How to Bent-Over Row: Gym Shorts

New to the bent-over row or looking for a quick technique tutorial? Learn correct form in one short video.

How to Bent-Over Row

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

How to Bent-Over Row: Follow These Steps

  • deadlift stance (hip-width)
  • grip about one handwidth outside knurling – double overhand grip
  • deadlift bar up to ~knees
  • arms fully extended at the bottom
  • breathe between reps
  • back around 45-degree angle
  • flat back
  • minimize trunk movement
  • gaze
  • touch top of abs with bar
  • lower bar to ground under control

What is the Bent-Over Row

This exercise is a barbell lift where the lifter bends over at the hips and pull the barbell up to the top of his abs.

Many row variations exist – pendlay row, dumbbell rows, Kroc rows, inverted row, t-bar rows, landmine rows, cable rows, TRX rows, etc. – but this is one of the more common row variations.

Compared to the pendlay row, maybe our favorite variant, this version starts with the bar off the floor and involves a more controlled, strict pull. Because of this, you perform this lift with less weight than a pendlay row.

The difference between the pendlay row and bent-over or barbell row parallels the difference between the typical dumbbell row and Kroc rows, which are done explosively, almost like starting a lawn mower.

This movement trains the muscles of the upper back and arm, including the latissmus dorsi, trapezius, rhomboids, posterior deltoids, and biceps brachii.

Programming the Bent-Over Row

This lift typically comes after the primary and supplemental press movements have been completed. So, a typical workout might look like:

  • press (main lift – intensity)
  • paused bench press (supplemental lift – volume)
  • bent-over row (upper body pull)
  • additional accessory/hypertrophy work

The bent-over row can be performed by any trainee, but especially those who have completed the initial linear progression.

Complete the barbell row for 2-5 sets of 6-20 reps.

This exercise can be done as part of a circuit of superset, especially if you’re short on time.

Click HERE to watch an in-depth video on the barbell pendlay row and HERE to read a practical article on MED programming for the advanced trainee.




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