Bent Over Rows with Barbell

Bent Over Barbell Rows

Performing bent over barbell rows is a great exercise for targeting the muscles in your upper back, particularly the lats. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do bent-over barbell rows with proper form:

Muscles Worked:

  • Latissimus dorsi (lats)
  • Rhomboids
  • Trapezius
  • Erector spinae (lower back)
  • Biceps

Equipment Needed:

  • Barbell
  • Weight plates


  1. Set Up:
    • Load an appropriate weight onto a barbell and place it on the floor.
    • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointing slightly outward.
    • Position the barbell in front of you, about a foot away.
  2. Grip:
    • Bend at your hips and knees to lower your torso until it’s almost parallel to the floor.
    • Keep your back straight and maintain a natural arch in your lower back.
  3. Grip the Bar:
    • Bend your knees slightly and grip the barbell with an overhand grip (palms facing down) that is wider than shoulder-width apart.
    • Your hands should be just outside your knees.
  4. Initial Position:
    • Keep your head in a neutral position, in line with your spine.
    • Engage your core to stabilize your spine.
    • Your arms should be fully extended, and your back should be flat.
  5. Pull the Bar:
    • Exhale and pull the barbell towards your lower chest or upper abdomen.
    • Focus on squeezing your shoulder blades together as you lift the barbell.
    • Keep your elbows close to your body as you pull.
  6. Top Position:
    • Squeeze your back muscles at the top of the movement.
    • The barbell should be close to, or lightly touch, your lower chest or upper abdomen.
  7. Lower the Bar:
    • Inhale and lower the barbell back to the starting position in a controlled manner.
    • Keep your back straight and avoid rounding your shoulders.
  8. Repeat:
    • Perform the desired number of repetitions.
    • Control the weight throughout the entire range of motion.
  9. Safety Tips:
    • Use a weight that allows you to maintain proper form.
    • Keep your back straight to avoid unnecessary stress on your lower back.
    • If you have lower back issues, consider using a lifting belt for added support.
    • Start with a lighter weight to master the form before progressing to heavier loads.

Remember, if you’re new to this exercise or weightlifting in general, it’s a good idea to consult with a fitness professional or your healthcare provider to ensure it’s safe for you. Additionally, consider asking a fitness professional to demonstrate the exercise and provide feedback on your form.