T-Bar Rows are an amazing exercise for building and developing a big, strong back. The T-Bar Row Machine allows you to have your chest supported, taking stress off the low back even when rowing heavy weight.
In this guide, I’m going to teach you how to do T-Bar Rows including important coaching points, muscles worked and a few alternatives.
How To Do T-Bar Rows
- T-Bar Row Machine
- Latissimus Dorsi
- Teres Major
- Posterior Deltoids
- Set yourself up on the T-Bar Row Machine*
- Feet should be flat on the platform and the chest supported on the pad.
- Grab the handles, brace the core and unrack the bar.
- Make sure your posture is good and then row the bar toward your chest.
- Lower back down under control and repeat until all reps are complete.
- Once all reps are down, re-rack the bar into its rack.
*Exactly how you set yourself up will vary dependent upon the machine. Not all T-Bar Row Machines are exactly the same.
By far the biggest mistake I see with T-Bar Rows is athletes I coach think that because there is a pad to support their chest, they don’t need to have good posture. This is wrong. You should still have the same posture – back and core engaged – as you would if you didn’t have a pad supporting you.
Some of the benefits of including T Bar Rows in your workout routine include:
- Improved posture: T Bar Rows can help strengthen the muscles of the upper back, which can help improve posture by pulling the shoulders back and down.
- Increased upper body strength: T Bar Rows can help build strength in the upper body, including the back, shoulders, and arms.
- Variety in your routine: Including T Bar Rows in your workout routine can add variety and challenge to your workouts, helping to keep you motivated and engaged.
It’s important to note that the benefits of T Bar Rows will depend on your lifting goals and how the exercise is incorporated into your overall strength program.
How Many Reps?
T-Bar Rows is an upper-body supplemental strength movement. Recommended rep range is 3 to 4 sets of 6 to 12 reps.
T-Bar Row Alternatives
Don’t have access to a T-Bar Row Machine? Don’t worry, here are a couple of exercises you may be able to use as a replacement.
Want more options? Here are 10 of my favorite alternatives for T-Bar Rows.
Chest Supported Dumbbell Row
If you have dumbbells, the best substitution for T-Bar Rows is Chest Supported Dumbbell Rows. They are very similar movements, just done with different pieces of equipment.
Both are great back exercises and both support the torso to help take strain off the low back.
Barbell Bent Over Row
Barbell Bent Over Rows are also very similar to T-Bar Rows in terms of building strength. The biggest difference is that Barbell Bent Over Rows don’t support the torso. However, this can also be looked at as a positive for developing low back and core strength.
More Links and Info
If you’d like to see more back exercises, head over to the Upper Body Lifts section of our exercise library. There you’ll find dozens of chest, back and shoulder movements, all with step-by-step instructions.