How To Do Underhand Barbell Row Properly

Pullups aren’t the only exercise that builds you bigger lats (latissimus dorsi) muscles; underhand barbell row does better.

The underhand row, also known as the reverse grip barbell row, targets your lower back, focusing on your lats. While it is reasonably challenging, it is worth every minute of endurance.

Additionally, the barbell row tests your stability stand and works your endurance too. That’s why you shouldn’t get down on it if you feel fatigued.

There is so much to learn about this workout – ideally, there is more to it than the lift and drop movement. And this article tells you everything you should know.

For starters, here is how you do it:

  • Start with an underhand grip on a barbell.
  • Bend forward at the waist until your torso is level with your knees.
  • At the bottom of the movement, allow your shoulders to protract.
  • Work your way back to the starting position by bringing the barbell up to the midsection and lowering it again.

WHAT MUSCLES DO UNDERHAND BARBELL ROW WORK?

Underhand barbell row works a set of primary and secondary muscles. In this case, the primary muscle in action includes the following.

LATS

Lats are motion muscles. Their primary function is pulling the scapula’s inferior angle in various directions, resulting in shoulder joint motions.

TRAPEZIUS

Popularly known as ‘traps‘ these muscles run from your neck’s back through the shoulder into the mid-back. They guard the spine alignment by giving you the correct posture when exercising.

They also facilitate shoulder, arm and neck movement.

BACK MUSCLES

The gluteal and erector spinae muscles are the primary back muscles. They aid in the spine’s support, which allows you to lift objects and stand.

Secondary muscles involved include:

SHOULDERS

The muscles of the shoulder give you a wide range of motion when performing the underhand barbell row.

UNDERHAND BARBELL ROW BENEFITS

In a scale of benefits from 1 to 10, the underhand barbell row scores an impressive eight! So which are these benefits?

SOLID BACK

Much of the action involves working multiple lower back muscles, thereby giving your back more rigidity. Pulling workouts and activities relying on such movement becomes easier.

MAKES WORKOUT EASIER

Strong latissimus dorsi muscles have an effect on how you do other exercises. For example, the core strength gained with the barbell row makes it easy to perform squats, deadlifts and bench presses.

IMPROVE STABILITY

There is a lot of balancing that goes into the exercise, and it requires a lot of strength and spinal endurance. These are what earn you more stability when exercising.

ARM WORKOUT

The reverse grip barbell row gives you a better workout for your biceps than an overhead or neutral grip.

BROADER BACK AND STRAIGHT POSTURE

All at once, the reverse grip engages your upper-back muscles and improves your posture.

This muscle group gives you a broad back because you work your shoulders, traps, and lats with every pull towards the chest.

ALTERNATIVES TO UNDERHAND BARBELL ROW

The following underhand barbell row alternatives offer you a different workout experience while still hitting target muscles.

T-BAR ROW

You challenge your lats with this exercise, much like the barbell row.

Technique:

  • Empty a barbell and place the end in a room’s corner.
  • Hold it in place with a heavy dumbbell or weight plates.
  • Straddle the other end of the bar and load it up with plates.
  • In order to get into a 45-degree angle, bend at the hips while keeping your arms extended.
  • You can use a cable station’s V-grip handle to hold the bar in place with both hands.
  • You should maintain a natural arch in the lower back while you do this.
  • Squeeze the shoulder blades.

INCLINE DUMBBELL ROW

The incline dumbbell row is an excellent alternative to the barbell row in terms of strength and conditioning. It allows isolating your lats comfortably.

Technique:

  • Set a weight bench to a 45-degree incline.
  • Grab a set of dumbbells and start with a weight that you can easily manage.
  • Lean back on the bench.
  • Grasp the dumbbells.
  • keep your elbows tucked close to you, with your palm facing inwards.
  • Pull the dumbbells up to your shoulders and exhale.
  • Keep your elbows pointed towards the ceiling.
  • Squeeze your shoulder blades together and hold for a few seconds at the top of the move.
  • Inhale as you bring the weight back to the starting position.

UNDERHAND BARBELL ROW MISTAKES TO AVOID

The underhand barbell row is, without a doubt, complicated. This increases your chances of making the following mistakes.

ROUNDED BACK

Keep a straight back when lifting the barbell. When you round your back, your shoulders do not contract accordingly, limiting how much the back muscle stretches.

NOT BENDING THE KNEES SLIGHTLY

Performing the underhand barbell row with straight legs doesn’t give you the proper range of motion. You can’t push your hips far back and gain the correct posture to take the lift.

Failing to bend the knees strains the lower back and will often lead to flexion of the spine and, eventually, back pain.

LIMITED BENDING OVER

It is easier to perform the reverse grip bent-over row if you bend over more because it places optimal stress on your back muscles.

The range of motion increases and gives your back muscles ample time to work through the stress.

TENSING YOUR SPINE AND NECK

Avoid putting too much tension on your spine and neck when performing this movement. Always keep your neck and spine as neutral as possible to avoid any strain on the target muscles.

DISENGAGED CORE

Having reasonable core control can mean the difference between big gains and permanent damage when it comes to your lower back.

An engaged core keeps you stable, and you engage it by breathing in during the lift and exhaling after lowering the barbell.

CONCLUSION

Underhand barbell row gives you more than a solid back. It helps maintain the correct positioning of the spine and gives you arm strength. Although it is not one of the most straightforward exercises, it would be worthwhile if you included it in your training regimen.