Barbell Incline Row

Barbell Incline Row

The barbell incline row is a versatile compound exercise that targets the muscles of the upper back, including the rhomboids, trapezius, and rear deltoids. This exercise is a variation of the traditional barbell row, offering an additional challenge by placing your upper body at an incline position. Performed correctly, the barbell incline row helps to strengthen and develop the muscles responsible for maintaining good posture, which is essential in preventing upper back pain and promoting overall upper body strength. By pulling the barbell towards your chest from an inclined angle, you engage your back muscles in a more targeted manner. This exercise also requires the stabilization of your core, making it a great workout for strengthening your abdominal muscles, especially the rectus abdominis and the obliques. Additionally, the barbell incline row involves the biceps and forearms, providing a secondary benefit of increasing arm strength and muscular endurance. Incorporating the barbell incline row into your training routine can help improve your overall upper body strength, posture, and stability. Remember to always start with lighter weights for proper form and gradually increase the weight as you become comfortable with the exercise.


  • Start by adjusting the height of the barbell on a squat rack or Smith machine to a level that is about waist-high.
  • Stand facing the barbell with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent.
  • Bend forward at the hips while maintaining a straight back and grasp the barbell with an overhand grip that is slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  • Position your body at a 45-degree angle to the ground, with your arms fully extended and hanging straight down from your shoulders.
  • Pull the barbell towards your upper abdomen or lower chest by squeezing your shoulder blades together.
  • Pause briefly at the top of the movement, then slowly lower the barbell back to the starting position with control.
  • Repeat for the desired number of repetitions, ensuring proper form and controlled movements throughout the exercise.

Tips & Tricks

  • Focus on maintaining proper form throughout the exercise.
  • Engage your core muscles to stabilize your body and prevent any excessive swaying or arching of the back.
  • Pull the barbell towards your upper chest, squeezing your shoulder blades together.
  • Use a grip that feels comfortable for you, whether it's an overhand grip or an underhand grip.
  • Incorporate different variations of the barbell incline row into your routine to challenge different muscle groups.
  • Make sure to warm up adequately before starting the exercise to prevent injuries.
  • Gradually increase the weight or resistance to continue challenging your muscles and promoting growth and strength.
  • Pay attention to your breathing pattern, exhaling as you pull the barbell towards your chest and inhaling as you extend your arms.
  • Allow for proper recovery and rest days between training sessions to give your muscles time to repair and grow.
  • Listen to your body and adjust the intensity and frequency of the exercise to suit your individual fitness level and goals.


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