Bent over barbell row with reverse grip


The Reverse Bent Over Row is an excellent second-tempo exercise for pumping up the muscles in the middle and upper back.

Benefit exercises

Reverse grip barbell row in bodybuilding and fitness is performed for high-quality study of the muscles of the middle and upper back. In combination with the deadlift, their doublet includes almost all the muscles of the back in hard work, contributing to the growth of their strength and mass.

Performing a bent over row with a reverse grip makes the movement cleaner and therefore more effective. This is due to the fact that the reverse grip helps to raise the elbows in a strictly vertical plane, while the thrust with the direct grip provokes the spread of the elbows to the sides, thereby transferring part of the load to the muscles of the hands.

By regularly performing bent over rows, you will improve your athletic performance in sports such as gymnastics, rowing, archery, swimming, most martial arts, mountain climbing, tug of war, and many others.

Reverse grip barbell row technique

Correct exercise technique:

1. Stand in front of the racks on which the barbell rests. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and bend your knees slightly. Then grab the bar with a reverse grip (palms look forward and slightly up) slightly wider than your shoulders. Now straighten up and lift the bar off the racks, then bend slightly at the waist and, without bending your arms, lean (at a 45 degree angle) forward. The muscles of the lower back are tense, the body is tilted forward, the knees are bent, the chin is strictly parallel to the floor, and the barbell is held on straight arms. This is the starting position.

2. Inhale, hold your breath and gently pull the bar to your stomach so that at the top of the movement your elbows are above the level of your back.

3. Pause at the top of the movement. Then exhale and slowly lower the bar to the starting position.

It is important:

Throughout the exercise, keep your back slightly arched in the lower back, and the psoas muscles in tension.

During the exercise, the body, legs and head must be stationary. And the chin should be parallel to the floor, lowering your head down, you involuntarily “round” your back, and this is fraught with injury.

You need to pull the bar with the effort of the muscles of the back and shoulders, the participation of the hands in lifting the weight is minimal, they serve as a transmitting link. At the beginning of the lift, the bar should move due to the work of the widest, and not the biceps, then the shoulders and the entire upper back are connected.

Elbows during movement do not diverge to the sides and move strictly up or down. Get your elbows above the level of the back, this maximally includes the muscles of the upper back, trapezium and rear deltas.

Do not rush to increase the working weight, you risk worsening the «technique» of the exercise and thereby reduce its effectiveness.

Implementation options exercises

Bent over barbell row with regular grip. The main difference between these types of pulls is the grip. Straight allows you to work with more weights, but thereby provokes the separation of the elbows in motion, which reduces the load on the «target» muscles.

Working muscles when performing barbell row in an inclination with a reverse grip

  • latissimus dorsi
  • trapezius muscles
  • upper back muscles (rhomboid and teres major)
  • biceps
  • posterior deltoids

Alternative exercises

With some minor differences, the same array of muscles is used by exercises such as:

  • Pull to the stomach on the block
  • T-bar thrust

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