A bent-over row (or barbell row) is a weight training exercise that targets a variety of back muscles.[1] Which ones are targeted varies on form. The bent over row is often used for both bodybuilding and powerlifting.[2]


A one arm bent-over dumbbell row with a bench used as support.

There are several variants of this exercise, depending on whether dumbbells or a barbell is used and whether both arms are exercised at the same time:

Two arm rows:

One arm rows:

Form variations

The muscles emphasized in the pulling movement vary based on form:[citation needed]

A medium between the extremes can also be done, such as pulling to a 45-degree angle. Form can easily switch between the two when done with dumbbells. A pronated forearm and a wide grip on a barbell encourages an elbows-out row, while a supinated forearm and a narrow grip on the barbell encourages an elbows-in row.


Chances of being injured are increased when a lifter deviates from safer postures. Adopting a stable form and alignment can be difficult for many to learn. Being supervised by someone experienced in doing the lift can benefit beginners who would not be aware of unsafe postures. Some things that people do with the desire of safety are:[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Barbell Bent-Over Row: Your Shortcut To A Bigger, Healthier Back". Coachmag. Retrieved 2020-07-15.
  2. ^ "Bent Over Barbell Row". bodybuilding.com. Retrieved 2020-07-15.
  3. ^ a b "Kroc Rows Vs Pendlay Rows – Which One Has Better Effect?". Fitnessvolt. Retrieved 2020-07-15.
  4. ^ "How to Perform the Yates Row, or Reverse Grip Bent Over Row". tigerfitness.com. Retrieved 2020-07-15.
  5. ^ "Smith machine bent-over row | Exercise Videos & Guides". Bodybuilding.com. Retrieved 2023-08-28.
  6. ^ "ACE - ProSource™: September 2014 - Dynamite Delts: ACE Research Identifies Top Shoulder Exercises". www.acefitness.org. Retrieved 2020-10-11.