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

Upper Back

Upper Back Muscle Anatomy Diagram

Trap Bar Row Overview

The trap bar row is a variation of the bent over row and an exercise one would typically use when trying to target the muscles of the back.

The trap bar used when performing trap bar deadlifts allows for a neutral hand placement. This can help in alleviating stress placed on the shoulder joint during the exercise.

Trap Bar Row Instructions

  1. Step inside of a trap bar and hinge forward until your torso is roughly parallel with the floor (or slightly above).
  2. Grasp the bar with a neutral grip and then begin the movement by driving the elbows behind the body while retracting the shoulder blades.
  3. Pull the bar towards your belly button until the upper back musculature has completely contracted.
  4. Slowly lower the bar back to the starting position under control.
  5. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Trap 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. If you feel your biceps being overused and your back remaining under active, consider utilizing a false grip (i.e. don’t wrap the thumb around the dumbbell).
  5. Don’t allow the head to jut forward as you pull.
  6. Similarly, ensure the shoulder blade moves on the rib cage. Don’t lock the shoulder blade down and just move through the glenohumeral joint.