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How to Perform the Barbell Bent Over Row With Plate Grip

The plate-grip bent over barbell row requires some specialized equipment, but if you have it, this exercise is well worth including in your regular workout routine...

If you perform this exercise, you will undoubtedly feel your back muscles contract in ways you have never felt before.

Involved Muscles

The Latissimus Dorsi, lower and middle Trapezius, Rhomboids, Teres Major, Posterior Deltoid, Infraspinatus, and Teres Minor are all directly targeted by the bent over barbell row.

The lower back muscles (erector spinae) contract to stabilize your torso during the movement.

The secondary muscles that are activated are the Biceps Brachii and the Brachioradialis (in your arms).

Required Equipment

To perform the plate-grip bent over barbell row, you'll need Olympic weight plates with handles (holes actually).

These holes were designed into the plates to aid in the loading and unloading of barbell plates, but in this case, they serve as the handle you pull from during the exercise.

In addition, you'll need the shorter Olympic bar. A standard Olympic bar is 7 feet long and 45 pounds in weight. This is far too broad for this activity.

In addition, most gyms have a 5 foot Olympic bar that weighs only 35 pounds. This shorter bar can be used for the wide grip version of this exercise.

Even better is the Olympic EZ curl bar, which is typically about 4 feet long. This provides the most comfortable width, the greatest range of motion, and the ability to lift the most weight.

Please keep in mind that the EZ curl bar version is not shown on this page (but it is the bar that I use and recommend as a first choice).

Advantages / Benefits

In general, the benefits of the bent over row variation are the same as those of the standard row. This is a multi-joint compound movement that works a large area of muscle mass. Rowing is a fundamental movement pattern, and physique athletes regard it as one of the best exercises for increasing muscle mass.

The greatest advantage of the plate-grip bent over row is the wide range of motion at the top of the pull. When you row a barbell, the bar will hit your stomach when you reach the top of the range, and that is the maximum distance you can go.

The plate grip row allows you to pull up several inches more, as shown in the illustration below, because the elbows can rise much higher.

The plate-grip barbell row also employs a neutral grip, with palms facing each other.

You can only use a pronated or supinated grip with a barbell.

You can hit your upper back muscles from a third angle by including a neutral grip bent over row exercise, which may result in more complete overall development of every muscle in the upper back.



My name is Steven Goldstein

With over 10 years of experience in the fitness industry, I have worked with clients of all ages and fitness levels. From professional athletes to individuals aiming to lose weight, I have helped countless people achieve their goals and improve their overall health through customized training and nutrition plans.

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Hundreds of clients of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities have put their health in our hands over the years and achieved truly remarkable results. 

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