Back Workout (4) – Bent Over Barbell Row

If you want to add a lot of thickness and detail to your back, you definitely need Barbell Row. This exercise is a great compound movement which incorporates lats, shoulders, traps, middle back, as well as your biceps. Try to minimize the biceps movement as you do this exercise as the biceps are the weakest muscle in the chain.




  1. Bend over your knees and bend over at the waist, keeping an arc on your lower back and looking forward.
  2. Take a shoulder-width step, palms-up (reverse grip) or palms down (normal grip). Your knees will be ‘inside’ your arms during movement. The next thing you should do is tighten your abs and hold them tightly in. This will stabilize your abdominal area.
  3. Keeping your knees bent (the angle will be somewhat greater than 90 degrees) and back arched and without lifting with your lower back.

  4. Pull the barbell back and up into your lower abdomen. Exhale as you do this

  5. Let go of the barbell back to the starting position, make sure that your back, your knees, and you abdoment are still in the same form. Inhale as you do this.
  6. Repeat for 8-12 repetitions in 3-4 sets




  • The common error is the form. This is most commonly seen as the straight-legged, rounded back style. This is bad for your lower back.
  • Always look forward when doing this exercise. Looking down will cause your back to round over.
  • If you have trouble keeping the form, do this exercise with your butt pressed against the wall.
  • When pulling the barbell up, fight the tendency to stand up to help cheat the weight up. It can strain your lower back
  • Do not dip your upper body down to the bar. Effectivenes of this exercise will be reduced by doing so.




Here are some videos tutorial that might help you. Note that these videos are not mine. I picked the best video tutorial to help you guys perform the correct movement of a particular training and gain results.




When done with the proper technique, Bent-Over Barbell Row is another great exercise for your back. This back workout builds thickness in the upper back and uses the lower back and abs to stabilize the body during the movement.

Now although this is the recommended exercise for blasting the lats, you should speak to your physician if you have a history of back problems. As good as the Bent-Over Barbell Row is, if you deal with back issues you might have to find a different way to train them so you do not get injured.

For the first time gym-goer, if you want to do this training, try do it with lighweight first or even no weights (just the bar) to get the technique right. Another alternative, you can use the dumbbell to perform this exercise

As your weights gets heavier, you may want to consider using the weight strap to help you grip the barbell. When you are lifting heavy, your arms tend to worn out first and prone to cheating to help lift the weight up and risking your lower back.

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Keep training hard and stay motivated!


Author: Fitness HQ

I used to be an over-weight guy. I tried so hard on different kind of diets (yoyo diets, skipping meals, meal only once a day) and yet I achieved nothing. Until I went to the gym by myself, people looking down at me, learning my way how to lift a weight. It feels great to be able to change my lifestyle, my body and how people see me. I prove that I can be different. I am here to help people that experiences the same problem that I used to have and try to help them achieve their fitness goals. I am happy to lend my hand and my knowledge to be able to change someone's life. Everyone deserves to feel great about themselves!

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