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How to Properly Barbell Row for a Bigger Back (Muscle and Strength)

Build your back.

These tips from Jeremy Ethier will teach you how to properly barbell row for a bigger back.

How to Properly Barbell Row for a Bigger Back

“If you’ve always wanted to boost your back thickness and back width, you need to learn how to do barbell rows. Unfortunately, most people butcher the barbell row technique (or “bent over row”). If you don’t know how to barbell row with proper form, you’re shortchanging yourself on potential muscle gains. Also, you’re putting yourself at risk of severe injuries. In this video, I’ll guide you through the barbell row form, step-by-step so that you can follow along.”

On How to Build a V Shaped Back The Easiest Way to Fix Low Back Pain How to Properly Barbell Row for a Bigger BackSource: Nigel Msipa / Unsplash

How to Properly Barbell Row for a Bigger Back

“The barbell bent-over row works the whole back. But the main muscles activated will be the latissimus dorsi (lats), the traps (both middle and lower), and the rear deltoids. If you execute the bent-over barbell row with proper form, you should mainly feel these areas of your back working as you pull the weight.”

How to Properly Barbell Row for a Bigger Back

“There are three stages to the barbell row technique: the starting position, the concentric rowing movement, and the eccentric rowing movement. When it comes to the starting position, many gym-goers commit two mistakes. The first is that they perform the barbell row too upright – this emphasizes the upper traps, instead of the back. The second is going too low such that the back rounds; the back should remain neutral throughout the exercise.”

“The mistakes don’t end there either. When it comes to the concentric rowing movement, many people tend to flare the elbows out excessively. As a result, they put their shoulders in a compromised position. The second mistake during this portion is letting the shoulders roll forward – once again, this puts the shoulders in a compromised position. There’s a third as well: many people tend to excessively round the back when rowing; this places significant stress on the lower back.”

“Last but not least, there are two mistakes associated with the eccentric portion of the exercise. The first is allowing the back to round and to fall out of proper alignment. The second is simply dropping the weight – this negatively impacts your muscle hypertrophy potential.”

“Just remember that while fundamental exercises, like the barbell row, are great for building muscle, their effectiveness relies on how you perform them. Proper execution of exercises will prevent severe injuries and enable you to build muscle faster. And not to mention, in the right areas.”

Video – How to Properly Barbell Row for a Bigger Back

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