14 Best T-Bar Row Alternatives for Back, Muscle Growth, and Strength

14 Best T-Bar Row Alternatives for Back, Muscle Growth, and Strength

The T-Bar Row is a compound exercise that primarily targets the upper back, biceps, and shoulders. The lifter begins by straddling a weighted bar, pulling one end toward the torso, and then lowering it back to the starting position. Here are the muscle groups that directly benefit from the T-Bar Row and alternatives.

  1. Latissimus dorsi
  2. Trapezius
  3. Posterior deltoid
  4. Rhomboids
  5. Teres major and minor
  6. Infraspinatus
  7. Rotator cuff muscles
  8. Biceps and forearms
  9. Spinae erector
  10. Hamstrings and glutes
  11. Core muscles

Even though the T-Bar Row successfully targets multiple muscles, there are several reasons why a person might want to try a T-Bar Row alternative. After all, not everybody has a T-bar machine or even a handle to convert a barbell safely. An alternative that uses different equipment is more useful for those with more minimally equipped gyms.

The T-Bar Row is also an exercise that’s better suited for more advanced lifters, so beginners can build the strength needed to perform a T-Bar Row by doing related alternative exercises first. Also, some injuries can make the T-Bar Row difficult to impossible to perform, and alternative exercises allow athletes to work around those injuries. 

Finally, some T-Bar Row alternatives work different muscle groups than the standard T-Bar Row or more effectively work the same muscle groups. For example, the Dumbbell Upright Row more effectively works the upper trapezius muscles, while the Inverted Row offers a greater forearm, core, and bicep workout. The Meadows Row and standing rows offer a lower body workout, too.

The most popular T-Bar Row alternative is the Chest-Supported Row, performed with the chest against a bench for support and stabilization. The Chest-Supported Row is a popular T-Bar Row alternative because it requires little specialized equipment, can be modified for beginner use, and can be performed while recovering from certain injuries.

Other popular T-Bar Row alternatives include Banded Rows, which lifters can perform at home or while traveling, and Iso-Lateral Rows, which use a special rowing machine to reduce the risk of injury. Here are 14 T-Bar Row alternative exercises to choose from. 

1. Barbell Row

The Barbell Row is a T-Bar Row alternative that focuses on the upper latissimus dorsi, rhomboids, and mid-trapezius muscles for weightlifters and athletes. It works for every major muscle group in the back as effectively as the T-Bar Row. However, unlike the T-Bar Row, the Barbell Row doesn’t require specialized equipment.

Barbell Row Correct Form

The Barbell Row has two different variations.

  1. Reverse-Grip Bent-Over Rows work the lower trapezius more effectively because the grip is reversed.
  2. Dumbbell Bent-Over Rows, which lifters can perform with dumbbells rather than a barbell, require more coordination and balance but can also be done just about anywhere.

The Barbell Row should be chosen over the T-Bar Row whenever specialized t-bar equipment is unavailable, such as traveling or working out at home. The most common mistake while doing a Barbell Row is using improper posture, which can cause back pain and injury.

When performing the Barbell Row, try to concentrate on pulling your elbows behind you instead of just pulling the bar up. Also, remember to pause at the top of each rep and squeeze the shoulder blades together to help maintain proper posture and avoid injury.

Many feel that this exercise is a bit too physically intensive. It’s more difficult to perform accurately than a T-Bar Row, and if done improperly, Barbell Rows can cause back pain. As such, the Barbell Row is only for intermediate to advanced weightlifters.

2. Dumbbell Row

The dumbbell row is a T-Bar Row alternative that focuses on the latissimus dorsi, posterior deltoids, teres major, trapezius, and rhomboids for athletes and weightlifters. The dumbbell row has five variations. 

  1. Incline Bench Dumbbell Rows are a slightly easier variation for beginners because lying face-down on an incline bench requires less core engagement.
  2. One-Arm Dumbbell Rows are a more accessible variation that isolates one side of the back by using only one dumbbell at a time.
  3. Dumbbell Upright Rows better target the upper back and shoulder muscles because the lifter stands upright while performing it.
  4. Single-Leg Bent-Over Dumbbell Rows are a more challenging variation that activates more core stabilizer muscles than the standard dumbbell row.
  5. Renegade Rows combine the muscle movement of a dumbbell row with the core engagement of a plank for a more intense core workout.

Athletes should choose the dumbbell row when they don’t yet have the experience and overall strength to perform a T-Bar Row or weightlifters recovering from an injury. It can also be used whenever a barbell or T-Bar is unavailable because a lifter can do it with just one dumbbell.  

Dumbbell Row Correct Form

One common mistake when performing a dumbbell row is using too much weight because it feels more accessible than a T-Bar Row. To avoid injury, start with a lower weight than you expect, ensuring you have full control throughout the movement before moving on to a higher weight. Also, focus on engaging the shoulder to start the movement rather than bending the elbow.

The dumbbell row is significantly simpler than a T-Bar Row. These exercises are often less intensive than a T-Bar Row because of the lower weight. They require slight elevation, so using a bench is ideal. However, you can easily use a box or crate, provided you secure it properly.

3. Pendlay Row

The Pendlay Row is a T-Bar Row alternative that focuses on the latissimus dorsi, hamstrings, and spinal erectors for powerlifters, strongmen, and strong women. In form, it’s similar to the Barbell Row. But to complete the Pendlay Row, the barbell is lowered to the floor instead of full extension. The Pendlay Row has three variations. 

  1. From Blocks, a Pendlay Row variation that starts with the barbell on blocks lowers the difficulty level and allows lifters to focus on muscles in a narrower range of motion.
  2. Tap and Go, a Pendlay Row variation where the lifter bounces the bar off the floor. This is a riskier, more advanced movement, but it can train lifters to perform more reps in the long run.
  3. Deficit Pendlay Rows are the opposite of starting from blocks, where the lifter starts with the barbell lower than floor level, increasing the range of motion and stretching the muscles to increase muscle growth. 

This movement should be chosen when a lifter’s priority is improving overall strength and improving specific lifts, including the back squat, deadlift, snatch, and clean & jerk.

The most common mistake when performing the Pendlay Row is improper form. To avoid injury, maintain back tension through the entire movement. There’s also no need to aim for a one-rep max, as the Pendlay Row is an accessory move used to build strength for other lifts, so always aim for at least three reps, even at a heavyweight.

The Pendlay Row is an advanced move that experienced lifters should only use. It is not a less difficult T-Bar Rows alternative. 

4. Inverted Row

The Inverted Row is a T-Bar Row alternative that focuses on the latissimus dorsi, trapezius, rhomboids, biceps, forearms, core and grip strength for athletes. The Inverted Row has four variations.

  1. Doorway Rows simulate the Inverted Row movement using any standard doorway in place of the barbell. This variation builds muscle strength for beginners.
  2. Towel Rows, which use a towel in a door in place of the barbell, are excellent for building strength to work up to the Inverted Row and working out while traveling.
  3. Legs-Bent Inverted Rows are the same as the standard Inverted Row, but the lifter bends the knee to 90 degrees, reducing the range of motion and difficulty level.
  4. Feet-Elevated Inverted Rows increase the difficulty level by elevating the feet on a bench or box, which is the opposite of the Legs-Bent variation and is similar to lifting from a deficit.

The Inverted Row should be chosen whenever a lifter wants to work the latissimus dorsi without putting excess strain on the lower back. It’s also great for athletes and lifters recovering from back injuries and can be done without any specialized equipment.

 How to do Inverted Rows with Excellent Form

When performing the Inverted Row, the most common mistake is failing to keep their core engaged, which puts more strain on the back and reduces the core workout. To perform an inverted row while traveling, you can use the underside of a table or a very strong broomstick or pipe between two chairs. Remember to pull your shoulder blades together. 

The inverted row is a beginner-level T-Bar Row substitute exercise that can easily be modified to be more advanced by lowering the bar and starting from a body position parallel to the floor. 

5. Chest-Supported Row

The Chest-Supported Row is a T-Bar Row alternative that focuses on the upper back muscles, namely the latissimus dorsi, trapezius, rhomboids, and biceps for bodybuilders and athletes. A lifter can focus on the target muscles by stabilizing the chest on a flat, inclined, or vertical bench. There are several variations of the Chest-Supported Row.

  1. Single Arm is performed with one arm wrapped around the bench for additional stabilization while lifting a dumbbell with the other arm, reducing the difficulty level of the Chest-Supported Row.
  2. Alternating is performed by rowing with one arm while keeping the other fully extended, alternating after each rep.
  3. Isometric Hold can be combined with either the Single Arm or Alternating variations for an additional workout. Hold one dumbbell to the hip while performing the lift with the other arm, increasing the difficulty level of the Chest-Supported Row.

The Chest Supported T-Bar Row alternative should be chosen whenever a lifter wants to stabilize their upper body while performing a row. Reducing upper body movement while lifting encourages more isolated muscle movements and makes the row safer for athletes to perform while recovering from core muscles or lower back injuries.

The most common mistake lifters make while performing the Chest Supported Row is lifting their chest off the bench and arching their head back, increasing the risk of injury. For the most effective workout, maintain control of the lift through the entire range of motion rather than relying on momentum to assist. Always pull through the hips rather than the shoulders.

The Chest Supported Row is an ideal beginner alternative to the T-Bar Row and can easily be modified for advanced lifters. By adjusting the incline of the bench, choosing dumbbells or barbells, and modifying the weight, lifters can choose their difficulty level. 

6. Meadows Row

The Meadows Row is an alternative T-Bar Row similar to a landmine row that focuses on nearly all the upper body muscles, including latissimus dorsi, middle trapezius, rhomboids, posterior deltoids, and rotator cuff muscles. Because of the position required, it also works lower body muscles, including the erector spinae, rectus abdominals, obliques, and hamstrings.  

The Meadows Row is for bodybuilders, powerlifters, strongmen, and strong women. The Meadows Row has two variations.

  1. Single-Leg RDL Row is a landmine row alternative performed standing on the front leg for an increased core workout.
  2. Standing Single-Arm Dumbbell Rows mimic the body position of the Meadows Row but are performed using a dumbbell instead of a T-Bar, and can be performed while traveling or at home.
  3. The unilateral Meadows Row should be chosen whenever a lifter wants a more intense lift that works the lower body. It also improves shoulder stability by engaging the rotator cuff and reduces shoulder joint stress.

The most common mistake people make when performing the Meadows Row is using big plates, which reduces the range of motion. Use more small plates to achieve the same weight for best results, and keep your shoulders down to avoid lifting with the wrong muscles. 

The Meadows Row is an advanced lift that should only be performed by experienced lifters with supervision. Incorrect form and body posture can lead to severe injury, so lifters should only perform the Meadows Row with a spotter nearby. 

7. Seal Row

The Seal Row is a lying T-Bar Row alternative that focuses on the latissimus dorsi, trapezius, rear deltoids, rotator cuff, biceps, and forearm muscles for athletes and powerlifters. There are three variations of the Seal Row.

  1. Wide Grip, with the elbows, flared outwards, is a wide-grip T-Bar Row alternative that works the upper back more effectively by targeting the muscles that pull the shoulder blades inward.
  2. Narrow Grip, with the hands at shoulder width and elbows close to the sides, works the latissimus dorsi more effectively.
  3. Dumbbell Seal Rows are the same movement as the traditional Seal Row, except performed with a pair of dumbbells rather than a barbell. This requires more stabilization and produces a more intense workout.

Seal Rows should be chosen whenever a lifter wants to balance pressing lifts or reduce strain on their lower back. By limiting the range of motion, Seal Rows enforce good form, protect secondary muscle groups, and stimulate muscle growth.  

The most common mistake lifters make when performing the Seal Row is lifting the chest and forehead off the bench, increasing the strain on the lower back. To avoid this, lifters should start with a lower weight than they think they need because the narrow range of motion puts all the weight into the muscles rather than momentum. To maintain form, focus on elbow position. 

The Seal Row is a beginner-friendly alternative for a T-Bar Row that can be humbling for advanced lifters. The heavier the weight, the harder the Seal Row is to perform correctly. 

8. Yates Row

The Yates Row is an alternative to the T-Bar Row that focuses on the latissimus dorsi, rhomboids, upper- and mid-trapezius, posterior deltoids, biceps, and erector spinae for bodybuilders. It’s similar to a standard Barbell Row, performed with an underhand grip and the torso at a 45-degree angle. There are two variations of the Yates Row.

  1. Bent-Over Barbell Rows, performed with an overhand grip and the back parallel to the floor, increase the focus on the latissimus dorsi.
  2. Chest-Supported Yates Row is a chest-supported row alternative performed with the chest supported on an incline bench to reduce lower back strain further.

The Yates Row should be chosen whenever a lifter wants to emphasize muscle gains in the back, particularly in the mid and upper traps and lats, or reduce strain on the lower back. 

When performing the Yates Row, the most common mistake lifters make is incorrect posture, either too upright or too flat. For maximum efficiency, keep the elbows tucked into the sides. Imagine drawing a “J” shape with your elbows as you lift, bringing the barbell up to the abdomen. 

The Yates Row can be performed by beginners with modifications, such as chest support, and is equally effective for experienced lifters and bodybuilders.

9. Underhand Barbell Row

The Underhand Barbell Row is a T-Bar Row alternative that focuses on the latissimus dorsi and biceps, as well as the trapezius, posterior deltoid, and erector spinae for powerlifters and athletes. There are four variations of the Underhand Barbell Row.

  1. Overhand Barbell Rows, usually just called Barbell Rows, focus on the upper back muscles.
  2. Yates Rows are performed with the same underhand grip and the torso at a 45-degree angle for reduced lower back strain.
  3. Wide-Grip Barbell Rows are performed with the hands further than shoulder-width apart in the overhand position for a thicker upper back.
  4. Narrow-Grip Barbell Rows are performed with the hands slightly less than shoulder-width a part, overhand or underhand, for an easier lift.

The Underhand Barbell Row should be chosen whenever a lifter wants to work the lower traps more effectively or needs a more comfortable grip. The most common mistake people make when performing the Underhand Barbell Row is putting too much emphasis on the biceps, which can cause tears if done improperly. 

Lifters prone to elbow discomfort may want to use an EZ bar or swap the barbell for dumbbells to avoid elbow crankiness. For an easier variation, narrow the grip to shoulder width or slightly closer. 

The Underhand Barbell Row is a beginner-friendly lift that lifters can modify to increase the challenge. 

10. Banded Row

The Banded Row is a T-Bar Row alternative that focuses on the latissimus dorsi, trapezius, rhomboids, and teres major and minor, infraspinatus, and biceps for athletes. The Banded Row has a nearly limitless number of variations.

  1. Bent-Over Rows are performed with the center of the resistance band under the feet, pulling up with the hands to simulate a traditional Bent-Over Row. Lifters can perform banded Bent-Over Rows with an overhand or underhand grip.
  2. Kroc Rows are a single-arm row performed with the resistance band under one foot, pulling with the opposite arm. The Banded Kroc Row emphasizes the core while working the back and arms.
  3. Seated Rows, with the resistance band anchored to an object in front of the lifter, focus all the effort on the upper body, working the teres major and minor rhomboids and middle traps.
  4. Seated Lat Pulldowns, which usually require a complicated machine, is easy to perform with a resistance band slung over an anchor object overhead. As the name suggests, Banded Lat Pulldowns target the latissimus dorsi.

Banded Rows should be chosen whenever standard workout equipment isn’t available, such as while traveling. Banded Rows can also be used to help athletes work up to lifting after an injury. 

The most common mistake people make when performing a Banded Row is using an improper anchor point. Always secure the resistance band to a sturdy anchor and check it for tears before and after each use. Lifters should also take care to use proper form and posture when lifting with a resistance band. Poor form can be just as dangerous with a band as with weights.

The Banded Row is a beginner-friendly substitute for a T-Bar Row that can simulate nearly any other row to help new lifters build strength and experienced lifters keep working out on the go. 

11. Seated Close Grip Cable Row

The Seated Close-Grip Cable Row is a T-Bar Row machine alternative that focuses on the latissimus dorsi, trapezius, rear deltoids, rotator cuffs, and forearm flexors for athletes. It uses a narrow grip and a cable machine to target the upper back. The Seated Close-Grip Cable Row has four variations. 

  1. Seated Wide-Grip Cable Rows use a bar and a shoulder-width (or wider) grip to target the back more than the biceps.
  2. Standing Cable Rows add a lower body and core element to the workout.
  3. One-Arm Cable Rows add a twisting motion for a more intense core workout.
  4. Banded Seated Rows simulate the Seated Close-Grip Cable Row without any specialized equipment, so lifters can do it at home or while traveling. 

The Seated Close-Grip Cable Row should be used by athletes looking to build strength or to recover from an injury. The most common mistake people make when performing the Seated Wide-Grip Cable Row is slouching their shoulders at the end of the movement, which increases the risk of injury.

To get the most out of the Seated Close-Grip Cable Row, lifters should keep their torso straight throughout the full range of motion and in between reps. Like many row exercises, with the Seated Close-Grip Cable Row, it’s essential to use the muscles rather than momentum to get an effective workout and avoid injury. 

The Seated Close-Grip Cable Row is a beginner-friendly T-Bar Row replacement that athletes of all levels can perform.

12. TRX-Row

The TRX Row is a T-Bar Row alternative that focuses on the latissimus dorsi, rhomboids, traps, biceps, and core muscles for athletes and powerlifters. It requires no special equipment except for a TRX suspension trainer, which a lifter can anchor to nearly any sturdy fixed point. The TRX Row has four variations.

  1. Upright TRX Rows, which the lifter performs standing at a more upright angle for an easier exercise.
  2. Inverted Rows can be performed on a barbell rack or even in a doorway for a more stable movement.
  3. Banded Rows can simulate the same movement as the TRX Row with an inexpensive resistance band that’s good for travel.
  4. One-Arm Rows create a more intense workout by isolating each side of the back. 

The TRX Row should be chosen by any athlete looking to improve overall strength and fitness without necessarily wanting to add bulk. It’s also a valuable alternative to other rows when traditional equipment is unavailable. 

The most common mistake people make when performing the TRX Row is letting their core go lax, which increases the risk of injury and decreases the workout’s effectiveness. To maintain core tension, try squeezing the glutes throughout the motion. The intensity can be increased by fully extending the arms at the end of every third rep. 

The TRX Row is an intermediate-level exercise because it requires more core strength than a traditional Inverted Row, but it can be made more accessible by using a wide bar instead of a TRX trainer. 

13. Iso-Lateral Row

The Iso-Lateral Row is a T-Bar Row alternative that focuses on the rhomboids, teres major and minor, latissimus dorsi, infraspinatus, and mid and lower trapezius muscles for athletes, bodybuilders, and powerlifters. It uses specialized gym equipment to create a movement that is nearly impossible to accomplish with free weights. The Iso-Lateral Row has three variations.

  1. Iso-Lateral Low Rows, use a different machine with a lower starting point to work the upper back more effectively.
  2. Iso-Lateral High Rows, which work the lower back more effectively.
  3. One-Arm Isolateral Rows, which are performed standing to the side of the machine to work the latissimus dorsi.

The Iso-Lateral Row should be chosen whenever a lifter has access to an Iso-Lateral Row Machine and wants to work their lats in a way most other exercises can’t. The most common mistake people make when performing the Iso-Lateral Row is allowing the weights to touch down between reps. 

To get the most out of the Iso-Lateral Row, lifters should keep their chests pressed firmly against the pad rather than yanking and relying on momentum to do the work. Maximize the effectiveness of the workout by squeezing the shoulder blades together at the top of the movement, holding briefly before lowering. 

The Iso-Lateral Row is a beginner-friendly exercise that uses a machine to minimize the margin for error, but it’s still an intense workout for experienced lifters, too. 

14. Pull-Up

The Pull-Up is a T-Bar Row alternative that focuses on the latissimus dorsi, trapezius, thoracic erector spinae, and infraspinatus muscles for athletes, bodybuilders, strongmen, and strongwomen, or anyone looking to build their back and shoulder strength. 

  1. Negative Pull-Ups start at the top of the pull-up position and slowly lower. Negative Pull-Ups help lifters build strength to do a traditional Pull-Up, and for experienced lifters, they provide more controlled movement than a traditional Pull-Up.
  2. Assisted Pull-Ups use a machine or resistance band to reduce the weight the lifter has to lift to complete the Pull-Up. Assisted Pull-Ups help lifters build strength to perform a traditional Pull-Up.
  3. Weighted Pull-Ups use a weight belt or vest to increase the lifter’s weight, making the Pull-Up more challenging.

The Pull-Up should be chosen whenever a lifter wants to increase strength without a ton of specialized equipment. The most common mistake people make when executing a Pull-Up is relying on momentum rather than controlling the movement, which can lead to injury and decrease the exercise’s effectiveness. 

To perform the Pull-Up safely and effectively, maintain tension through the arms, back, and shoulders throughout the movement and between reps. Lifters who feel confident in their Pull-Up technique can hold an L-Sit position throughout the movement for an additional core workout.

The traditional Pull-Up is an advanced move, and many athletes struggle to complete even a single traditional Pull-Up. But with slight modifications, a Pull-Up can be a beginner-friendly exercise too.

Which Type of T-Bar Row Alternative Is Beginner-Friendly?

Many of the T-Bar Row alternatives on this list are beginner-friendly, with or without modification.

  1. Incline Bench Dumbbell Rows
  2. Inverted Rows
  3. Chest-Supported Rows
  4. Seal Row
  5. Yates Row
  6. Underhand Barbell Row
  7. Banded Row
  8. Seated Cable Row
  9. Iso-Lateral Row
  10. Negative or Assisted Pull-Ups

Chest-Supported Rows like the Incline Bench Dumbbell Row and Seal Row allow beginners to worry less about stabilization and focus on proper lifting technique, reducing the margin for error and risk of injury. Banded Rows, Inverted Rows, and Negative or Assisted Pull-Ups use body weight and resistance to create a naturally beginner-friendly workout.

Other rows, like the Yates Row, Underhand Barbell Row, Seated Cable Row, and Iso-Lateral Row, are suitable for beginners because they allow lifters to customize the weight. Beginners can lift an empty bar or low weight to learn safe form and technique, increasing the weight as they feel more confident. 

Which Type of T-Bar Row Alternative Is Good for Weightlifters?

Nearly all the T-Bar Row Alternative lifts on this list are good for weightlifters.

  1. Barbell Row
  2. Dumbbell Row
  3. Pendlay Row
  4. Meadows Row
  5. Seal Row
  6. Underhand Barbell Row
  7. TRX Row
  8. Iso-Lateral Row 

In fact, one modification of the Iso-Lateral Row is famously part of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s workout routine. These T-Bar Row alternatives are good for weightlifters because they help lifters push the weight and rep limits. They also are readily customizable to work specific muscles to increase lifting strength.

Which Type of T-Bar Row Alternative Is Good for Athletes?

Most of the T-Bar Row alternative exercises on this list are suitable for athletes, but a few are particularly beneficial.

  1. Barbell Row
  2. Dumbbell Row
  3. Inverted Row
  4. Chest-Supported Row
  5. Seal Row
  6. Underhand Barbell Row
  7. Banded Row
  8. Seated Cable Row
  9. TRX Row
  10. Iso-Lateral Row
  11. Pull-Up

An athlete’s lifting priorities are often tied to the priorities of their regular sport. Athletes lift to build endurance, strength, stamina, and athleticism. Athletes are not generally as concerned with the numbers they’re lifting as they are with their overall athletic performance, so their lifts should be focused on overall strength gains.

The T-Bar Row alternative lifts on this list that are ideal for athletes are relatively straightforward, and most don’t require any specialized equipment or only require equipment that lifters can find in almost any gym. They build strength and endurance without necessarily building bulk.

Which Type of T-Bar Row Alternative Is Good for Bodybuilders?

While most of the T-Bar Row Alternatives on this list are useful for bodybuilders, only a handful are specifically meant for building mass.

  1. Chest-Supported Row
  2. Meadows Row
  3. Yates Row
  4. Iso-Lateral Row

These exercises do more than build strength. They are especially suited to lifters who want to build muscle mass. Chest-Supported Rows allow bodybuilders to target the back muscles they want to enhance by stabilizing the core and lower body. The Meadows Row and Yates Row were created by (and named after) bodybuilders for their effectiveness.

Which Type of T-Bar Row Alternative Is Difficult to Perform?

Certain lifts are challenging to perform correctly, even for seasoned lifters.

  1. Bent-Over Row
  2. Pendlay Row
  3. Meadows Row
  4. TRX Row
  5. Pull-Up

For some, form is critical, as these T-Bar Row alternatives can cause injury if done with improper form. Bent-Over Rows and similar lifts like the Pendlay and Meadows Row require the lifter to hold their torso at an angle, putting strain on the lower back and increasing the risk of injury, so these lifts are not to be performed by beginners.

The TRX Row is difficult because of the flexible nature of the TRX Suspension Trainers. Lifters must control their movements much more intentionally while using a TRX Trainer instead of a solid bar, as with an Inverted Row. Finally, the Pull-Up is challenging just because of the nature of the exercise, but it can be made easier with modifications and assistive devices. 

Can These T-Bar Row Alternatives Target Even More Muscles than the T-Bar Row Exercise?

Nearly every T-Bar Row alternative exercise on this list targets the same muscle groups as the T-Bar Row – the latissimus dorsi, trapezius, rhomboids, and deltoids, as well as core stabilizer muscles. However, different exercises work for these muscle groups in different ways and to different degrees.

For example, chest-supported alternatives like the Chest-Supported Row and Seal Row take the core and lower body out of the equation, allowing the lifter to focus on the back and shoulder muscles. Other exercises use body posture to target different muscles. Many lifters choose T-Bar Row alternative exercises to emphasize a particular area.

What are the T-Bar Row Variations?

Most standing rows can be performed upright, bent-over, or chest-supported. The T-bar row variations, such as the Landmine row, Lying T-Bar Row and the Trap Bar T-Bar Row. T-Bar row variations work the mid and lower back muscles more effectively but can also increase the risk of injury if formed incorrectly.

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Athletic Insight Research

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

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.