The bent-over barbell row exercise targets your back muscles.
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Access to a barbell allows you to perform a variety of strength-building exercises, including barbell rows. This term typically describes the barbell bent-over row, which is a challenging exercise in which you grab the barbell on the floor and, while bending forward, lift the bar toward your upper waist. Barbell bent-over rows target one region of your body but involve the use of a long list of muscles.
Performing the barbell bent-over row exercise with any amount of weight targets your back. ExRx.net notes the exercise targets your back in general, while "Muscle & Strength" and "Muscle & Fitness" magazines note the exercise works your middle and upper back, respectively. ExRx.net reports if you're able to perform the exercise with a wide, overhand grip, you'll increase the efficacy of the exercise.
It's impossible to perform the barbell bent-over row without the use of several synergist muscles. This term describes muscles that help you perform the movement in any exercise. The bent-over row's synergist muscles are found in your torso, shoulders and arms and include your brachialis, brachioradialis, pectoralis major, latissimus dorsi, teres major and minor, middle and lower trapezius, deltoids, rhomboids and infraspinatus.
In exercise terms, stabilizer muscles are those that contract but move very little, if at all, as you perform an exercise. In the proper execution of the barbell bent-over row, the stabilizer muscles are the erector spinae, hamstrings, glutes and adductor magnus. Dynamic stabilizers are the biceps and triceps in your arms, while the abdominal muscles and obliques in your core serve as antagonist stabilizers.
Barbell Upright Row
People who perform the barbell upright row, in which you stand erect as you lift the barbell, work a slightly different group of muscles than those executing the barbell bent-over row. The upright row targets the lateral deltoids in your shoulders. The exercise's synergist muscles include your trapezius, biceps, serratus anterior and muscles in your shoulders and arms such as your supraspinatus and brachialis. The stabilizer muscles for the upright row are your upper traps and levator scapulae.