Barbell Bent-Over Rows

Home -> Exercises -> Barbell Bent-Over Rows


Primary Muscles Worked: Description:
Latissimus Dorsi The large fan-shaped muscles of the back.
Rhomboids, Teres Major, Middle Trapezius The muscles of the upper back that bring the shoulder blades in towards the mid-line of the body.
Secondary Muscles Worked: Description:
Biceps Brachii The flexion muscles of the front of the upper arm.
Posterior Deltoids The rear head of the shoulder muscle complex.


The Bent-Over Barbell Row exercise is a basic but very good back developer. It can be easy to use poor form with this one, so be sure to keep your body in the proper position while performing the exercise. This exercise will hit the lats, the upper back muscles as well as the biceps. It's a great overall mass-building exercise.


How to Do Barbell Bent-Over Rows:

The Bent-Over Row builds thickness in the upper back and uses the lower back and abs to stabilize the body during the movement. The biceps also contribute to the movement, however care should be taken to minimize biceps involvement as the biceps are the weakest muscle in the chain.

  • There are several variations but the most effective version for the lats is the reverse-grip row.

  • Bend your knees and bend over at the waist, keeping an arch in your lower back and looking forward. It is important not to round your lower back in this exercise.

  • Take a shoulder-width, palms-up grip on the barbell. Your knees will be inside your arms during the movement. The next thing you should do is suck up your abs and hold them tightly in. This will stabilize your abdominal area.
Start position for the barbell bent-over row for the back.
Top position for the barbell bent-over row for the back.
  • Keeping your knees bent (the angle will be somewhat greater than 90 degrees) and back arched and without lifting with your lower back, pull the barbell back and up into your lower abdomen.

  • Fight the tendency to stand up to help cheat the weight up, which can strain your lower back.

  • Also, do not dip your upper body down to meet the bar. This will reduce the effectiveness of the exercise and can lead to lower back injury.

  • When done with proper form, the bent-over row is one of the most effective back exercises you can do.


Common Errors in the Bent-Over Row:

1. Improper body position

This is most commonly seen as the straight-legged, rounded back style. This is the worst position for your lower back to be taking weight on. Always keep your lower back arched, your knees bent, and your head up and butt down.

2. Yanking the weight up

Always lift the weight up using muscle power only. Yanking the weight up in this position can cause lower back injury.

3. Dipping the upper body down

This is often done as you pull the bar up in an effort to get the weight up to the end of the rep. Instead of pulling the bar up to you, you are dropping yourself down to meet the bar. This is a less effective way to train the back and has the potential for injury. Keep your torso as steady as you can.

Error: hunched-over position for the barbell bent-over row for the back


Tricks for the Bent-Over Row:

1. Coming in for a landing

Imagine your body as a plane coming in for a landing. This will help with your body positioning. Always look forward when doing this exercise. Looking down will automatically cause your back to round over.

2. Butt against the wall

If you have trouble keeping in the correct position, do this exercise with your butt pressed against the wall. By keeping it firmly in one spot, you will eliminate the tendency to stand up.

 

Other Back Exercises

Close Grip Pulldowns
Bent-Over Barbell Rows
Seated Cable Rows
Wide Grip Pulldowns to the Front

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