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Inverted Row

What Is An Inverted Row

How To Do An Inverted Row

The inverted row, sometimes called the bodyweight row, is a bodyweight exercise that challenges the performer to pull themselves towards a barbell set in the squat rack. Unlike a pull up, which uses a vertical pull, the inverted row uses a horizontal pull to target the lats, traps, rhomboids, delts, and biceps.

Inverted rows are typically set around hip weight but can be made more or less challenging by lowering or increasing the height of the bar from the floor. The lower the bar, the more challenging it is. During the inverted row, the feet remain on the floor with the body creating a straight line from the feet to the head.

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Commonly Asked Questions On Inverted Row

  • Inverted rows aid in increasing upper body strength and in particular help to strengthen the back and bicep muscles. 

  • Comparing inverted rows and pull ups are like comparing apples and oranges. While they both challenge the back, they are different exercises, and the different angles mean the back muscles are challenged differently in both.

    Inverted rows are easier than pull ups and can be helpful in building back strength and working on scapula retraction, both which can help to get your first pull up.

    Inverted rows are easier than pull ups, but this is not to say they are not as good as them! The two movements are different exercises that are performed at different angles and are therefore likely to challenge the back muscles differently.

    Inverted rows are a helpful alternative if you’re working towards your first pull up. The exercise involves and teaches scapula retraction, which is the first action needed to start the pull up movement therefore it is likely to contribute to pull up strength and technique.

  • Inverted rows are good for your back and train the latissimus dorsi, trapezius, rhomboids, and the rear deltoids. The movement also works the biceps, which are used in many other back exercises, and can help to improve posture and increase spine stability while minimising injury risk and back pain.

Inverted Row Tips

The inverted row is a great progression from the TRX row and challenges the performer to use greater stability throughout the movement. Beginning with the bar set up at hip height, you can slowly progress this exercise with just your bodyweight by lowering the bar over time.

It’s important to keep a neutral spine and rigid body throughout the movement to ensure the intended muscles are targeted and the spine is projected. Think about tucking your ribs and pelvis together, creating a straight line from your feet to your head, and engage your core.

How To Do An Inverted Row


  1. Place a barbell in a squat rack at hip height, then lie on the floor so your chest is underneath the bar.

  2. Sit up and sing an overhand grip, grab the bar slightly wider than shoulder width apart.

  3. Pull your hips off the floor so that your body makes a straight line from your heels to your head.

  4. Engage your core and then pull yourself close to the barbell by pulling your elbows back and down towards the floor.

  5. Reverse the movement by slowly extending your arms and lowering your body, making sure to keep a neutral spine throughout.

If you’re not sure if any of the above exercises are suitable for you, please consult your doctor before you start it. Need guidance on how to perform the exercise? Ask a personal trainer at your gym.