Alter your exercises - Barbell row

There are a lot of people in the gym that I see and have spoken to that generally do the same exercises over and over again. They will change their routine but generally pick from a small list of exercises that they will always include. This is not a massive error in training but you will see a lot of benefit from changing the exercises that you use and even the way in which you do the same exercises. In this article I am going to show you that you can do an exercise or movement pattern in a huge amount of different ways to hit the muscle more effectively. Each movement pattern will work a muscle in a certain way. The things you can do to change the exercise whilst still performing the same movement pattern is to change the direction of resistance, the position of your body, the type of equipment used and many other factors.


So if you are doing the same exercises in the same way then I recommend for the benefit of your training progress I urge you to try some of the following alterations.


I will show you how to alter a number of different exercises so that you can perform some great variations on them. The exercise we are going to look at today is a barbell row. The barbell row is one of the key back building exercises. It hits near enough every muscle in the back as well as the shoulders, biceps, forearms and legs. It’s a great mass building compound exercise and you can shift some serious weight with it.


So how can we vary this exercise to work the muscles slightly differently whilst still maintaining the benefit of the movement pattern?


First lets take a look at the exercise:



The most simple way to alter this exercise slightly is to simply change your hand position:


Underhand barbell row:



You can now exchange the barbell for dumbbells and do one arm at a time if you would like to:



You can try now totally changing the way in which you row and use the equipment. You can have close grip hands, wide grip, you can use cables, machines or anything you can pick up really. Here are some great examples of different rows:


T-bar rows:


Low pulley rows:


Machine rows:



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