Back Exercises

How to: T-Bar Row

Rig up this exercise for a thicker back.

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Back exercises: T-bar row

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!

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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.
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