Back Workout (7) – Inverted Row

Lots of you guys maybe just getting started out with your fitness training, and doing pull up seems like an absolute impossible task. 80% of the population that just getting started weight training probably can’t do one either, so don’t beat yourself up too much.

So what’s the deal with the inverted row? You may have read about the barbell row, or the one-hand dumbbell row from this blog or you may have read it somewhere else. But what the hell is Inverted Row? Some people refer inverted row as the reverse bench-press because of its starting position is similar to bench press but instead of pressing the weight, you pull your body up.


It is actually a combination of a row and a pullup. This workout sounds so simple but it is deceiving because it is quite difficult to do even it is just a body weight workout. The key differentiator between inverted row and pull up is that the former requires you to keep your abs and lower back muscles very tight as you pull up using lats, biceps, and forearms.


  1. Go beneath the bar of the Smith machine. Set the bar high enough so that when you hang from it with arms straight, your upper back will not touch the ground.

  2. Grip the bar with both hands at slightly wider than shoulder width.

  3. For beginner, you can bend your knee and have your feet on the ground

  4. Straighten your upper body and pull your chest to the bar. Think of pulling your shoulder blades together and pushing your chest forward.

  5. At the top of the position, hold yourself there for a second or two if possible.

  6. Once you are strong enough, straighten your legs.

  7. Repeat for 3-4 sets with 8-12 repetitions each set




  • Bend your knee if you are not familiar with the movement.
  • Once you are strong enough, you can straighten your legs and do the inverted row
  • For more advanced user, you can put your leg on the bench to make the challenge even harder. Or you can put on extra weight on top of your belly, but be sure that you maintain your back position. When you add up extra weight on your belly, it will put too much stress on your lower back if you curl your back and prone to injured your lower back
  • Do not flail your elbows
  • Lower yourself until your arms are fully extended.




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.



Inverted Row is a great exercise to build thick and solid back. As Jim Stoppani explained in the video tutorial, it is much safer exercise compared to the bent over barbell row because it doesn’t put to much stress on your lower back (spine).

You can do this training by using Smith Machine or if it is available in your local gym, you can use the TRX Suspension Training. The interesting part about TRX training is that you can do it at home and do tons of variation if the band.

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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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