Chinups and lat pulldowns will make your lats wider, but if you want a thick, densely muscled back, you need to do rows. The T-bar row allows you to use a neutral grip—palms facing each other—which is the biomechanically strongest position to pull from.
This gives T-bars an advantage over bent-over rows, in which the palms are turned down. Because you can use both hands, you can load more weight, and that gives the T-bar an edge over dumbbell rows, too. The only catch is that many gyms don’t have a T-bar row station, but we've got a solution for that!
Quick T-bar Row Tips
When To Do It:
Early in your workout, or paired with a chest exercise like the bench press
Where It Hits:
Middle back, rear delts, traps
How Much To Do:
3-6 sets of 5-10 reps
How to: T-bar Row
if your gym doesn’t have a landmine unit, follow the instructions below.
- Place the end of an empty barbell into the corner of a room.
- Rest a heavy dumbbell or some weight plates on it to hold it down.
- Load the opposite end of the bar with plates and straddle it.
- Bend over at the hips until your torso is about a 45-degree angle to the floor with arms extended.
- Hook a V-grip handle (the kind you see at a cable station) under the bar and hold with both hands.
- Keeping your lower back in its natural arch, squeeze your shoulder blades together and pull the bar until the plates touch your chest.