Gym Shorts: Inverted Row (How To)

New to the inverted row (or Austrlian pull-up or aussie pull up) or looking for a quick technique tutorial? Learn correct form in one short video.

How To Inverted Row or Australian Pull-Up

Gym Shorts videos provide short video demonstrations of correct form for various exercises.

Follow these steps

  • Set up
    • Grab bar ~1 hand width outside knurling (roughly same grip as bench press)
    • Elevate body so body forms 1 straight line & arms are straight
    • Feet out (farther out = harder)
  • Movement
    • Pull chest up to bar
    • Lower in controlled motion
    • Elevate your feet to increase the difficulty
    • Same as feet on ground: pull chest up to bar while keeping body as rigid as possible

What Is the Inverted Row & Why Do It?

The inverted row is a bodyweight movement that uses a barbell and squat stand or power rack (or similar stable horizontal surface such as a table) to train the muscles of upper back & arms.

This movement is also called the Australian pull-up or Aussie pull-up.

The primary muscles trained include the forearm or grip muscles, biceps brachii, and rhomboids, trapezius, and posterior deltoids.

Australian pull-ups enable lifters to train the muscles of the arms, forearm, & upper back without necessarily having to use a barbell or chin-up bar.

This movement cannot be as precisely loaded as a barbell row or weighted chin-up, and it is relatively difficult to add weight (can throw on chains or a weight vest). To increase the difficulty, move your feet farther out or elevate your feet onto a box, bench, or similar item.

Programming the Inverted Row

The inverted row can be used for lifters of any training advancement. New lifters may perform this with feet closer to the bar to train the muscles of their upper back, arms, and forearms to prepare to train with barbells. More advanced lifters complete this as accessory work at the end of their workouts, potentially as part of a circuit.

Typically these are performed for as many reps as possible (AMRAPs). So a lifter will typically perform these for 2-5 sets of AMRAPs.

Another way to perform these complete a total number of reps and break it up however is needed (e.g. 30 reps). In between sets, the lifter may perform other exercises or simply rest.

These can easily be performed as part of a circuit, either as an AMRAP, for a set number of reps, or, as laid out in the above paragraph where other exercises are performed in between sets until the prescribed number of reps is completed.

Click HERE to learn more about our Before Barbells approach for those who do not have barbells or want to work toward barbells and HERE to see our video on the barbell row.

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