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T-Bar Row

This movement is a great exercise to maintain good posture, thereby reducing the risk of injury due to poor form and technique. When the upper body is supported and the lower body is removed from the movement, the back is forced to do all the work, which means total isolation.

And if your gym doesn’t have a T-Bar machine, you can still use a bench and dumbbells.

How To Make A T-Bar Row

1- Starting position

  • Take a straight bar and load it on one side only with suitable weights, then place a triangle handle (neutral grip) just under the weights (you can also grab the bar directly).
  • Block the other end of the bar at an angle formed by two walls, or with a very heavy object preventing any movement.
  • Stand upright over the side with the weights, legs shoulder-width apart (the bar will go up between the legs during movement).
  • Keep your back straight, pull your chest out, and put your shoulders back. Bend your knees and tilt your torso until it is almost parallel to the ground.
  • Grab the handle in a neutral grip (palms facing each other), just below the weights, with your arms almost straight.

2- Execution of the movement

Pull the bar towards the torso

  • Without leaning your chest forward, slowly pull the bar toward you until your elbows are behind your torso and the weights are almost touching your chest.
  • The elbows must remain against the sides and the shoulders well back so as not to shoot with the deltoids.
  • At the end of the draw, bring the shoulder blades as close as possible by contracting the back muscles and hold the position for one to two seconds.

Lower the bar

  • Slowly lower the bar, controlling the speed, until you return to the starting position.
  • Do not rest the bar on the ground, keep your arms almost straight to maintain a strong contraction throughout the exercise.

Repeat the entire movement as many times as your program plans.

Targeted Muscles

Main: trapezius, back, big round, biceps, triceps (long portion)
Secondary: shoulders, forearms, abdominals, lumbar

The T-Bar Row is above all an exercise to work on the thickness of the back, which is to say mainly the middle and lower trapezoids.

Nevertheless, the large dorsal and the large circle will also participate strongly in the movement especially with the bust also tilted and if you are going to look well down by unhooking your shoulders during the negative phase.

In addition, the use of the pronation grip generally allows more stress on the latter two muscles.

Finally, the abdominals and the lumbar intervene to sheath the trunk and thus keep it straight.

7 Training Tips

  • You must work from a stable base during this drawing action. If your upper body is moving, you can injure yourself and you will not get the development you are looking for.
  • Focus on shooting with your back and shoulders, not your biceps.
  • Make sure to pull as far back as possible. When your elbows move beyond the plane of the back, you put more strain on the dorsal muscles as well as the rhomboids and the middle part of the trapezoids.
  • Be careful not to pull too far back to avoid the discs hitting your chest or face.
  • Extend your arms fully before starting the next rehearsal. If you start with the elbows bent, you are not fully working the muscle and you are compromising its development.
  • For a more intense contraction, hold the upper position for one to two seconds. Don’t stop downstairs during your rehearsals
  • If the machine has a multi-position handle, also do the overhand exercise (palms down). In this case, the exercise will look a lot like a Barbell Row. During this variant, your elbows move outward and you mainly stress the upper part of the large dorsal, the posterior bundle of the deltoid, and the middle part of the trapezium as well as the rhomboid.

Risks And Mistakes To Avoid

  • Make sure to keep your back perfectly straight: if you round your back, you risk injury by putting strong pressure on the spine.
  • Do not swing the torso during the T-Bar Row: the torso must remain perfectly still during the ascent and descent. If you cannot keep your torso still, perform the exercise with lighter weights.
  • Do not pull with the biceps: be careful not to bend your arms too early, and not to force with the biceps. Concentrate on the back muscles, to isolate them as much as possible.

Breathing

Inhale while bringing the load against the torso and exhale while lowering it.

Variants

  • Different taps possible at T-Bar Row:
    • Neutral plug: used in the presentation.
    • Supine: focus on the biceps and trapezius muscles.
    • Pronation: focus on the upper back.
  • Lying T-Bar Row.
  • Barbell Row.
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