July 19, 2021
reverse grip bent over barbell row

If you choose one single exercise to develop your back, then it will be the Reverse Grip Bent Over Barbell Row. It is the bar that will help develop strength and increase the volume of muscles, training not only the back muscles, but also the core. And how to do it correctly, what are the pros and cons of this technique – we will find out further.

Pros and Cons


  • Provides an increase in the volume of the broadest and trapezius muscles.
  • It is an effective basic exercise that provides a powerful anabolic boost to the development of all muscles in the body.
  • Develops flexibility of the hip joints and elasticity of the hamstrings.
  • Strengthens the deep stabilizing muscles that support the spine in the correct position, corrects posture.


  • With a reverse grip, a large load falls on the biceps of the shoulder. That is, when gripping from below, the synergistic muscles will turn on more strongly and remove some of the load from the back.
  • It has a high risk of injury, since when working with a lot of weight, especially with the wrong technique, there is a high risk of injuring the spine.
  • Not suitable for beginners, as untrained core muscles cannot cope with the load on the back in a horizontal position.

reverse grip bent over barbell row muscles worked

What Muscles Do the Reverse Grip Bent Over Barbell Row Work?

  • Latissimus muscles.
  • Trapezius muscles – middle and lower part.
  • The infraspinatus muscles.
  • Spine extensors.
  • The posterior bundles of the deltoid muscle.
  • Biceps of the shoulder and forearm.

The abdominal muscles work statically, that is, they support the spine in the correct position. Also, the biceps femoris is subjected to isometric tension.

How to Do the Reverse Grip Bent Over Barbell Row?

  1. Place the barbell on the floor with a suitable working weight.
  2. Stand in front of the bar with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  3. Bend your knees and squat down with your back straight, grasping the barbell with a reverse grip from below along the width of the shoulder joints.
  4. Rise up with your back straight, lifting the barbell off the floor and straightening completely.
  5. Take the starting position: tilt your torso forward horizontally to the floor or slightly higher, depending on the flexibility of the muscles of the back of the thighs, bend your knees slightly. Maintain a natural arch in the lower back. Keep your hands free with the barbell.
  6. With an exhalation with the effort of the lats, bending your elbows along the body, that is, as close to it as possible, pull the barbell to the belt, approximately to the navel. At the same time, collect the shoulder blades, bending in the thoracic region. Maintain muscle tension for a couple of seconds.
  7. While inhaling in the negative phase, slowly straighten your elbows and lower your arms to the starting position.


  • In no case do not round your back either when the bar is lifted off the floor or when the deadlift is being performed.
  • Do not jerk, jerk, or sway, or drop the barbell down. Concentrate on high-quality muscle work and do not allow auxiliary movements and the help of other muscles.
  • After completing the approach, bend your knees, as in squats, and with a flat back, lower the barbell to the floor.

How to Integrate Reverse Grip Bent Over Barbell Row into Your Workout Plan?

First you need to figure out who can use the Reverse Grip Bent Over Barbell Row in their workouts. Since this is a basic multi-joint exercise that requires stabilization in a horizontal position, that is, the core muscles must be strong, only trained people can perform it. Beginners first need to strengthen the lower back and abs, as well as the lats with simple exercises in block machines and with their own body weight.

If you compare this exercise with other techniques for the back muscles, then the Reverse Grip Bent Over Barbell Row will be about the middle in difficulty. And when introducing it into the program, you need to take this into account. For example, you plan to perform barbell rows with free weights, as well as exercises in blocks, pull up, then the priority will be built as follows:

  1. Wide Grip Pull-Ups
  2. Reverse Grip Bent Over Barbell Row
  3. Behind the Neck Lat Pulldowns
  4. Seated Cable Row

So pull-ups will always come first, if necessary, followed by barbell rows with free weights, followed by machines and isolation exercises.

how to do reverse grip bent over barbell row

To develop the mass, the exercise must be performed 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps. The weight must be selected to work to failure, that is, the muscles should not remain capable of performing one repetition more than indicated.

You can use Reverse Grip Bent Over Barbell Row in training as antagonists: back – chest, and synergists: back – biceps. When training antagonists, the number of exercises for each muscle group should be equal. And when training synergists: 3-4 exercises are performed for the back, for example, the ones listed above, and 2 isolating exercises for biceps, curls with a barbell or dumbbells, at the end of the workout.

Leave a comment.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*