How to Barbell Bent-Over Row: Variations, Proper Form, Techniques

The bent-over row is a compound exercise that primarily works out the Latissimus Dorsi, Rhomboids, Spinal Erectors, and Trapezius muscles. Depending on the grip, some indirect muscles that will be exercised are the biceps, forearms, hamstrings, glutes, and rear deltoids.

This exercise also stabilizes the shoulders and midline, which prevents training injuries. Furthermore, by building more lean muscle in your upper body, you increase your metabolic rate. Increased metabolism means you’ll burn more calories throughout the day, which will help you lose fat. 

To ensure you are using the correct form when performing this compound lift, you should focus on pulling your elbows behind your back to activate your lats. Also, pause at the top of each rep and squeeze your shoulder blades together to ensure correct posture, and maintain your grip strength.

The six main types of bent-over row techniques are as follows.

  1. The Pendlay Row
  2. The Yates Row
  3. The Dumbell Row
  4. The Barbell Corner Row (T-Bar Row)
  5. The Helms Row
  6. The Barbell Dead Row

The most common mistakes people run into when performing bent-over rows have to do with posture and technique. Some people do not keep their knees at the proper 15 to 20-degree angle, while others don’t keep their lower back straight. Meanwhile, some people stand up when they pull up the bar instead of keeping bent. 

Furthermore, although bent-over rows are a common exercise, many people complain of lower back pain when they do them. If you feel a lot of pain in your back when doing bent-over rows, it means you are not performing them correctly, or you’re using too much weight. You should keep the proper form to prevent this type of injury.

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How to Perform Bent-Over Row With Proper Form?

Proper form is how you prevent injuries from occurring. Your form is how you position your body when you do an exercise. When researching exercises, you will see the proper form explained in steps.

The steps to correctly perform the bent-over row are as follows.

  1. Bend over and grab your barbell with an overhand grip. An overhand grip means that your palms are holding the barbell from the top instead of the bottom. A barbell is a type of weight with a long metal pole connecting two circular weights. You should place your hands slightly farther apart than your shoulders. 
  2. Bend your legs slightly and keep your back straight while bending your upper body until it’s almost perpendicular to the floor. 
  3. Pull the barbell directly up towards the lower part of your chest. 
  4. Pause for a moment
  5. Lower the barbell while keeping your back in the same position. 

To perform barbell bent-over rows without injuring your back, you need to push your hips back instead of leaning over when bending in step two. This form will make sure your back stays in a neutral position. 

Also, make sure you bring the barbell straight up towards your lower chest instead of pushing outwards. Pushing outwards will mean you are primarily exercising your shoulders instead of your lats. The Barbell Bent-over Row is an effective exercise and one of the best back workouts to include in a routine.

What are the Stages of Conventional Bent-Over Row?

You need to understand the stages of the conventional bent-over row to make sure you are using the proper form and technique. Foregoing correct form and technique can cause injury or cause you to work the wrong muscles. 

The bent-over row is a weight training exercise that bodybuilders and powerlifters often use to increase strength and size. It is mainly achieved by bending over while lifting weights on each side of the body. Here are the steps to follow.

  1. Slightly Bend in Your Knees
  2. Lean Forward at Your Hips
  3. Brace Your Core by Tightening the Muscles
  4. Keep Your Elbows and Arms Close to the Ribs
  5. Lower the Weight and Repeat

The necessary stages may vary depending on the type of bent-over row you are doing, such as Pendlay rows, but these stages will help in most situations.

1. Slightly Bend in Your Knees

When performing bent-over rows, you should bend your knees to about a 15-20 degree angle. If you bend your knees too much, you will find it challenging to maintain your body position, meaning you won’t be able to do as many reps, your chances of hurting yourself increases, and you won’t be working the right muscles. 

Conversely, if you don’t bend far enough, you are at a greater chance of hurting your lower back, and you won’t be able to hold as much weight. 

2. Lean Forward at Your Hips

For bent over rows, you should think of bending at your hips instead of leaning forward to ensure your spine stays in a neutral position. If your back is curved, you are putting too much pressure on your spine, which can throw your weight off and cause an injury. 

3. Brace Your Core by Tightening the Muscles

Bracing your core is a common step in many exercises to prevent damage to the nervous system.

To brace your core, you should tighten the muscles around your spine so that your midsection is rigid. Doing so prevents movements that can cause injury during bent over row.

4. Keep Your Elbows and Upper Arms Close to your Ribs

Keeping your elbows and upper arms close to your ribs will ensure that you are performing rows instead of curls. 

In a bent-over row, you want the exercise to focus on your lats, not your biceps. So, if you start to feel a lot of strain in your biceps, you should focus on keeping the arms close to your body. 

You should make sure you move up and down, not forward, and without bending your wrists. These steps ensure that you are performing the correct exercise. 

5. Lower the Weight and Repeat

You have to repeat repetitions when you lift weights with barbell bent-over rows because for you to build muscle, you need to create slight damage to your muscles. When you lift weights, you slightly damage the muscle, and as the cells go to repair the muscle fibers, they add more, making the muscles stronger.  

Note: Too much damage to the muscle, like an injury, can permanently damage the muscle. Use caution when strength training. 

One of the most common mistakes people make when they do strength training is using too much weight at once. Too much weight can cause too much muscle strain, which can damage muscles. 

What are the Mistakes for Bent-Over Row Form?

Some of the most common that cause people to fail at good bent-over row mistakes form are the following.

  1. Not keeping the back straight
  2. Pushing the arms out forwards instead of up and down near the ribs
  3. Failure to brace the core muscles around the spine
  4. Squatting too much
  5. Locking the knees
  6. Standing up when you pull the barbell up instead of staying bent. 
  7. Failing to pause when you lift the barbell

To perform with conventional bent-over row form, you need to ensure that your posture is as near perfect as possible. 

How to Determine Proper Weight for Bent-Over Row?

Overall, the amount of weight you’ll need to perform the bent-over row depends on your body, the number of reps you are doing, and your goals. For the most part, you want to choose a challenging weight, but not so difficult that you can’t finish your reps or you end up breaking form.

How to Determine Proper Weight for Bent Over Row 1
How to Determine Proper Weight for Bent-Over Row?

If you’re into CrossFit, you want to think about what exercises you are doing before you perform the bent-over row. You will not be able to lift as much if you have already done several strength exercises. Yet, you still want to try to choose a challenging weight so that you don’t just breeze right through your workout. 

Bodybuilders will want to think about their goals when choosing weights for the bent-over row. If your primary goal is to get as strong as possible, you want a heavier weight and fewer reps. If you want to get big, choose a slightly lighter weight and a medium range of reps. 

If your primary goal is to get lean, then choose weights that make the last two to three reps challenging but not impossible without breaking form. This method builds muscles which, in turn, burns fat. 

To determine how many reps you should do, you should think of your goals and the amount of weight you are lifting. If your primary goal is strength, one to six reps at a high weight range are ideal. If you want big muscles, then think about eight to 12 reps as a medium weight range. Finally, for muscle endurance, go for 15 reps at a lower weight range. 

Just remember that the amount of weight and the number of reps you’ll do go hand-in-hand. If you can’t finish your reps without breaking form or overstraining, choose a lower weight. On the other hand, if you breeze through your reps, then try a higher weight. 

What is the Importance of Grip for Bent-Over Row?

Grip strength or hold the barbell when performing the bent-over row is crucial because it changes which muscles you use. 

What is the Importance of Grip for Bent Over Row
What is the Importance of Grip for Bent-Over Row?

If you go for the overhand (palms on top of barbell facing downwards) method, then your elbows will naturally bow out a little more. This technique works your upper back, rhomboids, and traps. 

The underhanded (palms on bottom of barbell facing upwards) strategy primarily works the lats. 

Which Muscles are Involved While Performing Bent-Over Row?

Bent-over rows work the latissimus dorsi, trapezius, rhomboids, and biceps.

  1. Latissimus dorsi: The latissimus dorsi (also called lats) is a big, flat muscle covering the middle and lower back. This muscle connects the upper arm bone to the spine and hip. The lats are one of the main muscles that you’ll strengthen when performing bent-over rows. 
  2. Trapezius: The trapezius muscles (also called traps) are a group of three muscles that run from the base of your skull to about the middle of your spine. Bent-over rows work the middle and lower traps because you are retracting and depressing your shoulder blades. 
  3. Rhomboids: The rhomboids are two muscles in the upper back and neck that connect the spine to the shoulder blades. Bent-over rows primarily work the rhomboid majors in the upper back when you pull up on the barbell. 
  4. Biceps: The biceps are at the front of your upper arm and attach to your shoulder and your elbow. Bent-over rows work your biceps because you are using these muscles when you lift the barbell. However, the biceps aren’t one of the primary muscles you work when you perform this exercise. If you feel a lot of burn in your biceps, pull your arms closer to your ribs and make sure you’re lifting up and down. 

What are the Bent-Over Row Form Tips?

To master the bent-over row, you need to focus on your technique and form. Follow these seven steps for success.

  1. Wait at the Top
  2. Realize the Level of Your Elbows
  3. Keep Squeezing the Muscle
  4. Feel the Anterior Deltoids
  5. Keep the Bent-Over Row Straight
  6. Ignore Your Ego
  7. Work on the Grip
What are the Bent Over Row Form Tips
What are the Bent-Over Row Form Tips?

1. Wait at the Top

When performing bent rows, you should pause at the top of each rep. Taking a moment to pause ensures that you are working your lats. 

Also, waiting ensures that you are using the correct weights. If you cannot pause at the top of each rep, then your weights are too heavy. 

When pausing at the top of the rep, you should have the barbell pulled up enough so that it’s touching your sternum. You should also squeeze your shoulder blades together to ensure you work out all of your back muscles. 

2. Realize the Level of Elbows

Keeping your elbows in the proper position is critical to ensure that you are performing a bent-over row and not curls or any other exercise. 

When you pull up on the bar, you should keep your elbows tucked near your ribs and raise them straight upwards behind your back. This technique ensures you are working your lats. 

You should follow the same rules if you are doing the Yates Row, which is a bent-over row with an underhanded grip. Keeping your elbows tucked is an even more important step to remember in the Yates Row because the elbows will want to bend outwards more when using an underhand grip. 

3. Keep Squeezing the Muscle

When performing barbell bent-over rows or any other strength exercise, you should squeeze the muscles you are working out to ensure you are getting the most out of your training. Your muscle fibers need tension to grow, so squeezing the muscles helps them to grow stronger. 

You should focus on squeezing the shoulder blades in barbell bent-over rows because these are the muscles you want to work. 

4. Feel the Anterior Deltoids

Your anterior deltoids are the muscles at the front of your shoulder. 

When performing bent-over rows, make sure that you stretch the front of your shoulders outwards while you squeeze your shoulder blades together. Ensuring that you stretch your anterior deltoids ensures that you are squeezing your shoulder blades as you should. 

5. Keep Bent-Over Row Straight

One of the most dangerous things you can do when doing barbell bent-over rows is rounding your back. Not keeping the back straight puts your spine in a position to get hurt. 

Focus on keeping your back in a neutral position. Flexing your core muscles can help you keep your back straight. 

6. Ignore Your Ego

Learning to handle your ego is one of the most important things you need to learn before heading to the gym. Letting your pride get in the way can cause you to lift too much weight and sacrifice form, leading to serious injury. 

7. Work on the Grip 

The way that you grip the barbell when performing bent-over rows determines the muscles you are working out. A supinated grip (underhand) works your lats and lower back, while an overhand grip focuses more on the upper back. 

Also, the width in which you grip the bar will change the muscles that you work. A wide grip works the traps and rear deltoids, while a narrow grip primarily focuses on the lats. 

You will also improve your grip strength when performing bent-over rows because you are working your biceps. 

What are the Bent-Over Row Challenges?

Bent-over row challenges are ways that an athlete can test their strength and proficiency at the exercise. 

These challenges allow you to see how much progress you have made on your strength training journey. 

  1. Bent-Over Row and EMOM
  2. Bent-Over Row and GVT
  3. Test the 1RM with Bent-Over Row

1. Bent-Over Row and EMOM

EMOM stands for Every Minute On the Minute. You need to finish a particular amount of reps in a minute and then use the rest of that minute to rest. 

For example, you may complete ten bent-over rows in a minute coupled with other workouts where you also complete ten reps in a minute. 

EMOM exercise routines help you to build your stamina and track progress. For instance, you may start with ten reps in a minute and then work your way up to fifteen. 

2. Bent-Over Row and GVT

GVT stands for German Volume Training. The method comes from German National Weight Lifting Coach Rolf Feser, who invented the procedure in the 1970s. GVT focuses on a ten-set approach which leads to you working out the same muscle over and over. 

If you are doing the bent-over row in the GVT style, you will perform ten sets of the exercise. 

GVT is a bodybuilding technique that helps people gain a lot of muscle fast. 

3. Test the 1RM with Bent-Over Row

1RM stands for 1 Rep Maximum. Under this method, the athlete uses as much weight as possible to do one rep while maintaining the correct form. 

Using the 1RM method with the bent-over row helps you to see the maximum amount of weight you can lift at once while performing the exercise. You can also try 1RM with a bent over row machine. 

1RM not only helps to increase muscle but also lets you see the progress you have made. As you exercise more, you will be able to lift more weight on one rep. 

What are the Bent-Over Row Variations?

The bent-over row has a couple of variations, but each bent-over row ultimately works out the same muscle groups. The main variations of Bent-Over Row that you’ll find have to do with how you grip your weights and the type of weights used. These factors will determine whether you are performing the barbell, kettlebell, or hammer bent over row. 

  1. Overhand Grip Barbell Bent-Over Rows
  2. Underhand Grip Barbell Bent-Over Rows
  3. Pendlay Rows
  4. Bent-Over Dumbbell
  5. Kettlebell Rows

1. Overhand Grip Barbell Bent-Over Rows

The overhand grip barbell bent-over back row is one of the most common ways to perform the bent-over row. You will complete this exercise with your hands in the overhand position on top of the barbell. 

To complete this exercise properly, keep your feet shoulder-width apart and grip the barbell overhand with your hands slightly farther apart than your shoulders. Bend your knees slightly, and lean your torso forward while keeping your back straight. Pull the barbell straight up to your lower chest and retract your shoulder blades. Hold for a moment, lower the barbell, and repeat. 

When performing the overhand bent-over back row, the most common mistakes are forgetting to bend the knees, keeping too much tension in the neck and spine when lifting, and failing to contract the core. 

For this variation, you will only need a barbell. 

The overhand bent-over back row primarily targets the upper back muscles such as the mid and upper traps and rhomboids. These targeted muscles are in contrast to the middle back range that the underhand bent-over row targets. 

2. Underhand Grip Barbell Bent-Over Rows

The underhand grip bent-over row is similar to the overhand version of this exercise. In this version, you will lift the barbell underhand with your hands under the bar. 

The proper form for this position is the same as the overhand row, except your hands will be under the barbell this time. You also need to pay closer attention to keeping your elbows close to your body since they’ll want to bow outwards more when you’re underhanded. 

One of the most common mistakes during the underhand bent-over barbell bent-over row is that athletes have to bounce their bodies to complete the row. When doing rows, your body should be kept stationary except for your arms, which move the barbell. 

For this exercise, you will only require a barbell. 

The underhanded bent-over row will work your arms, back, and shoulders, but it will primarily target your lats as long as you keep proper form. 

3. Pendlay Rows

The Pendlay row is a more challenging variation of the classic bent-over row. Glen Pendlay, a weightlifting coach, created the row because he felt that more bend in the hips and more lifting would create a better outcome. 

To complete this row correctly, you need to start by bending forward until your back is parallel to the ground. Grab the barbell with an overhand grip and hands placed slightly farther apart than your shoulders. Brace your core and lift the barbell to your abdomen while squeezing your shoulder blades together. Lower the bar all the way to the floor and repeat. 

One of the most common mistakes people make when performing the Pendlay row is not bending their hips enough. If your back is not parallel to the floor, then you need to bend more. 

Other mistakes common to the Pendlay row are lifting with your arms instead of your back and rounding the back. You should keep your back straight while lifting and lift with your back muscles by squeezing your shoulder blades. 

You will only need a barbell for this exercise, but since Pendlays are more complicated, use a lighter weight than you would for a traditional bent-over row. 

When performing this exercise, you will primarily work your lats and rhomboids. You also work your glutes, biceps, forearms, abs, legs, traps, and delts to a lesser degree. 

4. Bent-Over Dumbbell 

In the bent-over dumbbell row, you will use two dumbbells instead of a barbell, but the mechanics are similar. 

To perform this row, you start with a dumbbell in each hand, standing with your legs shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent. You should hold your dumbbells shoulder-width apart with your palms facing each other. Bend to a 45-degree angle and pull the dumbbells straight up towards your chest—lower the weights and repeat. 

For this variation, you should ensure that your upper arms don’t go any higher than parallel with your shoulders when you lift. You should also keep your wrists still, and you should remain bent throughout the exercise. 

With this row, like other row variations, the most common mistake is arching the back. Your back should be straight in a neutral position throughout the exercise to prevent injury. Additionally, you should keep your neck in line with your spine to avoid hyperextension. 

Since this technique is a wide dumbbell row, you will need two wide dumbbells. 

During the dumbbell row, you will work out your lats, erector spinae, traps, rhomboids, and biceps. 

The dumbbell row is similar to the overhand and underhand barbell bent-over rows, but the main difference is usually down to the amount of weight used. Barbells allow a person to lift more weight while dumbbells stop at a certain weight level. Therefore, bodybuilders typically prefer to do bent-over rows. 

5. Kettlebell Rows

Kettlebell rows are a bent over rowing technique where the athlete uses kettlebells and typically uses one arm at a time. 

You want to start your kettlebell row by placing your right foot forward with your left leg bent, similar to a lunge stance. You should put your weight primarily on the ball of your left leg. You can then rest your right hand or forearm on your right knee for stability. 

While keeping your back straight, grab the kettlebell with a neutral grip with your left hand. Then, pull the kettlebell straight up towards your stomach. Your elbow should move behind you when you lift. Lower and then repeat. 

The main mistake made when doing kettlebell rows is that people pull their elbow up too high because they feel like the exercise has a limited range. However, your elbow should only come up just to your side. There is no need to go higher. 

For this exercise, you will only need a kettlebell of the appropriate weight for your body and the number of reps you are doing. 

The kettlebell row primarily works out your lats, trapezius, and rhomboids. To a lesser extent, you also work out your core and biceps. 

Kettlebell rows are practically the same as dumbbell rows. Personal preference will mostly dictate which one you perform. 

What are the Necessary Equipments for Bent-Over Row?

The only equipment that you’ll need for a bent-over row is your weights. There are a few different types of weights you can use.

  1. Barbell – a barbell has a long metal pole that attaches two circular weights. 
  2. Dumbbell – a dumbbell has a short bar in the middle that attaches two weights to its sides. 
  3. Kettlebell – a kettlebell has a small handle that attaches to a round weight at its bottom. 

What are the World Records for Bent-Over Rows?

The amount of weight that a person can lift in a minute or hour is how institutions measure bent-over row world records. They multiply the weight of the barbell or dumbbell by the number of reps performed. A record is broken when someone achieves a higher number than the previous record-holder. 

Guinness World Records record most world records, but other weight lifting organizations record records, including the International Weightlifting Federation. 

Women Bent-Over Row Records: Currently, there are no world records listed for women in either Guinness World Records or the International Weightlifting Federation. 

Overall, women are in the 95th percentile if they can row a 173 pounds barbell. More than 200 pounds will place a woman in the top percentiles. 

Men Bent-Over Row Records: The most weight ever lifted while doing barbell bent-over rows in a minute is 4,700 kg or 10,362 lbs. Irishman Eamonn Keane made this record in 2012 when he performed 47 lifts of a 100kg barbell in a minute. 

Keane also holds the record for the most weight lifted doing barbell bent-over rows in an hour. In 2012, he lifted 126,720 kg or 279,369 lbs in an hour. He lifted a 120 kg barbell 1,056 times. 

The most weight lifted doing dumbbell rows in an hour goes to UK resident Sipos Ede Daniel who lifted 35,899 kg or 79,145 lbs in an hour. Using a 16.4 kg dumbbell, he managed 1,095 reps in 2017. 

What is the Origin of the Bent-Over Row?

The origin of the bent-over row is not known, but the row has gone through changes over the years. 

One of the most noteworthy was the Pendlay row, invented by Glenn Pendlay, an American weightlifting coach. He began using this technique in the 1970s because he wanted to make his back stronger. 

Dorian Yates, who won the Mr. Olympia title six times in the 1990s, invented the Yates row. In Yates rows, the athlete bends their back to a 45-degree angle. 

Who Named the Bent-Over Row?

Unfortunately, it is unknown who came up with bent-over back rows or who gave it its name. The move has been a staple of bodybuilding for decades, thanks to Pendlay and Yates. 

Which Muscles Can be Affected More from Bent-Over Row?

The primary muscles affected by the bent over back rows are the following.

  1. Latissimus dorsi 
  2. Rhomboids
  3. Trapezius
  4. Biceps

For the most part, the lats are the muscle group that is primarily toned when performing bent-over rows. Since bent-over rows mainly use the muscles in the back like the lats, traps, and rhomboids, these are the muscles that are broken down and rebuilt by this exercise. Thus, the back muscles become stronger through performing back rows. 

Your biceps are also worked to some degree when performing this exercise. 

What are the Back Muscle Exercises with Bent-Over Row?

Overall, if you are looking for a bent-over row for the best back exercises, any bent-over row variations will work your back muscles, no matter the grip or weights used. 

Bent-over row variations for the back include the following.

  1. Overhand barbell bent over row
  2. Underhand barbell bent over row
  3. Yates Row
  4. Dumbbell Row
  5. Kettlebell Row
  6. Helm Row
  7. Pendlay Row

What is the Leg Muscle Exercises with Bent-Over Row?

If you want a bent-over row that will work out your legs, you should refer to the single leg bent-over row. 

To perform this bent-over row for legs, stand on one leg with a dumbbell in your other hand. Then, lower yourself until your back is parallel with the floor. Ensure you pull your shoulder blades back and that your spine is straight. Next, pull the weight up towards your body by pulling your shoulder blades back. Lower and repeat. 

What is the Effectiveness of Bent-Over Row for Muscle Growth when Compared to Squat?

A bent-over press allows the muscles to grow because when you exercise your back, your body recruits more motor units to that area, making the nervous system more efficient and eventually increasing muscle size. 

Muscle size increases as the strain from the exercise slightly damage your muscles so that they can repair themselves with more muscle fibers. For instance, when performing bent-over rows, you will work your lats. The lats will break down and then regrow themselves with new muscle fibers. 

When comparing squats with bent-over rows, you should know that they both produce muscle growth, but they target different body areas. In bent-over row bodybuilding, you will build your lats, traps, rhomboids, and biceps. For squats, you will work your glutes, quads, calves, hamstrings, and lower back. 

Some facts about the bent-over row include the following.

  1. Bodybuilders and powerlifters use the bent-over row
  2. The Yates row uses an underhand grip with your torso angled at 45 degrees
  3. Kroc rows, named for Matt Kroczaleski, are one arm rows that use hefty weights
  4. You can also perform rows with both knees on the ground
  5. The lower trapezius fibers adduct the scapula. 
  6. Having a professional monitor your form can lead to better results and a lower chance of injury. 
  7. Use a slow tempo when doing row bodybuilding and powerlifting to focus on form
  8. Bending the knees lowers the amount of stress in the hamstrings

Overall, the bent-over press is a versatile move with many variations that work out the back muscles. Also, you should take caution when performing this exercise to ensure you do not injure yourself. 

Does Bent-Over Row Affect the Hormones?

The bent-over row, like any strength training exercise, can help balance your hormones

Strength training results in a higher amount of human growth hormone. Human growth hormone regulates the fats, tissues, muscles, and bones in our bodies. Physical activity is the leading cause of human growth hormone levels in our bodies at any given time. Higher human growth hormone will help muscles to grow larger. Weightlifting also increases testosterone levels. 

Does Bent-Over Row Increase Testosterone?

Yes, row bodybuilding increases testosterone in the body. 

Testosterone in men affects their sex life, muscles, amount of energy, and mental health. Weightlifting exercises like the bent-over row are one of the most excellent ways to boost testosterone levels because muscle growth triggers more testosterone. Also, more testosterone in the body will make a person more energetic and motivated to visit the gym. 

Does Bent-Over Row Affect Mood?

Yes, any type of weight training, including barbell, kettlebell, and dumbbell back rows, can affect your mood. 

Notably, resistance exercise decreases the symptoms of depression, such as improving self-esteem and increasing energy. These positive outcomes occur because weightlifting increases your body’s production of endorphins, making you feel happier. 

Does Bent-Over Row Work Chest?

No, the bent-over row does not work your chest. If you are performing the bent-over rows or wide row exercises correctly, you shouldn’t be working out your chest. Your back is where you should feel the exercise. 

If you feel the exercise in your chest, you should focus more on squeezing your shoulder blades together so you are using your back muscles. 

Does Bent-Over Row Grow the Chest?

No, the bent-over row will not grow your chest. Your back muscles are the primary area where you will see growth from the bent-over row. 

If you want to grow your chest muscles, you should think about performing pushups or bench presses. 

Does Bent-Over Row Grow the Lower Back?

No, the bent-over row does not grow the lower back. Kettlebell and straight bar rows do affect your lower back, but the upper and middle back are the primary targets of this exercise since you mainly use the muscles around your shoulder blades. 

If you want to focus more on your lower back, then perform underhand barbell bent-over rows. These rows center more on your lats which are part of your lower back muscles. 

Does Bent-Over Row Grow Rear Delts?

Yes, the bent-over row can help grow rear delts. Bent-over rows and one-arm T-bar rows will cause you to increase your rear delts since, if performed correctly, these are the muscles you use to lift the bar. 

Does Bent-Over Row Grow the Lung Capacity?

Overall, you cannot grow your lungs. However, you can make your lungs more efficient through exercise. 

A person who exercises regularly will have a body that transports and utilizes oxygen more efficiently. This change occurs because your body has to practice getting oxygen to the muscles that require it when you exercise. 

Therefore, people who exercise often have improved lung and body health because oxygen can easily flow around the body even though lung capacity is not changed. 

Does Bent-Over Row Burn Fat?

Yes, any strength training burns fat. You burn fat because gaining muscle speeds up your metabolism. Even at a resting rate, muscle burns about twice the calories than fat burns. 

Burning fat has a variety of good health outcomes, including regulating blood sugar, improving heart health, and decreasing the risk of stroke. 

Does Barbell Bent-Over Row Increase the Heart Rate More than Deadlift?

Overall, bent-over rows and deadlifts will both increase your heart rate. How much your heart rate increases will depend on the energy that you are exerting and the type of exercise you had done before you began your rows or deadlifts. 

Heart rate increases during strength training because you will need more oxygen to create the energy necessary for your muscles to lift the weights. 

Strength training shouldn’t raise your heart rate as high as cardio. If you’re bodybuilding and your heart rate becomes very high, you should take a break or call an ambulance if you feel like you can’t breathe properly or may pass out. 

Therefore, neither of these exercises will necessarily increase your heart rate more than the other. 

Is Bent-Over Row Practiced within Crossfit?

Yes, Crossfit use the bent-over row during their workouts because of its high intensity. The row is an essential exercise to train the back muscles, which is an area that many athletes overlook. 

Is Bent-Over Row a Military Movement?

Yes, military personnel sometimes use back rows. If you plan on joining the military, back rows are a great military exercise to help you prepare since they make your back muscles stronger and help you lose weight. 

Mastering the bent-over row will help you to pass your army fitness test because it will make you stronger for a variety of exercises. 

Is Bent-Over Row Dangerous?

No, for the most part, the bent-over row is not dangerous if done correctly. 

However, this exercise does have a higher rate of injury than many other common strength exercises. The issue springs from the fact that the exercise utilizes several muscles in the back. The spine is one of the most sensitive areas of the body, and damage to the spine can potentially cause devastating injuries. 

To keep yourself safe when doing bent-over rows, you should start with a weight that you are absolutely sure you can handle. Then, you can gradually work up to more weight. 

You want to take extra caution when performing this essential bodybuilding move. Otherwise, you could damage essential muscles, which can limit your mobility. 

Is Bent-Over Row Push or Pull?

The bent-over row is a pulling exercise. You are pulling the weights up towards your lower chest and then lowering them. 

Is Bent-Over Row Essential?

No, the bent-over row is not essential, but it helps. Bent-over rows are a great exercise because they utilize the back muscles that you don’t usually work out. This exercise is a great way to build muscle and work out the back. 

However, no one has to perform bent-over rows. If you have a back injury or are prone to one, you may want to skip out on this exercise. 

Is Bent-Over Row an Olympic Lift?

No, the Olympics does not have the bent-over row. Despite not being an Olympic lift, bodybuilders often use the move to train for the Olympics since the exercise utilizes the muscles they don’t normally work out. 

Is Bent-Over Row a Compound Exercise?

Yes, the bent-over row is a compound exercise since it works out more than one group of muscles at a time. The lats, delts, hamstrings, and spinal erectors are all used in this exercise, making it an excellent option for those who want to bulk up large sections of their bodies. 


Athletic Insight

Athletic Insight Research


The Athletic Insight Research team consists of a dedicated team of researchers, Doctors, Registered Dieticians, nationally certified nutritionists and personal trainers. Our team members hold prestigious accolades within their discipline(s) of expertise, as well as nationally recognized certifications. These include; National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer (NASM-CPT), American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA-CPT), National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Nutrition Coach (NASM-CNC), International Sports Sciences Association Nutritionist Certification.