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Home » Exercises

Barbell Rows With Proper Technique

Submitted by on November 6, 2008 – 7:55 pmNo Comment


The barbell row one of the best exercise to build your upper back, arms and stabilizers. There are many variations to the barbell row and many of toughs are incorrect, but i will show you the ideal technique for you to maximize your results.

Barbell Rows Set Up


  • Feet- Much like the deadlift your feet should be at a natural angle (about 30 degrees) and shoulder width apart
  • Knees- You should have a slight bend in your knees but you want your hips as high as possible so that your back is close to parallel with the floor.
  • Hip- Bring your hips up nice and high and sick your ass out.
  • Back- Your back should be close to parallel to the floor so the lift is done with the upper portion of the back rather than your hamstrings and lower back.
  • Head- Look at a spot a few meters in front of you and bring you chest up pinching your upper back together.
  • Grip- There are a couple ways you can grip the bar, with each different grip you will focus and isolate certain muscle groups. An overhand grip will focus on your upper back the most while still complementing the other muscles. An underhand grip will work the biceps more and an over under grip will bring a little more balance but try to switch which hand is over and which is under between sets.

Barbell Row The Lift

Approach the bar and get you toes just under the bar, when you bend over to begin the lift your forearms should be at a 90 degree angle.

Grip the bar at a point where your thumbs or pinkies are just outside of your knees depending on which grip you are choosing. 

The initial lift is done with a hip drive to get the weight off the floor (your arms will stay locked with the bar off the floor).

From here pull the bar into your chest by driving your elbows up to the ceiling and pinching your shoulder blades. 

Keep your back and knees at the same angle throughout the exercise, by lifting you back up like a deadlift you are taking the stain off your upper back and spreading it through your whole back and hamstrings. The movement is in the hips and arms. 

A full rep consists of the bar touching the floor and touching you chest, don’t cheat on the reps by dropping you chest or bending your knees to get the full motion of the exercise, drop the weight if you can’t perform the barbell row with this technique. Never compromise form for extra weight.

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