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Bent Over Barbell Row

Updated on December 29, 2013

Best Barbells


Neil's Blather

If you're a loyal reader you may be surprised by this article... I mean I don't think any of you thought I was the "athletic" kind of guy, but I am (at least in theory haha). I've been doing a lot of research lately, especially at sites like "". I think that weightlifting may be the best approach for me if I want to get STUDLY (shirtless selfies are likely). Anyway, enough of me... let's get to the info.

Bent Over Barbell Row

OK, so this is basically the row of rows. Wait! Slow down... what is a row? Well, a row is an exercise, executed with a barbell*, that works a wide array of back muscles. It is widely regarded as one of the optimal ways with which to gain mass and strength. I must say though, it is not recommended to perform this type of exercise if you suffer any medical conditions, namely back problems, because when performing a bent over barbell row you put extra emphasis on the back muscles... so just be careful guys- I don't want anyone to get hurt.. JUST PUMPED!

*A length of iron, steel, etc rod with which heavy, metal discs are attached at each end and then the whole conntraption is lifted up for weightlifting, powerlifting, weight training, etc. They can be anywhere from 4 to 8 feet in length, but in the rare case you see a 7 foot plus bar it is normally only going to be used by a powerlifter due to the enormous length.

Be Safe!

She'll be here to help if you get hurt.
She'll be here to help if you get hurt.


A lifter gets hurt when they stray from the well walked path. You need to perform the bent over barbell row and other types of barbell rows, dumbell rows, and so on with a well tested posture that everyone does, not your variation that you think is cool (even though it probably is cool). You need to be certain you utilize a well balanced and healthy back alignment stance when weightlifting. This means keeping your abs tense in order to encourage better posture as well as rounding out the back which will actually reduce the weight and tension located in our lower backs. Secondly, be certain to bend your knees which will in turn shorten your center of gravity and bring the pelvis bone closer to the floor. This reduces the stretch that you put on your hamstrings when picking up the weight due to the decreased height. This reduced height also makes it less dangerous when setting the weight down due to decreased drop distance. Finally, never lift alone. It's more fun with a friend and a heck of a lot safer. Beginners who definitely need a helping hand or even veterans who have been doing it for years never know when somehting may go wrong. Don't be all alone when that something does go wrong. Accidents are never pleasant and once again, I want you to be safe when you lift.

Bent Over Barbell Row

Shown with Pictures
Shown with Pictures

Bent Over Barbell Row

How To:

Pick up the barbell with a pronated, or down facing palm, hold. Bend your knees lightly while simultaneously coming forward with the torso and folding at the waist. Your back should literally be parallel to the floor below you. Hence the name, Bent Over Barbell Row. The barbell should hang directly to your front, the elbows should be held close to your body and your forearms should hold the weight of the bar as the bar is lifted towards your body. Keep your torso steady and breath in and out while this process happens. At the optimum contracted position be sure to tighten the back muscles and hold the position for a short second. Inhale calmy, slowly and lower the barbell back to the start position where your arms and the barbell are hanging perpendicular to the floor. Keep going until you have gotten to a comfortable level of repetitions or be like me and go till it burns (just joking, let's be safe guys Haha)!

Example of a Bent Over Barbell Row


There are lot of great benefits to lifting, weightlifting, powerlifting, working out, rowing and specifically performing bent over barbell rows. The first and most common reason to lift is because of the impressive gains in mass and power in your muscles. You will get bigger and stronger... there is no question to this. For example, did you ever check out the college rowing team back in the days? I will go out on a limb here and say that had some incredible, sculpted physiques. The row is a movement that will mold your temple into the greatness you are. The next benefit is the flexibility increases believe it or not. Every single correctly executed barbell row will stretch your hamstrings due to the fact that you are maintaing a straight leg position. Any kinks in your posterior chain are also going to be fixed and you should be feeling good. Finally, your posture will improve because as you exercise and you become stronger, more flexible and more filled outy ou will easily support your frame and so your body will want to perform in the correct manner when walking, etc. Due to all of these great benefits I encourage you to row on... row into a happier life and a happier body.

Need MORE?

He wanted more. (lol)
He wanted more. (lol)

Do you NEED more?

I just want to recommend the website "". They have a lot of great stuff. It's basically an all in one kind of gig, where they have information on barbells mainly and the associated rows, but also information on general fitness, dumbbells, where to buy your equipment and even the history of fitness and barbells. Anyway, good day to you all and I hope that this article has helped to encourage you to be more fit and to look into weightlifting.

Other Barbell Rows

Maybe you want to do some more research? Maybe you don’t know if the Bent Over Barbell Row really is the best option for you? Well, check out this quick summary of a bunch of other rows. I recommend that you read it if you’re still skeptical that the row described above really is the best for YOU!

• Two Arm Bent Over Barbell Row: This particular row uses two arms in order to hoist the barbell from the ground and puts you in the perpendicular stomach, bent over position. This is the pronated grip withy the hands and keeping a straight back. This is usually just another name for the Bent Over Barbell Row, but sometimes can be different.

• Two Arm Dumbbell Bent Over Row: This one is pretty simple to understand. The only difference is that instead of using a barbell you are going to want to use a pair of dumbbells. This may be harder due to the decentralized weight sources and the lacking of a bar with which to grip onto.

• One Arm Dumbbell Bent-Over Row: This can be a bit of fun! All you are going to do is isolate one part of your body. So, you will be using one hand and one knee on one side of the body. This will make it so you need to switch every few reps in order to maintain a balanced workout. Keep your one arm and one knee braced against a bench with your back straight and parallel to the floor. The other hand will be lifted towards the hips and until the elbow is put into a ninety degree position and the humerus is lined up with your back. Then, when done, return to the original position.

• Kroc Row: This fantastic row is called the “Kroc” after Matt Kroczaleski who popularized this variant. The Kroc uses very heavy weights with high repetitions in a row so not for the faint of heart. It is usually performed with grip compensation straps due to the incredibly high poundages. These can be as much as three hundred or more pounds. That’s one-hundred forty kilograms!

• Chinese Dumbbell Row: This particular workout is most usually performed as supplemental exercises for the Chinese Weightlifting Team, as the name would suggest. This can be likened to the Kroc Row which also utilizes very heavy weights, ridiculous repetitions and all at the true forty five degree body angle where practically no hip rotation occurs at the waist level. This causes a wider range of motion to go on around the upper body as well as causing the traps or trapezius muscles to get working.

• One Arm Bent Over Barbell Row: For reference, look to the instructions for the One Arm Dumbbell Row. It is incredibly similar to this one. The difference? We add a long bar in order to add instability so that you work more and get the radial as well as the ulnar flexors both located in your wrists working out. This may help you to improve your pronation and or supination grips due to the agitation the bar causes. You will need to work to correct the bar and keep it straight and parallel.

Bent Over Barbell Row

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Buy a Barbell Today! (Traditional, 100 Pounds)

Hopefully these two types of barbells will help you get started. I chose a traditional (above) barbell which would be great for someone who is just getting into the passion and a padded, more beginner oriented bar (below). I recommend both, but no matter what you end up getting I hope you start lifting. I don't regret starting and I don't think you will either.


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    • profile image

      Angel 3 years ago

      i just wanted to ask soteihmng i can manage to 3 single handed chinups however i struggle to do 10 with both hands . also when i turn my palms away from me and try pullups even 7-8 are difficult. i follow relativestrenghtadvantage blog and my lats are pretty wide now but no 20 pullups also can i increase my V02 max or is it soteihmng im born with ? sorry for the long essay cheers

    • neilcook profile image

      Neil Cook 4 years ago from United States

      LOL! I wish that was me! Thanks a bunch Shyron!

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 4 years ago from Texas

      Neil, this is informative and interesting, and the picture of the guy with a six pack "wow." Oops I forgot to ask is that you?

      Voted up, ABI and shared.

    • neilcook profile image

      Neil Cook 4 years ago from United States

      Thanks Janis! I want everyone to have fun while also not risking an injury.

    • WriterJanis profile image

      Janis 4 years ago from California

      Good safety tips.