Tap to Read ➤

How to Do a Barbell Row

Bhakti Satalkar
To strengthen the back, one of the best exercises is the barbell row. However, it is important to practice this exercise using the correct technique, so that one does not hurt oneself while doing the exercise...
Most of us suffer from weak backs due to various reasons. The most common of the reasons is bad posture. For a strong back and to build strength both in the upper as well as the lower back, the best exercise is the barbell row. It not only helps in building strength, but it also helps the body to stabilize. We will see the importance of doing the barbell row exercise before we focus our attention on technique to do a barbell row.

Importance of Barbell Row Exercise

How often has it happened that your barbell exercise routine consists of different bench press variations? These exercises are horizontal pressing exercises, but there are hardly any exercises for horizontal pulling motions. This is one of the primary reason that the barbell row exercise has to be included in your exercise routine.
Doing the barbell row proves to be of great help in playing combat sports, due to the pulling motion involved in the exercise. The look of the back muscles also changes, as the barbell rows help in adding muscle to the upper back.
Doing barbell row exercises helps in working the latissismus dorsi, trapezius, upper arm and also the posterior deltoid muscles. In other words, it is a great exercise for mass building.

How to Do Barbell Rows Correctly

Stand with shoulder width distance between your feet. Place the bar in front of you on the floor. Bend down at a 45 degree angle from your waist, with your knees bent slightly. Hold the barbell with your palms facing down. Grip the bar such that your hands are a little more than shoulder width wide.
Now slowly lift the barbell in front of your knees. As you try to lift the barbell closer to your bellybutton, bend your elbows. Lift the barbell till it comes closer to your chest as you squeeze the back muscles. Lower the barbell slowly and place the barbell on the floor and repeat the exercise again.

Some Tips on Doing the Barbell Rows

Along with how to do a bent over barbell row, there are a few tips you will want to follow when you are doing the barbell row. It is recommended that you place the barbell on the floor after every repetition. Never hold the barbell with an underhand grip when you do barbell rows.
When you are doing the exercise, make sure you use the upper back muscles to do the exercise. Never use the lower back muscles to do this exercise, as you will not only 'NOT' work the upper back muscles, for which the exercise is aimed at, but there are chances that the exercise will cause injuries to the lower back muscles as well.
When your elbows are bent, they should point to the ceiling and not behind you. During each of the repetition, you will have to ensure that your upper back is parallel to the ceiling. Your back should not be slanting or your arms should not be hanging with dead weight.
When you are doing this exercise, make sure you are looking at the floor and not at the mirror in front of you, lest it causes neck pain. When you are doing an upright barbell row, make sure your abs are engaged. The barbell should be lifted using muscle power only. If you try to yank up the weights, there are chances that you will end up hurting yourself.
One can also do reverse grip barbell rows, however, it is best to practice the exercise with a trainer. I hope with this write up, you now know how to do a barbell row. When you are new to the exercise, it is best to have a spotter around when you do the exercise, so that you do not make any mistake while doing the exercise and hurt yourself.