Bent Over Row


Bent Over Row

Add one of the Best Back Exercises to your next Back Workout and other Weight Training Programs

Welcome to our Bent Over Row Exercise Instruction Guide!

On this page you’ll learn how to do this lat and upper back exercise using the correct technique. Below you’ll find pictures, exercise instructions, and tips on how to get the most out of this and other Back Exercises so you can immediately add to your Weight Training Programs or next Back Workout.

Have you seen our Best Back Exercises list yet? See if Barbell Rows made the list!

Exercise Summary

Exercise Name: Bent Over Row
Main Muscle: Upper Back
Secondary Muscle(s): Lats, Biceps, Deltoids, Trapezius
Exercise Type: Compound, Pull
Equipment Required: Barbell

Exercise Description and Instruction:

The Bent Over Row is also referred to as Barbell Rows and the Rear Deltoid Row. Whatever you want to call it, this exercise and is one of the Best Back Exercises for building muscle mass or burning body fat.

Like most row variations, this exercise targets your lats and upper back muscles as well as your biceps and shoulders.

While we generally tend to favor Barbell Exercises over Dumbbell Exercises, Dumbbell Rows are one of the exceptions. Some people will definitely disagree, but Dumbbell Rows seem to hit the lat and upper back muscles better than Bent Over Rows.

To get the best results, be sure to keep your back straight and your feet firmly planted on the floor throughout the exercise. Make sure you concentrate on pulling your shoulder blades together as you row the weight.

To Perform This Exercise:

  1. Start with your feet a shoulder-width apart in front of the loaded barbell.
  2. Bend over the bar until your back is almost parallel with the floor and grasp the bar with a grip just wider than shoulder width apart.
  3. While keeping your back straight, lift the bar up so it’s just above the ground and you’re in an athletic position with your back straight and your knees bent.
  4. Raise the bar up towards your chest using a clean controlled motion by contracting your arms and pulling your shoulder blades together. Continue until the bar touches your lower chest.
  5. Pause for a moment then return the bar to the starting position by extending your arms slowly and lowering the weight.


  1. It doesn’t take a lot of weight for this exercise to be challenging. Concentrate on maintaining good form.
  2. Keep your back straight throughout this exercise and your feet planted firmly on the floor.
  3. Concentrate on squeezing your shoulder blades together as you row.
  4. Perform each row in a slow and controlled manner using only your arms and back.

Now that you’ve seen the Bent Over Row exercise, which primarily targets your upper back muscles, check out all of our different Upper Back Exercises.

Or, view our Back Exercises Main Page and link directly to our Upper Back Exercises as well as our Lat Exercises and Lower Back Exercises.

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  • Weight Training Exercises Main Page
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  • You’ve seen the Back Exercises. Now access the Workout Routines.
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