All About The Barbell Rower

The barbell rowing machine is one of the great classics of muscle training. However, it’s not super easy to do.
All about the barbell rower

The barbell rowing machine is very popular in the gym and has its own technique, which obviously must be performed in detail to avoid injury or lower than expected results.

There are several variations of the barbell rowing machine, we advise you to start with the basic or the traditional. Read on to find out everything you need to know about this helpful exercise.

What is the barbell rowing and which muscles does it affect?

Before starting, you should know that the barbell rowing is a difficult exercise. This doesn’t mean you can’t do it, but you have to keep in mind that it’s not suitable for beginners. Fitness  experts  say it’s harder than the bench press, but easier than  squats or deadlifts.

Instead of feeling distressed or disappointed, you should know that  if you can lift a certain weight with this exercise, it means that your strength has increased thanks to the routine. Therefore, it is a good way to measure your results and changes.

Exercise of the barbell rowing machine

Rowing with a barbell is an excellent exercise to train the upper back, as it allows us to strengthen it and therefore be able to perform a more complicated routine. In turn, the arms will increase their strength and will be more “marked” if done correctly. When you lift a certain amount of weight with this exercise, you will have the ability to increase the loads on the rest.

In addition,  the abdominals are trained, as the abdominals must remain tense during the movement. Ideal for those who want a marked abdomen but hate the exercises needed to get it!

The muscles of the femur and buttocks are also strengthened due to the contraction and force to be applied when “anchoring” the ground.

How to do barbell rowing?

Pay particular attention to the steps to follow to do the exercise correctly. The barbell rowing is done standing still, with the legs hip-width apart and with the toes turned slightly to the sides, as are the knees.

Place the barbell with the appropriate weights close to the shinbone. To get it, you have to choose the prone grip, that is, the thumbs will surround the element. Because? Because in this way you will tighten the bar more and will be involved a lot more muscles.

The width of the grip should be narrower than that of the bench and wider than that of the deadlifts. A wider grip shortens the range of motion and causes the arms to tilt.

Bring your torso forward as you bend your knees slightly. The glutes should be “back” when performing. Take the barbell with your arms extended in front of the body, parallel to the legs and above the instep.

Without changing the position of the back (parallel to the ground), bend the elbows and bring them back so that they pass the line of the spine.  But be careful that they are not too “open” and separated from the torso, otherwise you will be forcing them too much (as well as the wrists).

oarsman with barbell

After holding the position for a few seconds, slowly descend until your arms are fully extended and the bar swings at foot level.

Tips for the barbell rowers

One of the most common questions regarding the execution of this exercise is when to breathe, because the position of the torso does not allow for a very deep inhalation. We recommend taking a breath before the starting position.

Another question we need to consider is how far the barbell should be pushed: simply to the same point as when performing the bench press. Bringing it towards the chest requires more stability in the lower back and doing it up to the belly will shift the effort towards the upper and middle part of the back. It all depends on what you want to train.


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