Bent Over Row Video Guide

Exercise Profile

  • Strength
  • Barbell
  • Compound
  • Pull
  • Beginner
  • Biceps, Lats, Shoulders
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Middle Back Exercises Diagram Target Muscle Group

Exercise Instructions

  1. Grab a barbell, load some weight on it and set it down in front of you.
  2. Stand with your feet at around shoulder width, bend at the knees, and squat down to grip the bar with and overhand grip (thumbs at the bottom) and your hands wider than shoulder width apart.
  3. Keeping your back straight, stand straight up so you're holding the bar in front of you against your waist.
  4. To get into the starting position bend your knees slightly, and while keeping your back straight let the barbell slide down your thighs until it drops just below knee level. This is the stance that should not change throughout the set.
  5. Now pull the bar up to just below your chest.
  6. Squeeze your shoulder blades together at the top of the movement.
  7. Then slowly lower back to the start position.
  8. Repeat for desired reps.

​Bent Over Row Tips:

  1. Make sure you bring the bar up to the correct position. Do not bring it up too high (to your chest) or too low (to your stomach).
  2. Control the weight throughout the exercise. Don't allow it to drop quickly and pause for a count of 1 at the top of the movement.
  3. And finally (most importantly) keep your back straight! If you bend at the back, you're using to much weight. Keep your head up, and eyes looking forward throughout the whole movement. You might want to use a weight belt and squeeze the back of the belt with your lower back. This will ensure that you keep your back straight. Do the bent over row in front of a mirror or get a training partner/personal trainer to check your technique.
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32 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Thu, 07/30/2015 - 03:32
evan

very good

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Posted Mon, 07/27/2015 - 21:46
Todd

Can I use t-bar instead?

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Posted Tue, 07/28/2015 - 10:26
MikeWines

Todd,
The T-bar is a solid choice as well but just keep in mind that different exercises aren't exactly the same, so telling someone they could switch the mechanism of movement entirely would be false on my part.

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Posted Tue, 02/10/2015 - 10:57
Stig Johnny Hansen

when i'm doing this exercise, when i pul the bar up, should i keep my elbows pointing out of/from my body or having them close to my body when i pul it up?

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Posted Thu, 11/20/2014 - 15:53
Mime

Do not flare out your elbows. Doing so puts emphasis on the rear delts.

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Posted Sat, 11/08/2014 - 04:58
Habibullah

Hi Steve!

Is there any alternative for bent over row?

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Posted Mon, 07/07/2014 - 10:07
rick

i was wondering is there any other alternative exercise i can do instead of bent over barbell ?

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Posted Wed, 07/02/2014 - 05:44
Mads

Everyone needs to stop rating exercises. No exercises are bad, but it is your form that is.

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Posted Wed, 06/25/2014 - 00:40
Zoe McMurtrie

This guy is pulling the bar towards his stomach. Is this correct?

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Posted Tue, 10/22/2013 - 17:35
Richard

No free weight barbells at my gym sadly, what is a good replacement I could do with dumbbells possibly?

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Posted Tue, 10/22/2013 - 17:35
Richard

No free weight barbells at my gym sadly, what is a good replacement I could do with dumbbells possibly?

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Posted Thu, 08/15/2013 - 05:01
Adam

Its better to stand with bar, then bend over (back straight) untill just above knee then pull bar up along thighs (not resting on thighs though)

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Posted Wed, 06/19/2013 - 15:49
Evan

Would doing this with a supinated grip work different muscle groups?

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Posted Wed, 06/19/2013 - 17:37
mnsjason

There is a tendency to use biceps/shoulders when you approach this with and underhand grip. Just make sure you're focusing on your back, as you don't want arms to be doing the lifting in this movement.

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Posted Fri, 05/10/2013 - 09:56
Tony

I do these on my dead lift day, up to 200 pounds now with no problems with my back, none!!, think of the opposite of a bench press, also I can now dumb bell row with 105 pounds 2 sets of 8, I'm 6 foot, I weigh 195, remember to keep your form and use control, very good exercise

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Posted Thu, 12/19/2013 - 14:04
jason.kolbo

thanks for tip i am same stature so any time some sayssome tihng it help

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Posted Thu, 04/18/2013 - 07:41
rahul sen

very good workout for back

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Posted Sun, 04/14/2013 - 13:51
Max Jabbour

Guys, ignore thid stupid exercise. It's unnecessarily difficult and puts too much stress on your lower back and legs.
Do seated rows instead. They're easier to youse, you can do them safely no matter what, and they target the muscles better. Arnold did ROWS not this piece of crap exercise.

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Posted Fri, 04/26/2013 - 11:26
David B

Arnold actually is shown doing some intense T Bar rows (called close grip standing rows on M&S) in "Pumping Iron".

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Posted Sun, 04/28/2013 - 22:43
lewe

he did both pull rows and this apparently crap excercise ? this is effective dude

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Posted Thu, 04/04/2013 - 18:51
Gibbo

Use a smith machine for easy control of movement and precise lift!!

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Posted Wed, 03/20/2013 - 16:37
Ross

This seems hella dangerous if not done correctly

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Posted Sun, 01/27/2013 - 09:27
Liam

Is there an alternative to this exercise. I dont want to encounter any injury.

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Posted Sat, 10/27/2012 - 14:45
Hessian

It seems he is not bringing up the bar bellow the chest, but to his stomach!!

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Posted Wed, 09/19/2012 - 14:16
Clh68

Pendaly? (not sure if thats the correct spelling) Rows are far more superior option

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Posted Sun, 09/16/2012 - 16:39
SID

Is there alternative to this?

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Posted Sun, 09/09/2012 - 10:42
Jason

His back's not straight?!

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Posted Mon, 04/23/2012 - 14:10
Hatty

What angle should my back be to the ground? 45Degree? or more/less parallel with the ground?

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Posted Mon, 04/09/2012 - 06:22
lou

can a T-bar machine be used? will that help to keep my back straight?

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Posted Tue, 04/03/2012 - 17:03
Bubba

He's jerking the weight up at the top of the motion. Good way to get injured.

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Posted Tue, 04/03/2012 - 05:15
abdelrahman

I do wear one for all back workouts

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Posted Fri, 03/23/2012 - 22:36
andrew cotton

do you wear a back brace ?