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Back Workout (4) – Reverse Grip Bent-Over Rows

May 2nd, 2008 · 1 Comment ·


When done with proper form, the Bent-Over Row is another effective back workout you can do. This back workout builds thickness in the upper back and uses the lower back and abs to stabilize the body during the movement. The biceps also contribute to the movement, however try to minimize biceps involvement as the biceps are the weakest muscle in the chain. Bent over row is definitely a compound workout.

There are several variations, but for me, the most effective version for the lats is the reverse-grip bent over row (palm out).


  1. Bend your knees and bend over at the waist, keeping an arch in your lower back and looking forward.
  2. Take a shoulder-width, palms-up grip on the barbell. Your knees will be inside your arms during the movement. The next thing you should do is tighten (suck up) your abs and hold them tightly in. This will stabilize your abdominal area.


  3. Keeping your knees bent (the angle will be somewhat greater than 90 degrees) and back arched and without lifting with your lower back. Pull the barbell back and up into your lower abdomen.
  4. Fight the tendency to stand up to help cheat the weight up, which can strain your lower back.
  5. Also, do not dip your upper body down to meet the bar. This will reduce the effectiveness of the exercise and can lead to lower back injury.
  6. Do 3 sets of reverse grip bent over rows with 8 to 12 repetitions each set.


  • The common error is the form. This is most commonly seen as the straight-legged, rounded back style. This is bad for your lower back.
    • Always keep your lower back arched, your knees bent, and your head up and butt down.
    • Always look forward when doing this exercise. Looking down will automatically cause your back to round over.
    • If you have trouble keeping in the correct position, do this exercise with your butt pressed against the wall. By keeping it firmly in one spot, you will eliminate the tendency to stand up.
    • Sometimes, it helps to imagine string attached to your elbows and the string is pulling your elbows back. This will help keep the concentration on the back instead of just pulling the bar with the arms. Focus on pulling your elbows back, not your hands.
  • For beginner, do the workout with light weight or no weight at all attached with the barbell to get the form right. The barbell alone can be 20 to 30 kilogram.
  • If you can’t get a barbell or find the barbell too heavy, you can replace the barbell with a set of dumbbells.


  • You can also try doing it with normal grip (palms face in) as done by the guy below.




Category: Back

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