What muscles does the barbell bent over row work?

The barbell row targets your latissimus dorsi, rhomboids but also your lower trapezius. It’s a great strength-building exercise for your back. You can also check out the dumbbell variation of this exercise.

How to perform a barbell bent over row?

Start with your feet hip to shoulder-width apart and a slight bend on your knees. You can either hold the barbell with a pronated (palms facing you) or supinated grip( like shown in the video).

Bend your torso forward (bending from your hips) and make sure your back is straight. It should be almost parallel to the floor. Look a few feet in front of you to keep your cervical spine aligned.

At this stage your arms are extended and your wrists are under your shoulders. From here, pull the bar towards your belly button by bending your elbows and keeping them close to your body. Imagine that you’re squeezing your shoulder blades together and tucking your elbows into your rib cage. Your torso stays as still as possible.

Hold for a second then return to the starting position

Video demo:

Pro tips:

  • Squeeze your shoulder blades together (imagine sending your elbows upwards behind you)

  • Perform this exercise with a mirror on your side to make sure that your back is straight

How to tell if you’re doing it right:

Your arms are moving without your shoulders shrugging or your torso lifting.