The barbell bentover row is the mack daddy of all the rowing variations. It strengthens your upper and lower back, shoulders, biceps, forearms, and grip. Plus, being in the hip-hinge position under load for time improves your lower and upper back endurance. Guess what that’s good for? You guessed it, your deadlift.

If you have issues keeping tight in the hinge position and the bottom of your deadlift, spending more time there with the bentover row is imperative. The barbell bentover row is almost the perfect exercise to improve your deadlift performance but that’s not the only benefit. Here are some important advantages of training the barbell bentover row.

How to Perform the Bentover Barbell Row

  1. Perform a proper hip hinge and grab a loaded barbell with a grip that’s slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  2. With your chest up and shoulders down row the barbell to your belly button.
  3. Keep your elbows angled at about 45 degrees throughout the exercise.
  4. Pause at the top position of the row and then slowly lower the weight back down.
  5. Reset and repeat for your desired reps.

Benefits of the Bentover Barbell Row

  • Improved Posture: The loaded hip-hinge position of the bentover row increases the strength and endurance of the muscles that are important for good standing posture, the upper and lower back. Exercises like the bentover row reinforce good spinal control to resist rounding in the upper and lower back.
  • Added Muscle and Strength: The bentover row adds strength and mass to your upper back, lats, and erector spinae. It’s a great strength and muscle-building exercise because it allows the lifter to use more load than other rowing variations. Plus, it engages your forearms and biceps leading to a stronger grip.
  • Improved Deadlift and Pulling Performance: Maintaining a loaded hip hinge while pulling improves the strength and endurance in your lower and upper back. Plus, the glutes and hamstrings are working isometrically to keep you in a good hip hinge position. The barbell bentover enhances the strength and endurance of the muscles required for deadlifting and other pulling exercises.
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As great as the barbell bentover row is, training it hard and heavy can be tough on the lower back and elbows. Plus, rowing bilaterally strength imbalances between sides can happen. This is why it is always handy to have some variations to address those concerns.

Here are three bentover row variations to up your back game: