T-Bar Row

Exercise Summary
Primary Muscle(s) Middle Back
Secondary Muscle(s) Biceps, Lats
Equipment Machine
Emphasis Compound
Type Pull

T-Bar Row Instructions

Pending what machine you have access to, you will either be using a chest-supported machine or a standard foot-plate variety. We will talk about the foot-plate machine here.
  • Assume a strong lifting position: core and glutes activated, shoulders braced, chest up, knees slightly flexed, and eyes fixed ahead.
  • Hinge at the hips while maintaining a neutral spine.
    • Maintain a slight knee-bend throughout the movement.
  • All T-Bar machines are different and will employ various handle variations.
  • Pronated Grip
    • Activate your scapulas and upper back to raise the the bar towards your chest.
    • Imagine you are pinching a quarter between your shoulder blades.
    • Do not actively pull with your arms, they remain passive.
    • At the top, you should feel like a scarecrow.
  • Neutral Grip
    • Use your lats and mid-back to pull the bar up & around your body.
    • Don't let your upper traps shrug.
    • You will be in a more vertical position.
    • Your arms are a lever, they remain passive in the exercise.  
  • Lower the weight along the same path.


  • Your torso remains tight and in the same position from start to finish. Don't rock your torso up/back to move the weight.
    • This takes tension off the proper musculature you want activated in the movement.
  • Don't drop the weight at the top of the movement.
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