Building a bigger back is something a lot of athletes have on their to-do list. While pull-ups, push-ups, and lat pull-downs are all great ways to turn your back into a muscle shield, there’s a targeted lift that works a lot of big muscle groups, and which will get you big gains when performed properly. It’s called the T bar row
The T Bar Row
For this exercise you’re going to need a bar, some weight plates, and a corner. You push one end of the bar into the corner, and load the other end up with a weight that you’re comfortable with. If you’ve never done this exercise before it might take some trial and error to find a weight that’s right for you.
Once the bar is loaded, stand with your back to the corner, and the bar between your legs. Your feet should be roughly shoulder width apart. Bend your knees, and lean forward as if you were going to do bent-over rows. Grab the bar behind the plates (either with a two-handed grip, or by interlocking your fingers underneath the bar to lift up), and pull up. Pull through your shoulders, and then with your biceps, and you’ll feel the tug in your lats, as well as in your arms and chest.
There is a small range of motion in this exercise, because you don’t put the weights back down on the ground in between reps. You lift until the plates touch (or nearly touch) your chest, and then extend your arms until your elbows are no longer bent. Then you lift again, feeling a squeeze just as the plates tap your torso.
T bar rows are a great lift to activate your lats and shoulders, and they’re an easy way to focus on a hard-to-reach area of your body. What makes them an indispensable part of a lot of strength training workouts, though, is that they don’t require any big, expensive equipment. All you need is a basic bar, the appropriate weight, and a corner no one is using. Though there are some gyms that have a metal sleeve anchored to the floor you can use insert a bar into instead of pushing one end into the corner, you get the same workout either way.
While the T bar row is a great exercise for building your back, there are some things you need to be careful of. One of them is the strain put on your knees and back from the position. If you’ve had problems with either of those two areas, or you’re coming back from an injury, it may be best to hold off on this exercise till you’re fully recovered. Additionally, while T bar rows will help you build power quickly, you shouldn’t overdo them, or put too much strain on your lats in a single session. Make sure you incorporate this exercise into an overall routine in order to get the best possible results.