Exercise Profile
  • Target Muscle Group
  • Exercise TypeStrength
  • Equipment RequiredBarbell
  • MechanicsCompound
  • Force TypePull (Bilateral)
  • Experience LevelBeginner
  • Secondary Muscles
    Abs, Biceps, Lats, Lower Back, Shoulders, Traps
Target Muscle Group

Upper Back

Upper Back Muscle Anatomy Diagram

T-Bar Row Overview

The T-Bar row, also known as the close grip barbell row, is an excellent exercise to use if you are trying to target your upper back.

A variation of the bent over row, the T-bar row allows one to utilize a more neutral grip which can help alleviate some of the tension placed on the shoulder joint.

T-Bar Row Instructions

  1. Assume a standing position with the bar positioned directly between your legs.
  2. Utilize a v-grip handle and place the bar directly in the notch of the v.
  3. Hinge forward until your torso is roughly parallel with the floor (or slightly above) and then begin the movement by driving the elbows behind the body while retracting the shoulder blades.
  4. Pull the bar towards your body until the plates touch your chest and then slowly lower the handle back to the starting position under control.
  5. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

T-Bar Row Tips

  1. Experiment with head position and see which option (looking forward vs. packing the neck) works better for you.
  2. Keep some tone through your abdominals as you pull the bar into your body to ensure you don’t arch excessively through your spine.
  3. Don’t allow momentum to dictate the movement, control the bar throughout the entirety of each rep.
  4. Don’t allow the head to jut forward as you pull.
  5. Similarly, ensure the shoulder blade moves on the rib cage. Don’t lock the shoulder blade down and just move through the glenohumeral joint.
Thomas Clutterbuck
Posted on: Tue, 05/28/2019 - 08:56

My gym doesn’t have one of these. What exercise would be a good substitute?

Hector M Cervantes
Posted on: Tue, 01/25/2022 - 07:04

I was wondering the dale thing. It states that also known as the close grip barbell row, so i looked it up. Here it is.

Ms Galetlale Ma...
Posted on: Mon, 05/06/2019 - 07:27

hi guys i need your advice here, is your program good for someone who had a bypass like me? i m currently obessed and continuesly gaining wait no diet program seems to work for me and i get frastrated with less results or temporarly results. where i am we do not have those kind of facilities of a gym bcz its a rural area and undeveloped area.

Adam Pearce
Posted on: Tue, 10/23/2012 - 03:40

Yeah, some people do refer to this exercise as the T-Bar Row, however, there is also a machine in some gyms that has a bar that actually looks like a T for doing this very exercise.

Posted on: Tue, 08/14/2012 - 10:07

yah jerry i noticed that too

Posted on: Wed, 08/08/2012 - 17:33

Great exercise, but isn't this also known as the T-bar row?