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The Best Row Exercises With Variations

The Best Row Exercises With Variations [Row Workout List]

Do you rely on workouts such as lower chest workouts or big biceps workouts? Well, this may effectively put your upper body on the run as it improves strength and endurance; there is more for you in the pushing and pulling exercises. This is why the best trainers advise incorporating row exercises as an upper-body pulling movement. You may wonder why row exercises specifically? Most people love doing presses in their workout routine once they build certain strength for going higher with the exercises. However, it may unduly lean the shoulders forward and impact the upper body posture. Here, row workouts take entry as a savior for your hunch!

So, it’s time for you to add row exercise to your regular workout routine. If you are someone who has already figured most of the press workouts and now wants to target the upper body for better posture and shape, then make row workouts the focal point of your gym schedule. Row workout variations are aesthetic strength and muscle-building movements. Row variations help you get your upper body goals fast. And, wait! Besides, row exercises also offer benefits like cardio, so even if some of them may be of low impact, they are making the workouts much easier for you! So, get ready to notch up the row variations we present you in this article without any further adieu!

Row Exercise Variations To Build A Strong Upper Body!

Just a simple 10-25 minutes row workout can make you go oomph! You can easily choose from multiple variations, such as dumbbell row variations, kettlebell swings, etc., and complete the regular or full bodyweight workouts without worrying about the upper back. You can do the traditional rowing on the ERG machine or can also go for row variations. Want to know how? Understand the below-given row exercises and get ready to practice them!

List of The Best Row Exercises Along with Variations:

1. Power Stroke Intervals on The ERG

Power Stroke Intervals on The ERG

Ergometers (ERG), aka rowing machines, are pretty famous for row workouts equipment. Rowing uses up to 85% of body muscles which helps improve strength and endurance along with ramping up the pace of muscle toning. It may also offer you some surprising health benefits. The target muscles of this rowing exercise are the upper back, arms, pecs, abdomen, etc. Power stroke intervals on the rowing machine are perfect row workouts for people looking for low-impact row exercises.

Follow these simple steps to get the rowing power stroke intervals right-

  • Sit tall on the ERG machine with the back stiff but shoulders a little bit lean and hands placed at the end of the handlebar.
  • Now, begin with the rowing strokes with about 60-70% intensity. To achieve this, stay for about 3 seconds in the front and for 1-2 seconds while finishing up. This tip will help you avoid compressing your knees frequently.
  • To perform the strokes with full vigor, try using your legs first.

2. Barbell Row Exercise/Workout

Barbell Row Exercise/Workout

Brace yourselves for this classic back strengthening and thickening row exercise! It makes up for the best of the row exercises by meets a man’s expectations from an upper-body workout. The barbell row falls in the category of intense row exercises. To perform this rowing workout, you need to keep a few things in mind. The most vital of them include picking the heavy weights with palms facing back and the torso at an angle of 45 degrees, parallel to the floor– once this much is clear, gear up for pulling the bar up with full-body force while keeping the posture stable.

Execute these steps to perform the barbell row exercise correctly- 

  • With an overhand grip, stand firm holding a barbell in both hands. Knees should be slightly bent when you get onto this position.
  • Bending with your waist, bring your torso parallel to the floor at about a 45-degree angle.
  • At the beginning of this rowing workout, your arms should be extending towards the floor with the bar hanging down straight.
  • Contract your muscles and bend your elbows with total energy while pulling the bar until the stomach and keeping the torso stiff.
  • Try to squeeze the contraction as much as you can at the top and then lower the bar to the initial hanging position.
  • For the best results, perform the barbell row exercise as the foremost or as the least among the rowing moves you perform after the rounds of heavy pullups or pulldowns.

3. Dumbbell Row Exercise/Workout

Dumbbell Row Exercise/Workout

This is the best dumbbell row variation exercise. You may notice that this dumbbell row workout is similar to the barbell row exercise. However, dumbbell row exercise offers you a better range of motion, as in this case, the barbell is not bumping against your abs. In the case of dumbbell row exercise, you also have the liberty to keep your hands in a neutral position with palms facing in. In addition, it can hit the back muscles slightly from a different angle and gives you an option to use reverse grip also. Thus, row exercises with dumbbells provide you with an ample variety of better and more options for new muscle growth.

Learn to perform dumbbell row exercise with the following steps- 

  • With the knees a bit bent, stand firm, holding a dumbbell in each hand.
  • Then gradually lean with your waist until you form a 45-degree angle parallel to the floor. Your hands now should be hanging towards the floor with arms extended and palms facing each other.
  • Now, in unison, pull the weight up to the waist while keeping your torso in the same position.
  • As dumbbell row variation falls under the category of intensity row exercises, squeeze your shoulder blades as hard as you can at the climax of the movement.
  • Try to achieve a full back muscle contraction and then lower the weight to the starting position.
  • Perform the dumbbell row workout during the immediate beginning of the back workout exercise.

Also See: Arnold Press Exercise in Shoulder Workout Routine

4. The Reverse Grip Barbell Row Exercise

The Reverse Grip Barbell Row Exercise

Many professional trainers rely on this rowing workout for a strong and sturdy back. The widely preferred row exercise is also known as the Yates row. The reverse grip barbell row is famous because it can hit the lower lats more effectively than the regular barbell row. In addition to this, the popular row workout can offer more range of motion at the movement’s peak. This supine row workout may also put bicep muscles at work too. With an excellent muscle-mind combination, the rowing workout is a good back builder.

Master the reverse grip barbell row exercise with these steps-

  • Except for the underhand grip part, get yourself in the same starting position as given in the barbell row.
  • With the same waist and torso angle, squeeze the contraction with energy.
  • Gradually lower back down, keeping your elbows tight to the body.
  • You can add the reverse grip barbell row workout as your first or second back exercise.

5. T-Bar Row Exercise

T-Bar Row Exercise

This is again a superb barbell row variation exercise. You can take it as the plate-loaded barbell row version. Although the movement is the same, many muscles are not at work in this one as the weight is on the established path of motion. This does not mean that the T-bar row exercise is not efficient enough. It simply means that it focuses more on the large muscles, such as rhomboids, lats, and middle traps.

Ace the technique of T-bar row exercise with these simple steps- 

  • Stand tall on a solid platform with your feet about the shoulder-width apart and knees with a slight bend.
  • As you extend the arm below, keep the torso at a 45-degree angle with the shoulder-width overhead grip while leaning ahead to grab the bar.
  • Keeping the elbows bent and engaging the back muscles, pull the weight towards you with force. During this step, your chest and lower back should form an arch.
  • Squeeze your shoulder blades at the peak of the movement, then slowly keep the weight back to the initial position.
  • You can perform T-bar row exercises as the middle row exercise in the back exercises.

6. Prone Incline Bench Row Exercise

Prone Incline Bench Row Exercise

You will need a sturdy incline bench to perform the prone incline bench row workout. This rowing exercise as you lie facedown on an incline bench can maximize your gains for isolation. Try to perform this workout on a high incline bench to procure the best results.

Execute the Prone Incline Bench Row Exercise With The Below-Given Approach-

  • With your feet on the floor, lie face down on a high incline bench and hold dumbbells in each hand.
  • With your elbows fully extended, start with the arms stretching towards the floor and palms facing each other.
  • Contract your back muscles with force and commence pulling up dumbbells with your elbows at work.
  • As you reach the midsection, press both your shoulder blades at once, then slowly lower the weight to the initial position.
  • To obtain the best results, perform incline bench row exercise as a multi-joint lower back workout.

Also See: The Best Tricep Workouts For Home

The Takeaway – About The Best Row Workout

Row exercises are crucial for building a strong back. But, as we have seen in the row exercise variations, rowing is not just about back strength. It hits the lats along with building your rear delts, rhomboids, and major pushing muscles. It puts you through those positions that improve your endurance which ultimately helps you do other exercises with ease. Thus, row workouts keep up your overall game of muscle and intensity building. However, it is vital to consult a professional trainer before trying the row exercise variations to avoid muscle discomfort. Then, if they suit you, go for them, keep rowing, and mention your thoughts about the row variation workouts in the comments!

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