The Bent Over Row is a major upper body pulling compound exercise. It’s easily performed with a barbell the muscles in the upper back like the lats and rhomboids as well as the biceps and forearms. As far as skill goes, this row is pretty simply to get to grips with. The toughest part generally for beginners is simply maintaining and holding the bent over position. When this is the limiting factor, I’d use simpler more supported variations of the row while working on the hip hinge position and strength through the hips and back. Requiring minimal equipment, the Bent Over Row is effective in building a strong back that will serve as your solid base for benching from, will help with developing the strength to bang out those chin-ups you have been working on and will generally strengthen those often neglected and dormant postural muscles of the back.
What are the key technique points?
- Find a stance that allows you to keep your knees back out of the way of the bar. Keep them soft and tilt over in a hip hinge pattern until you are close to parallel to the floor.
- Brace hard, initiating the movement by pulling your shoulder blades back then pulling your elbows up to the ceiling keeping them close to your side.
- Keep squeezing and pulling the bar in at the top of the movement as it makes contact with your body.
- Lower the bar under control, reset and repeat.
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Allan Young is a Personal Trainer and coach educator in Glasgow who operates Strength Coach Glasgow and is a 4x Scottish Champion Olympic Weightlifter.