Bent-Over Barbell Row

Muscles Targeted: The Latissimus Dorsi (lats) and the Posterior Deltoids (rear shoulder) are the main muscles targeted during Bent-Over Barbell Rows. The Biceps are also involved as secondary movers.

Equipment Needed: An adjustable or fixed-weight barbell of an appropriate weight for your ability.

How to Perform: Take a shoulder-width grip on a barbell. Bend the knees and lower the hips as you bend over at the waist until the chest is nearly parallel with the floor (as shown in the illustration). Beginning with the arms extended toward the floor, pull the bar up toward the lower chest by flexing the elbows. Lower the bar under full control until the arms are extended back to the start position.

Cautions: This exercise can put stress on the lower back area if the correct posture is not maintained throughout the movement. Once a certain degree of bend is established at the waist, be sure to keep that constant as you row. Also, avoid straightening or locking the knees. The knees should be bent throughout the movement. Use a light weight until you have practiced and mastered the position and correct form.

Variations or Substitutes: Rows can be performed with narrow, medium or wide grips. You can also use a reverse or underhand grip as a variation. The biceps are more involved in the movement when using a reverse grip. One-arm Dumbbell Rows are a good substitute for this exercise that allows you to work one arm at a time.

Additional Comments: Some people's skeletal and muscular structures are not well suited for Bent-over Rows. There are many other exercises for strengthening the muscles of the upper back to choose from if you can't do these well.

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