How to Perform Rows, Common Mistakes and Popular Variations

In this article, you will learn how to perform barbell bent over rows, common barbell bent over rows mistakes, benefits of performing rows and different variations of rows. 

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Do you want to get rid of your hunched over shoulders and build that confident posture. Perform some form of Rows. Rowing exercises includes a variety of different exercise, which involves the motion of a person rowing a boat. Lets learn how to perform a barbell bent over row.


How to Perform a Barbell Bent over Row

Barbell bent over row is considered the default of rows. This exercise starts with the bar is lying on the floor. To start the movement you bend from the hip flexing forwards while still maintaining a straight spine and grab hold of the bar at slightly wider than the shoulder width. Now lift the bar up as in a deadlift. When the bar reaches the level of your knees, activate the row by pulling the bar upwards to the sternum. There should be a feeling of pulling the elbows backwards while keeping them close to your body. This will keep your shoulders in the safest position. Exhale during the pull and as the bar touches your sternum start to bring it down in a controlled manner as you inhale. After getting the bar at your knee level repeat the movement


Common Barbell Bent over Row Mistakes to Avoid

Common mistakes while performing bench press are

Mistake 1: Not really bending over: We perform the barbell bent-over rows to target our back and the more bent over we are the more of the back we target. However as the load gets heavy it gets harder and harder to stay bent over and as result we start to get more upright. This upright posture transfers the emphasis from the back to our shoulders, thus making the exercise ineffective for its real purpose.

Mistake 2: Lifting Torso to Lift the Weight: By lifting our torso we convert the bent over rows into a Romanian deadlift, which targets our hamstrings more than our back. The torso should always remain static and all the movement should happen through your arms

Mistake 3: Not keeping your core tight, chest up and shoulder retracted: Everything is just going to fall apart if you do no do that and make the exercise ineffective.


Benefits of Barbell Bent Over Rows and other Rows in General

Rows target the muscles of the back, biceps and general posterior chain. Rows are great for anyone who wants to develop a stronger back. This exercise will improve your posture and give you a confident look by pulling your shoulders back and bringing the chest out.


Different Variations of Rows

Variation 1 T-Bar Rows: This exercise gives all the same benefits as that of a barbell row. In this variation you just load one end of the bar. You then stand over the bar and grab it with a close grip cable row handle and perform the rows. I do not have that handle here, so I am just doing it with my hands. Also perform this movement with a smaller plate like a 25-pound or 35-pound plate to get higher range of motion. I am using the bigger plate here just for demonstration.

Variation 2 Single Arm Dumbbell row: In this variation your one side is supported on the bench, while you do the rowing on the other side By resting your one side on the bench you keep your hips level with your shoulders which is the best position to activate your mid back.

Variation 3 Dumbbell Bent Over Row: The is the barbell bent-over row performed with two dumbbells. Using dumbbells allows you to work the muscles individually. This is perfect for people who have one side weaker than the other.

Variation 4 Prone Row: Here you lie on your stomach on an incline bench and your feet planted on the floor. This variation is harder as you cannot use momentum to perform the rows

Variation 5 Reverse grip bent over row: This is a barbell bent over row with your palms facing upwards. This variation activates your biceps more than the regular bent over rows.

Variation 6 Pendlay Row: This is more of a power move, where you start the row from the floor and explosively move the weight to your sternum and bring it back down in a controlled manner.


Variation 7 Inverted rows: This is a bodyweight version of the rows and is performed with the bar racked at waist level. Hands should be placed just outside the shoulders and your body should be as straight as possible. Now pull yourself towards the bar and come down in a controlled manner. By moving your feet backwards or forwards you can change the load you are moving. Always breathe through the movement and keep your hips and shoulders in a straight line.


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Rows are a great exercise for building your back. Definitely include some form of rows in your workout. This concludes our article on rows.