Bodyweight Inverted Rows

Inverted Rows are an excellent  beginner, intermediate, and advanced bodyweight exercise. They target several muscle groups that many people wish to bulk up, and due to the nature of the exercise, the intensity can be adjusted to your specific fitness level. Inverted Rows go by several common names.

  • Inverted Rows
  • Reverse Push-Ups
  • Bodyweight Rows
  • Supine Rows

Benefits of Inverted Rows

The benefits of this exercise are vast, my personal favorite as I mentioned above is how easy it is to adjust the intensity to match your skill level. This makes it a perfect “Progression” to doing your first Pull-Up. The Inverted Row works the following muscles.

How to do Inverted Rows

To perform this exercise, you’ll need a fixed bar, or a sturdy surface edge to grab onto. Ideally, it should be just out of arms length while lying on the floor, but that depends on what level of intensity you’re going for. In reality, you can use just about anything that you can get a firm, comfortable grip, doesn’t move around easily, and can support your weight. Be sure to position your body so that when you pull yourself up to the bar, your chest will hit the bar.

  1. Grab onto the bar infront of or above you with your hands shoulder-width apart.
  2. Fully extend your arms into a relaxed/hanging position. This will be your starting position.
  3. Pull yourself up towards the bar and tuck in your elbows about 45 degrees from your armpits. Lead with your chest until your sternum hits the bar.
  4. Lower yourself until your arms are fully extended again and repeat for the desired number of reps.

Incase this was wasn’t clear enough, check out this great video demonstration.

Common Inverted Row Mistakes

  • Take it slow, going to fast can cause you to slack off on your form.
  • Remain tight so that your shoulders and your ankles are inline
  • Don’t let your elbows flail around.
  • Keep your knees extended and your heels firmly the floor.

Variations of Inverted Bodyweight Rows

Depending on the intensity you’re going for, there are several variations that can either increase or decrease the intensity of the workout. Once you’re comfortable performing this exercise, you can play around with your grip, making it wider, closer, underhand, and overhand. If you’d like to make the exercise easier, find a bar that is higher up off the ground, if you follow all the steps for good form above, the exercise will be easier. If you’re looking to make the exercise harder, you can try Feet Elevated Inverted Rows. As the name implies, simply place your feet on an elevated surface and follow the steps for good form above.

If you’ve got any questions about this exercise, feel free to drop them in the comments below and I’ll reply as soon as possible. Remember, be smart, stretch, and give yourself some rest to prevent training to failure.


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Posted in Calisthenics, Intermediate Calisthenics, Introduction to Calisthenics

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