T-Bar Rows

Performance Description
  1. Straddling the bar, position your feet no more than shoulder width apart.
  2. Using a squatting motion, grip the handles (using an overhand grip) attached to the bar (or use a close-grip attachment hooked under the bar positioned about 6 inches below the plates).
  3. Straighten the legs retaining a slight bend in the knees with back aligned near a 45 degree angle.
  4. Pull the bar up and towards the chest, the bar should touch or nearly touch the chest at the peak of the lift.
  5. Lower the bar back down, leaving a slight bend in the elbows before performing the next repetition.
  6. Repeat steps 4-6.
Primary Muscle(s)
Lats (Latissimus Dorsi)
Outer Back (Infraspinatus)
Outer Back (Teres Major)
Outer Back (Teres Minor)
Shoulders (Deltoid: Posterior)
Upper Back (Rhomboid Major)
Upper Back (Rhomboid Minor)
Upper Back (Trapezius)
Secondary Muscle(s)
Abdominals (Rectus Abdominis)
Abdominals (Rectus Abdominis: Upper Aspect)
Biceps (Brachialis)
Forearms (Brachioradialis)
Forearms (Flexor: Carpi Radialis)
Forearms (Flexor: Carpi Ulnaris)
Forearms (Flexor: Digitorum Profundus)
Forearms (Flexor: Digitorum Superficialis)
Forearms (Flexor: Pollicis Longus)
Lower Back (Spinal Erectors: Erector Spinae)
Tertiary Muscle(s)
Biceps (Biceps Brachii: Long 'Outer' Head)
Biceps (Biceps Brachii: Short 'Inner' Head)
Buttocks (Gluteus Maximus)
Buttocks (Gluteus Minimus)
Calves (Soleus)
Forearms (Anconeus)
Forearms (Extensor: Carpi Radialis Brevis)
Forearms (Extensor: Carpi Radialis Longus)
Forearms (Extensor: Carpi Ulnaris)
Forearms (Extensor: Digitorum)
Hamstrings (Biceps Femoris: Long Head)
Hips (Fascia Lata)
Hips (Tensor Fascia Lata)
Shoulders (Deltoid: Lateral)
Thighs (Quadriceps: Rectus Femoris)
Thighs (Quadriceps: Vastus Intermedius)
Thighs (Quadriceps: Vastus Lateralis)
Thighs (Quadriceps: Vastus Medialis)
Triceps (Triceps Brachii: Lateral Head)
Triceps (Triceps Brachii: Long Head)
Triceps (Triceps Brachii: Medial Head)
Further Clarification

T-bar rows are commonly known as a power lifting exercise, meaning its main purpose is to increase muscle bulk and strength, not create definition. The rowing action should be one continuous motion with no pausing at the peak of muscle contraction (top of the lift) or extension (arms nearly straight with a slight bend at the elbows).

If necessary, this exercise may be performed without a specific machine or apparatus. All one needs is an Olympic style barbell and a corner to position the non-plated end in. Once the barbell is in position, add the desired amount of weight plates, position the close-grip bar around the bar, and commence lifting.

Things To Look Out For

T-bar rows are designed to target the muscles of the back, not the legs. With the powerful lifting motion this exercise incurs, it is easy to break form and bring the legs into pulling the weight up. The legs should only be used at the very start of the exercise when reaching down and pulling the weight up to the initial starting position.

Once in the lifting position, the lower back should only be used as a stabilizer muscle to keep the back at a 45 degree angle. Using the lower back to lift the heavy weight used in t-bar rows can lead to injury.

Exercise Position(s)
Exercise Variations
Considered An Exercise In The Following Categories