Will Bent Over Rows Help Pull-ups?


Will Bent Over Rows Help Pull-ups

You’re trying to improve your pull-ups. Or, maybe you’re trying to get to your first pull-up.

And, you’re wondering whether Bent Over Rows will help you to develop the strength needed to improve your ability to do pull-ups. Sound about right? Well, you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, I will explore the question of whether Bent Over Rows can help improve Pullup performance and discuss the potential benefits and considerations of incorporating both of these exercises into a training program.

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Key Takeaways

  • Although Bent Over Rows do not directly mimic the same movement pattern as Pull-ups, the two exercises utilize many of the same muscle groups.
  • Doing Bent Over Rows will help ultimately improve your ability to do Pull-ups.
  • Other exercises, like Chin-ups and Lat Pulldowns, can also be effective for improving Pull-up performance.

Muscle Groups Involved

Bent Over Rows

Barbell Bent Over Rows

The Bent Over Row is a compound exercise that targets several muscle groups in the back, including the lats, rhomboids, and middle and lower traps. The lats, or latissimus dorsi, are the largest muscle group in the back and are responsible for pulling the arms down and back towards the body.

The rhomboids are a pair of muscles that run between the shoulder blades and are responsible for squeezing the shoulder blades together. The middle and lower traps, or trapezius muscles, are located in the upper and middle back and are involved in pulling the shoulders back and down.

Pull-Ups

Pull-ups, on the other hand, primarily target the lats and biceps, as well as the muscles of the upper back. The lats are again the primary muscle group involved, as they work to pull the body up towards the bar.

The biceps are also engaged, as they work to flex the elbow joint and assist with the pulling motion. The upper back muscles, including the middle and lower traps and the rhomboids, also play a role in stabilizing the body during the exercise.

Overlap?

There is some overlap in the muscle groups targeted by both Bent Over Rows and Pull-ups, as both exercises involve the lats and upper back muscles.

Both exercises can be effective for developing strength and muscle mass in the back but may differ in the specific muscle groups that are emphasized.

Can Bent Over Rows Improve Pull-up Performance?

Bent Over Rows can help to improve Pull-up performance by improving the strength of the lats, rhomboids, and upper back muscles. These muscle groups are all important for Pull-up performance, as they are responsible for pulling the body up towards the bar.

Limitations For Pull-up Improvement

However, it is important to consider that there may be other factors that contribute to Pull-up performance, such as technique, grip strength, and overall body weight.

Because there is no better way to get better at doing Pull-ups than actually doing Pull-ups, I would also recommend trying to incorporate some Pull-up modifications as well.

For example, using the assistance of a resistance band is a great way to get the additional needed boost to help you start performing Pull-ups. Loop a resistance band around the pull-up bar and then tuck the band under a bent knee. This will allow you to start working on technique and grip strength as well as improving your pulling strength.

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that proper technique is crucial when performing Bent Over Rows, as it is easy to stress the low back if the exercise is not performed correctly. Make sure that you’re familiar with how to use proper form when doing this exercise.

Other Exercises That Can Improve Pull-ups

In addition to Bent Over Rows, there are several other exercises that may be helpful for improving Pull-up performance. Some options to consider include:

Related –> 10 Bent Over Row Alternatives to Grow Your Back

Chinups

Like Pull-ups, Chin-ups involve pulling the body up towards a bar using an overhand grip.

However, chinups use a supinated (underhand) grip, which can place more emphasis on the biceps. This can be a good option for those looking to specifically target the biceps in addition to the lats.

Many lifters will also find Chin-ups slightly easier to do than Pull-ups.

Lat Pulldowns

Lat Pulldown

Lat Pulldowns are a machine-based exercise that involves pulling a bar down toward the chest while seated. The movement pattern is almost identical to that of Pull-ups.

This exercise can be helpful for targeting the lats and upper back muscles and can be a good option for those who are unable to perform Pull-ups due to a lack of upper body strength.

Inverted Rows

Inverted Rows with Gym Rings
Photo Credit: Mariia Korneeva / shutterstock.com

Inverted Rows, also known as body rows or Australian rows, involve pulling the body up towards a bar using an overhand grip while in an inverted position (hanging from the bar). This exercise can be a good option for targeting the upper back muscles and can be performed using a barbell, rings, or TRX straps.

Incorporating a variety of exercises that target the muscles of the back can be beneficial for improving Pull-up performance and overall back strength and development. It is important to pay attention to proper technique and to start with a weight or resistance that is appropriate for your current level of you strength.

As you progress, you can gradually increase the difficulty of the exercises to continue challenging yourself and improving your strength.

Final Thoughts

Bent Over Rows can help to improve your ability to do Pull-ups by increasing the strength of the lats, rhomboids, and upper back muscles. These muscle groups are all important for Pull-up performance, as they are the same muscle groups responsible for pulling yourself up towards the bar.

However, it is important to consider that there may be other factors that contribute to being able to do Pull-ups, such as technique, grip strength, and overall body weight. Don’t forget that proper technique is also crucial when performing Bent Over Rows, as it is easy to overstress the lower back if the exercise is not performed correctly.

Finally, incorporating a variety of exercises that target the back, such as Pull-up variations, Chin-ups, Lat Pulldowns, and Inverted Rows, can be beneficial for improving Pull-up performance and overall back strength and development.

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Ryan Horton

Horton Barbell was created by Ryan Horton who has served as a Sports Performance Coach for almost 20 years. My mission is to create a training resource to help as many coaches and athletes as possible maximize athletic potential.

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