T-Bar Row

The T-bar row is an exercise that works all the major muscles in your back, including the latissimus dorsi, teres major, trapezius and erector spinae. It will also work your shoulders and biceps as secondary muscles, while the abdominals, hamstrings and glutes will stabilize your body.

If you want a thick, densely muscled back, you need to do rows. rows can be done in many ways, you can use a barbell, dumbbells or cable. The T-bar row will let you do rows with neutral grip position, where the palms are facing each other, which is biomechanically the strongest position to pull from.

The T-bar row is performed on the T-bar machine, which is a straight bar that attaches to a pivoting bracket at one end. The other end of the bar has handles for you to grab on a cross bar.

You can to the T-bar rows even if your gym doesn't have a landmine machine, just stick one side of a barbell to the corner of a room, and hook a V-grip handle from the cable station under the bar.

Because the bent over position of the T-bar row, it may not be a suitable exercise for those with lower back problems, posture issues, or inflexible hamstrings. In such case consider a seated row variation instead.

Exercise Video

How to do

  1. Load one end of a barbell with the required weight.
  2. Stand with the T-bar between your legs and grasp it with both hands by the handles and lift it off the floor. Push your hips back until your back is at a 30-degree angle to the floor, and hold the bar down with straight arms.
  3. Pull the bar up toward your upper abs. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and drive your elbows back.
  4. Pause for a moment then lower the bar to the starting position, keep the back on the same 30 degree angle throughout the movement.

  5. Bend your knees and hold your chest up. This will help protect your spine from injury while simultaneously putting yourself in your strongest position possible.

    Your back should be straight with a neutral arch. Avoid rounding your back or overarching it, this will put unnecessary stress on your spine.

    Do not rock your torso up and down, hold your hips in place. Rocking the torso or hips will shift the pressure off your upper back toward the lower back. This is not what you want. If you find it difficult to avoid, this is a clear indication you are using too much weight.

    Load the bar with smaller plates. Big plates will give you smaller range of motion, because they will hit on your chest.

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