Fitness: Row into this back exercise

April 30th, 2022 7:05 AM

By Southern Star Team

The bent-over row targets a variety of back muscles mainly the latissimus and rhomboids.

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By Paudie O’Donovan, Neuromuscular Physical Therapist

WITH Skibbereen firmly on the map because of our local rowing club winning gold, silver and bronze Olympic medals over the last few years, I feel it’s time to talk about a rowing exercise: the bent-over row. This strength builder is not performed on a rowing machine but instead with a barbell and a hefty amount of weight in a bent-over position.

It targets a variety of back muscles – mainly the latissimus and rhomboids.

Start with a barbell on the ground with your desired amount of plates on each side. Stand close to the bar and bend (hinge) to grab the barbell. Now in a controlled manner pull the bar up towards your chest while exhaling and back to the starting position. Try to do 8-10 repetitions.

Pulling the weight higher to your chest works on the upper back muscles while pulling the barbell closer to your waist work your mid back muscles. So really it’s to do with form and I’d fiddle around with which one suits you best.

Try to do the desired amount of repetitions.

If you can’t do 8-10, drop a few of the weighted plates and work from there.

Be very careful with your lower back, especially when lifting the barbell into a starting position.


Paudie O’Donovanis a Neuromuscular Physical

Therapist  specialising in pain relief and improvement of mobility/flexibility.

He runs a Sports Injury Clinic in Skibbereen

Follow him on Facebook, Instagram or contact him on 086-2339618

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