How to do the bent over lat row exercise, barbell and single arm dumbbell version. The lat row and its many variations is a great exercise for your upper back/Latissimus Dorsi.
Benefits of this exercise
The lat row exercise is a compound exercise and it’s great for working your whole back, especially the upper back. It will give your back width and thickness.
The lat row like other exercises that involves a pull action, is also very effective for working your biceps. Other benefits include improved upper body fitness and strength which helps to develop a fit and balanced physique.
Equipment that can be used to perform the exercise
- Bench – anything that can be used to support your body weight – for the single arm dumbbell rows
- Cable machine
- Lat row pin machine
- Row bar
There are a few different versions of the lat row
- Barbell rowing
- One arm dumbbell row
- T bar row
- Row bar version
- Row machines
How to Perform the Barbell Lat Row
- Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart, bend your knees, lean forward with your body keeping your back as straight as possible.
- Hold the barbell with your arms straight in a vertical position.
- Pull the barbell up to your lower abdominal area and hold for a brief moment then slowly lower the bar back down and then repeat.
How to Perform the Dumbbell Lat Row
- Kneel over the side of the bench with your left knee, use your left arm as support, extend your right leg out to the side angled slightly back, or use a technique like the one above if you’re performing this exercise at home with no bench.
- Hold the dumbbell in your right hand, with your arm fully extended, shoulder stretched forward slightly.
- Pull up your arm until your upper arm is about horizontal, keep your elbow near to your body, hold for a moment then slowly lower to the starting position.
The T-Bar Row is another variation of the Lat Row, it can be performed on a special T-bar row setup or sometimes with a modified barbell which resembles a T, it can also be performed just using a standard barbell. The technique can vary, many people use a fairly upright technique, however this is not the best way to perform the exercise.
Performing the exercise with your back in an almost horizontal position is the recommended technique. It will be far more effective for targeting your lats, it will also be better for strengthening your lower back.
You can use a wide grip or a narrow grip, each will target different areas of your back. You should experiment with your grip to help you determine the best and most effective way of performing the exercise. If done correctly you should feel your back being worked during the exercise, if not alter your technique until you feel the target muscles being worked. Start off with a very low weight as this exercise puts your lower back under stress.