Share This!

Having a strong fit back is a prerequisite if you want to avoid back pain and other problems.  Rows are amazing for your body, for your back specifically. As you know, diversity is key when aiming to achieve metabolic and physical changes in the body. You can also perform rows with a barbell instead of using dumbbells.

The barbell row is a great back exercise. The bent-over barbell row mainly targets the latissimus dorsi (lats), the largest muscle in the back, trapezius (traps), and rhomboids (upper middle back). It also stimulates the erector spinae (back muscles extending from the vertebral column down to the lower back), abs, hamstrings, and glutes, which help stabilize the body during the movement. 

Benefits of Bent-Over Barbell Rows

  • Strength: Bent-over barbell rows improve your strength since you can lift heavy amounts.
  • Power: You can lift the weight fast, which increases your power.  
  • Hypertrophy: Being able to lift heavier weight, you can increase muscle mass and get a thicker back.
  • Fat Loss: The bent-over barbell row is a compound movement that deals with several muscles simultaneously, helping you burn more fat.
  • Aesthetics: Being a compound exercise, it helps sculpt not only the upper body but the legs and glutes as well. 
  • Lower Back Stability: Bending over strengthens your lower back and stabilizing muscles. This can help you perform other exercises such as deadlifts, squats, and even chest presses.
  • Back Pain: Having a strong back prevents and helps you deal with back pain.
  • Simplicity: It’s a simple exercise and you only need a barbell to perform it. 

How to Do Bent-Over Barbell Rows

  • Grab a barbell with the palms facing down and let it rest by your tights.
  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Bend your knees and bring your torso forward slightly.
  • Keep your back straight and almost parallel to the floor.
  • Lift the barbell up towards your sternum, keeping your elbows close to the body.
  • Hold at the top of the movement, squeezing your back muscles.
  • Lower the barbell down in a controlled way.
  • Repeat for the desired amount of reps.


Bent-Over Barbell Rows can be performed with different hand grips and body positions, providing diverse results.

Hand Grip:

  • Underhand or supinated grip is when your hand grabs the barbell from underneath. When the bar is resting by your tights, your palms face away from your body and towards the front of the room (this is my grip on the video below). This grip engages the biceps as well. 
  • Overhand or pronated grip is the opposite grip. When the bar is resting by your tights, your palms face your body.

Body Position /Angles:

  • Yates rows are performed by bending your torso forward and positioning your back at a 45-degree angle or so. The shallow angle allows you to use more weight. This position hits the upper back and traps primarily and avoids putting too much pressure on the lower back.
  • Pendlay rows are performed at a 90-degree bend so your back is parallel to the floor. During this movement, you put the bar down all the way down to the floor with every repetition, highly stimulating the lats.


Bent-Over Barbell Rows’ Mistakes

  • Bouncing the weight: It is always best to lift the weight in a controlled manner. If you have to jerk the weight, you should lower the weight. This also increases the risk of injury and takes away the tension from the targeted muscles.
  • Arching back: Hyperextending your back can injure it.
  • Not bending over enough: Doing the exercise in a more of an upright position than a bent position withdraws the tension away from the back muscles and moves it towards the shoulders.

Bent-Over Underhand Barbell Row Video

Bent Over Underhand Barbell Rows

Back Workout

You can complete your back workout with Lat PulldownsDumbbell Pullovers, and Renegade Rows

Lift, Burn more Fat, Get Stronger and Live Healthier!

To a Fitter Healthier You,

Adriana Albritton

The Fitness Wellness Mentor

Translate »
HTML Snippets Powered By :