How to Do One Arm Barbell Row Properly

Whoever said that exercises involving a barbell can only be done using two hands lied, because the one arm barbell row is not only done using a barbell and a single-arm, but its results are also great!

You may hear other people refer to this exercise as the single arm barbell row, and that is totally fine. It is just another name it goes by.

You know, the great thing about these exercises and the equipment we think we have mastered to the core, is that they are not set in stone.

There is room for modification, combination and for innovation. Thus, just because you know the barbell as equipment meant to be carried by two hands, does not mean you cannot do it with a single arm.

If you want a strong and thick back, those bulging lats, you will stop questioning the efficacy of a single-arm barbell and go straight to the steps on how to perfectly achieve this move.

HOW TO DO ONE ARM BARBELL ROW PROPERLY

There are two ways of achieving the one arm barbell row,

METHOD 1

  • Load a barbell and place it beside you
  • Reach down and grab take a hold of the bar. You will find that you are able to lift the part at the front while the other end of the bar remains on the ground. If you find a corner for the other end, the better so that it remains steady.
  • Start rowing and repeat for as many reps as you can.

METHOD 2

  • Take a bar and load only one of its ends
  • Place the end of the barbell with the weight in front of you, then straddle it
  • Tighten your core and maintain a straight back as you grasp the barbell with the left hand
  • Meanwhile, support yourself with your right hand
  • Bring the barbell upwards, towards you and as you do so, engage your back muscles.
  • Bring it down slowly for recommended reps and do the same for the other arm.

ONE ARM BARBELL ROW MUSCLES WORKED

This exercise mainly targets the middle back muscles, the lats, and to an extent the bicep and shoulders.

ONE ARM BARBELL ROW BENEFITS

HIP HINGE

The row movement of this exercise requires you to hinge at the hips and keep a straight back, This way, you don’t get to strain your neck or be required to look up from the exercise.

ONE ARM BARBELL ROW ALTERNATIVES

REVERSE GRIP BARBELL ROW

This is another exercise which you can do to increase the strength and thickness of your back.

How to dot reverse grip barbell row

  • Load the bar and grip it using an underhand grip, just the same thing you would do if you were doing the conventional bent-over row
  • Place your feet shoulder-width apart, and this should apply to your hands to as they grip the bar. Please note that this is essential to the success of this exercise
  • Bend over such that your body lies at a 45-degree angle while your arms hang down by your side
  • Tighten your core, straighten your back and bring the bar up towards you.
  • Slowly lower the bar and repeat this as many times as you can.

LYING BENCH ROWS

Lying bench rows are one of those exercises that you absolutely need to add to your routine. Not only are they good for your back, but they will give you a better posture and work on your shoulder mobility.

For this exercise, you will use dumbbells instead of a barbell. Be warned though, this is not an easy exercise but the returns are worth it.

  • Get yourself a bench and set it up in such a way that you are comfortable when lying on it. While some instructors suggest a 30-degree angle, this will not always apply because we come in different shapes and sizes and what works for one person may be absolutely comfortable for the next. So you just find your sweet spot.
  • Lie facing down and take a dumbbell in either hand.
  • When lying on the bench, your feet should touch the floor. Being ‘suspended’ may compromise your stability
  • Raise the dumbbells upwards towards you while tucking your elbows in, then lower them
  • Repeat for as many reps as you wish.

ONE ARM BARBELL ROW MISTAKES TO AVOID

SQUARE SHOULDERS

Many people go into this exercise with square shoulders. In fact, it is not just this exercise, the same can be observed when doing dumbbell rows.

Square shoulders limit your range of motion and prevent you from getting that full back stretch, thus missing the whole point of this exercise.

HEAVY WEIGHTS

Do not load the maximum weight on your barbell when doing this exercise. Loading full weight will limit your range of motion, thus this exercise will not fully target the key areas it is supposed to target.

The most important thing here is the proper form, give this priority over how much you can row at once. Remember, you can definitely row more with a bar than you normally would when using dumbbells. But this is not the point.

Another mistake you should avoid is letting the plates touch the ground when you are lowering the barbell. Bring the barbell close enough to the ground, but do not let the plates make contact with the ground.

CONCLUSION

If you do the dumbbell row so well, don’t go into the one arm barbell row with overconfidence. These two exercises and their techniques are very different and this one will humble you.

However, if you follow the steps and maintain the correct form, you are in for a great treat. You will feel that stretch almost immediately, from the top of the lats to the bottom.