Guide to best row exercises for a stronger back (Photo via Unsplash/Sam Sabourin)

6 Best Row Exercises for Men to Build Stronger Back

When you’re trying to build a lean back, you must incorporate some of the best row exercises into your workout routine. That's because rows have been the go-to movement for growing the lat muscles.

Additionally, rows are a compound movement that help with engaging the biceps and rear delts as well. Therefore, it’s essential to include variations in your back workout routine and enable the muscles to reach their optimum potential.


Best Row Exercises for Bigger Back


Your back routine should consist of pulldowns, pull-ups, and rows. Among rows, you will essentially be doing variations that enable you to work on your upper, middle, and lower back. Here are six best row exercises men should incorporate in their workout routine.


1) Barbell Row

Barbell rows are the most common row exercises. They're a voluminous exercise that ensures you’re engaging your entire back and pulling with your lat muscles.

You cannot begin back exercises with barbell rows without a warm-up. As it’s a heavy movement, you can end up with a muscle pull or an injury that could hamper your growth and progress.

You can find the guide for doing barbell rows here.


2) Dumbbell Row


Dumbbell rows are exercises that can be done unilaterally, meaning you can work on each side at a time.

It's important to add such exercises in your routine to fix any strength or muscle imbalance. Ideally, you can move to dumbbell rows after the bigger compound movements, and use this exercise for intensity.

You can find the guide for doing dumbbell rows here.


3) T-bar Row

T-bar row machines may not be available at every fitness establishment. However, you can use a V-bar and barbell to replicate T-bar rows.

If you wide grip T-bar rows, you will work on your wider back or the outer lats, while a close-grip works on your middle. Therefore, variations of a T-bar row can help you activate all the lat muscles.


4) Cable Row

Cable row is a common row exercise but is extremely effective. You can use this variation as a finisher workout or as a superset. As it involves cables, it’s a great exercise to pair with free weight.

You can find the guide for doing cable rows here.


5) Incline Bench Row

Incline bench row is an advanced exercise, but if you can do barbell rows, you will be able to do incline bench rows too.

One of the reasons it’s important to do barbell rows first is to improve your grip strength. While you can pull with your lat muscles, you also need to be able to grip the bar as tightly as possible.

Interestingly, a strong grip works on the forearms as well.


6) Reverse Grip Row

The reverse grip row is a variation of the barbell row. The entire movement is the same, but you have a supinated grip during this exercise.

The change in grip changes the pressure on the lat muscles and allows you to activate smaller muscles in the entire muscle group.


Bottom Line

It’s not essential to do all the variations of row exercises on the same day. In fact, it’s better if you focus on a few variations at a time, and do other variations on a different day.

When you want to grow your back, you need to focus on all three parts of your back at the same time. That will enable you to develop all the muscles properly instead of one part being overdeveloped than the other.


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