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Inverted Rows to Build Big Back Muscles

Updated on March 3, 2017
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Inverted Row Example

What is an Inverted Row?

The inverted row or horizontal pull-ups are not an exercise I see many people performing. If you have any sort of lower back soreness or problems performing this exercise can get around that pain.

It is also a great alternative to doing barbell rows and even chin ups. It is always good to change things up with your exercises to really get your muscles working strengthening and developing from all different angles.

The inverted row is a great exercise that will hit your back muscles like you have never felt before. You don’t require any fancy set ups to perform the exercise, just a secure bar you can hang from while in a horizontal position. Inverted rows work your upper back, lats and even your trapezius.

They also work your biceps and forearms by default. It is a good exercise to include in your workout routine every so often.

A benefit of this exercise is the fact that this type of row will help to correct any posture problems you might have developed and not even realize by realigning and strengthening your shoulder blades.

Back Muscles Affected by Inverted Rows

How To Perform an Inverted Row. Instructions.

To perform an inverted row you will need a bar or barbell on a smith machine or if at home secured between two locations at a height that if you were to lie on the floor underneath the bar, you would just be able to touch it with your arms stretched out touching with your finger tips.

This way when you grasp the bar your back will not be on the floor. This isn't the end of the world if your back is on the floor however you want to avoid thsi if you can to ensure you get a full range of motion with this exercise.

To perform a repetition, grasp the bar with a pronated grip wider than shoulder width keeping your back straight (heels on the floor) and pulling your chest up to the bar. Have a look at the video or pictures in this article to see how you should look while performing the movement.

Make sure not to let your torso round, keeping yourself erect throughout the movement. Don’t flare your arms out like you would for a bench press.

Imagine you were doing a barbell row and keep your elbows flared that much, not too far out and not to close to your body.

Pull yourself up trying to touch your chest to the bar and at the top pausing momentarily while squeezing your shoulder blades together before you lower yourself.

Further Instruction for Inverted Rows

  • Do as many repetitions as you can until you cannot pull yourself up anymore. That is one set. Do 3 or 4 sets and you should be good for this exercise.

I have seen some people do this exercise with their feet up on a stability ball. This is a good version of the exercise which will engage your core muscles making the exercise that much better.

  • You could also do the exercise with only one heel on the floor raising a leg slightly which will force your core to work a bit to stabilize you.

Be creative with this exercise and any other ones you can do with just body weight to work your body and involve different areas to work in a different way than they have before to really challenge yourself. You will be pleasantly surprised with the results from doing this.

As long as you don’t do something to injure yourself have fun and enjoy being fit.

Inverted Rows

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