Bent Over Row For A Strong Back Exercise Instructions And Video Plus Variations With Or Without Any Equipment

Bent over row will help you build a strong sexy back effectively. Imagine wearing an open backed dress with the confidence that your back looks great!  :-)

First, I’ll show you how to do this exercise using a pair of dumbbells.

Here’s what this exercise looks like.


  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Grab a pair of dumbbells.
  3. Bend at the waist and move your upper body forward until it’s nearly parallel to the floor. 
  4. Bend your knees slightly. Let the weights hang straight down. This is the start position.
  5. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and row the weights up toward you (see the video).
  6. Slowly return to the start position.
  7. Repeat 2-3 sets of 8-12 times. Or do as many as your program requires you to do.

Things To Watch Out For

  • Your back should be flat throughout the exercise. In other words, your head, spine and tailbone should be in a straight line.
  • Don't shrug your shoulders. The movement should come from your back. Don’t use your forearms either, apart from holding the dumbbells.
  • Exhale when you row up and inhale when you row down.
  • Keep your body stable.
  • If you have a back problem, check with your doctor first before performing this exercise.
  • Keep your ab contracted.

Other Equipment You Can Use

You can also use kettlebells or barbells in place of the dumbbells.

If you don’t have any exercise equipment at all, use any stuff that’s heavy enough. Things like filled water bottles, milk bottles, suitcases will do just fine.

If you have only one piece of weight, then lift one side at a time and switch sides.

How To Make This Exercise Easier

  • If you’re having difficulty staying in the bent over position, lie face down on a bench and perform the rows.
  • If you have a swissball, try Ball Dumbbell Rows. It’ll help you with strengthening your core muscles too.

How To Make The Bent Over Row More Challenging

  • The most obvious way is to increase the weights you lift; or
  • Try balancing on only one leg and extend the other leg to the back all the time you’re performing the rows. This will work your core harder and even strengthen your legs more. Double benefits.

If You Don’t Have Any Weights At All ...

No problem. Use your body weight.


Check this Inverted Row exercise. It’s even better. And it’s my favourite way of building a gorgeous back. :-)

Good luck!

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