- Straddling the bar, position your feet no more than shoulder width apart.
- 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).
- Straighten the legs retaining a slight bend in the knees with back aligned near a 45 degree angle.
- Pull the bar up and towards the chest, the bar should touch or nearly touch the chest at the peak of the lift.
- Lower the bar back down, leaving a slight bend in the elbows before performing the next repetition.
- Repeat steps 4-6.
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.
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.