The bent over row is an essential compound exercise that recruits muscles from the back, glutes and legs. Training your back can help reverse some of the damage done by leading a sedentary life, this includes internal shoulder rotation from being sat at a desk.
The bent over row is a great place to start as it focuses on all the muscles in the back. This resistance band variation is great for those getting into resistance training and those new to training back.
It can also be used as a warm up at the start of a workout or as a burnout at the end for more advanced lifters.
How to do a Resistance Band Bent Over Row
- With your feet shoulder width apart, stand on the resistance band. If you are using a resistance loop create handles with the band by standing on both sides.
- Take the resistance band handles in your hands, with your palms facing each other.
- Bend your knees and tilt forward. It is important to keep a straight back with your neck in line with your spine here to avoid injury.
- Brace your core and keep it tight while you retract your shoulder blades together to pull the resistance band towards you.
- The movement pattern should lead your hands towards your hips rather than pulling towards your ribcage.
- Once your shoulders are fully retracted slowly relax your arms to return to the start position. Keep control in this part of the movement.
- Repeat this process for the desired amounts of sets and reps.
The main muscles used are the muscles in the back. This includes: the latissimus dorsi, posterior delts, rhomboids, scapular stabilisers and the spinal erectors. However, as it is a compound movement it also uses arm and leg muscles. The forearms and biceps are used in part of the pulling motion as well as for grip. The hamstrings and glutes are used as part of the positioning.
Variations of this exercise can include changing the grip, for example, so that your palms face towards you. Other variations include adding weight with either a dumbbell or barbell.