The King of Back and Lat Exercises
I love the bent over barbell row. Like the bench press for the chest, the bent over barbell row is the ultimate back exercise when you are looking for great upper back development. As a true strength exercise, the bent over barbell row is great because you can load up on the weight with this exercise. Make no mistake about it. The bent over barbell row is a beast of an exercise.
The bent over barbell row requires lower back and ab control to maintain a solid posture and is one of the exercises that is often not performed because of this. If you want a strong, thick back, you need to do bent over barbell rows.
I love to perform bent over barbell rows early during my back days and trying to stick to 8-10 reps (to failure).
How to Perform the Bent Over Barbell Row:
Hold a barbell with a pronated grip (palms facing down), bend your knees slightly and bring your torso forward by bending at the waist while keeping the back straight until it is almost parallel to the floor. Tip: Make sure that you keep the head up. The barbell should hang directly in front of you as your arms hang perpendicular to the floor and your torso. This is your starting position.
While keeping the torso stationary, breathe out and lift the barbell up towards your body. Keep the elbows close to the body and only use the forearms to hold the weight. At the top contracted position, squeeze the back muscles and hold for a brief pause.
Inhale slowly lower the barbell back to the starting position.
Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.
Caution: This exercise is not recommended for people with back problems. A Low Pulley Row is a better choice for people with back issues.
Ensure perfect form and never slouch the back forward as this can cause serious back injury.
Variations: You can perform the same exercise using a supinated (palms facing you) grip. This will also target the biceps very well and is a staple of my back/bicep days.
Bent over rows can be performed with dumbbells and low pulleys as well.