Put Your Back In To It, Part 1: Bent-Over Barbell Row

James Edward Earl of Ready Heroes Fitness is a beast in the gym and a wealth of knowledge when it comes to getting in a good workout!  Lucky for us, he’s agreed to give us some tips on an area that most of us seem to forget in our workout rotation: the back!


All regions of your back NEED attention! Why? Because we use our backs in almost everything we do! Whether just sitting in your desk chair or playing your favorite sport, the muscles in your back are constantly working.  As such, it is important to target these essential muscles so that we can keep them in good working order.  In addition to improved posture, targeting your back muscles will also increase definition in your torso and help reduce any chances of back trauma.


As a licensed personal trainer, James offered up a workout that will give your back some much deserved lovin.’ Let’s get started, shall we?



Bent-Over Barbell Row



1. Holding a barbell with a pronated grip (palms facing down), bend your knees slightly and bring your torso forward, by bending at the waist, while keeping the back straight until it is almost parallel to the floor.

Tip: Make sure that you keep the head up. The barbell should hang directly in front of you as your arms hang perpendicular to the floor and your torso. This is your starting position.

2. While keeping the torso stationary, breathe out and lift the barbell to you. Keep the elbows close to the body and only use the forearms to hold the weight. At the top, contract in the position, squeeze the back muscles, and hold for a brief pause.

3. Inhale and slowly lower the barbell back to the starting position.

4. Ensure that your body is as close to 90 degrees as possible to ensure that you’re working both your lats and middle back. The more upright you are, the more your traps begin to work which isn't the target muscle of this exercise.

Note:  A majority of back exercises fall into the category of pulling motions. In any pulling motion the biceps are involved. In order to keep your biceps from completely taking over the exercise and to ensure you are working your back, employ a thumbless grip on all back exercises. With a thumbless grip, you simply keep your thumb on the same side of the bar as your fingers, as opposed to wrapping your thumb around the bar.

While this is a good start as you ‘put your back into it’,  I recommend hitting up Ready Heroes Fitness to supply some professional help as you tackle your personal fitness needs.  And as always, eating right is an essential component in seeing the results you’re looking for. Don’t forget that  FitXBrit has you covered for your custom meal plans. Check back next week for more exercises courtesy of James Edward Earl of Ready Heroes Fitness Camp!