Bodybuilding: How to perform the Bent Over Barbell Row.


The bent over barbell row is often called the barbell row or the bent over row. It targets the middle back, but also works the biceps, laterals, and shoulders.

Bent Over Barbell Row Starting Position.

Start with your feet shoulder width apart and the toes facing forward. The feet should also be close to the bar. Grip the barbell with the palms of your hands facing down. Bend your knees slightly and bring your torso forward. While keeping your back straight, bend at the waist until it's almost parallel to the floor. Keep your head up as well. The barbell should hang directly in front of you. Your arms should be handing perpendicular to the floor and your torso.

Performing the Bent over barbell row.

While keeping your torso stationary, breathe out and lift the bar toward you. Keep your elbows close to the body and only use your forearms to hold the weight. At the top contracted position, squeeze the back muscles and hold for a brief pause. Then inhale and slowly lower the barbell back to the starting position. Keep your entire feet on the floor during the exercise.

Technique is important to avoid damage to the lower back. While learning the technique, use only the bar. Only add weight after you have mastered the correct technique of the barbell row. Do not bend the back while performing the barbell row.

The bent over barbell row primarily works the middle back.

The secondary muscle groups that it works are the biceps, laterals and shoulders, and lower back.

Equipment: Barbell and weights.