Bent Over Barbell Row 3D: Form, Muscles & Benefits
The bent over barbell row is a super popular exercise for building a wider and thicker back. Before you can get the most out of this powerful exercise you will need to master the technique and understand the most common mistakes people make everyday.
That’s why I have created this 3D Animation to teach you everything you need master this exercise.
Bent Over Barbell Row Muscles Worked
The Main Muscles Worked in the bent over barbell row include:
- The Latissimus Dorsi: is a primary muscle of this exercise.
- The Rear Deltoids: Together with the ‘Lats’, help to row the barbell toward the body.
- The Biceps: Is a secondary mover as your elbow flexes throughout the exercise.
- Hamstring: Helps stability in a flexed hip position.
- Glutes: Helps stability in a flexed hip position.
- Erector Spinae: Stability of the spine throughout this exercise.
- Calf Muscles: Performs a stability role in this exercise.
- Rotator Cuff Muscles: Assists in shoulder stability.
- Core Muscles: Assists in core stability protecting the spine.
Master This Exercise 3 Simple Steps
Bent Over Barbell Row Form in 3 Simple Steps
- Step 1: The Set Up
Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart. Hip Hinge to pick up the barbell. Your grip should be just outside shoulder width. Deadlift the barbell to a fully standing position. Bend at the hips while keeping your back straight. Go as far as you can before the barbell hits the floor, or as far as your hamstrings will allow.
- Step 2: The Concentric Phase
The barbell should be hanging down directly in line with your shoulders. From here you will begin the exercise drawing your elbows back and squeezing your shoulder blades together. You are moving the bar somewhere between the bottom of your chest and your belly button.
- Step 3: Eccentric Phase
When the barbell reaches your body you can begin to lower it again to the starting position. Keep in control of the barbell. Avoid the temptation to just let gravity do the work.
Most Common Mistakes For The Barbell Row
Mistake 1: Rounding Your Back
Do not allow your back to round throughout this movement. Keep a neutral spine at all times.
Mistake 2: Using Momentum
Naturally, when trying to move a heavy weight, your brain is going to want to use as much muscle as possible to share the load.
However, when we are training, we are trying to emphasis the majority of the load on one muscle group.
When we are performing a barbell row, your brains natural tendency is to to make use of other muscles groups such as your hips to assist in moving the barbell from point A to point B.
This will usually present itself n one of two ways on the barbell row exercise.
1. Your back angle will be more upright than it should be.
2. You perform a quick jerking movement at the end of the range.
We should avoid the temptation to change our back angle quickly, or excessively throughout the movement.
If you can’t complete the full range of motion you should decrease the load. Not stand more upright, or worse, jerk the barbell mid exercise.
Mistake 3: Rolling Your shoulders
When you are rowing the barbell you might also find yourself compensating by rolling your shoulders forward.
To avoid this practice you should focus on not only squeezing your shoulder blades together, but also on pulling them down your back.
The most common cue for this is “Think about trying to slide your shoulder blades down into your back pockets”.
Or better yet “Just don’t roll your shoulders forward”. 🙂
Alternative Exercise To The Bent Barbell Row
If you find yourself unable to hold the position of the barbell row for long enough to actually benefit from the exercise you may want to try a different row variation. I suggest you try something like the Chest supported T-Bar Row found in this video below.
This video is taken from the Muscle And Motion Strength Training application I use to research most of my blog posts.
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