4 Benefits of Inverted Rows

Rowing, pull ups, and general back training is key for nearly every athletic endeavor of strength, power, speed, and endurance. The back, which in this case really involves the entire posterior aspect of the body above the tailbone to the back of the neck, can and should be targeted for maximum athletic development and injury prevention. In an earlier article, I discussed inverted rows in my ultimate exercise guide.

In this article, we will really focus on the specific benefits that inverted rows can offer everyone of us, regardless of goals) and abilities levels.

Benefits of the Inverted Row

Below are a four benefits of the inverted row, each briefly discussed.

1. Highly Scalable Movement

The inverted row is a very common movement that is found in scaled WODs and exercise circuits that involves pull ups and/or other bar/ring gymnastic movements. Due it its widely modifiable angle of pull and/or progressions (feet up, feet on floor, slow reps, etc) the inverted row is often used in group settings and other training environments when some athletes have issues performing higher rep based bar and ring gymnastic movements (pull ups, muscle ups, etc), The ease of use, scalability of the movement, and it’s transferability of skill and strength to more complex exercises makes the inverted row a great option for those who lack the ability to perform more complex movements.


2. Back, Arm, and Grip Strength and Muscular Development

Like most rowing and pulling variations, the inverted row works to increase overall back, grip, and arm strength and performance. The inverted row has an added benefit in that it allows a lifter to move their body weight, which can be very difficult yet rewarding in that the lifter must demonstrate the coordination and muscular control, seeking to maintain a muscle contraction throughout the entire range of motion. Suspension training and other gymnastic based movements are great at producing increased time under tension on the muscle, which has been shown to increase muscle growth.

3. Body Awareness and Midline Stabilization

Midline stability training is key to increasing strength, posture, and performance in nearly any lift, for any athlete. Bodyweight movements, specifically planks, inverted rows, handstands, etc all require a sense of body awareness and core stability to not only perform the movement but also to hold oneself in proper positioning. The inverted row is a great way to build core stability and lower back strength in the start and finishing positions), yet also offers man of the same core benefits during the rowing motion of the exercise.

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A couple exercises from my chest and back workout today. Still working on that #instafame # I normally do #invertedrows using a Smith machine but that was being used so I decided to be Spider-Man and use the pull up handles. The whole time I'm thinking "don't break. Please don't break!" Lol # Whoever said #pushups were easy is dead wrong. These were tough and the BOSU ball adds some complexity to it by making things a little less stable. Not bad if you're just trying to burn out like I was here. Certainly wouldn't use it if I were trying to increase strength or power. BOSU's aren't totally useless 🤣 # Still leaning down a bit. Pretty happy that I've been able to maintain my muscle mass and strength while dropping the body fat. Twenty pounds down now! #bodyrecomposition ftw!! # If you would've asked me 3 years if that was possible I would've staunchly told you NO!! But with proper programming and adequate #brotein and calories, it's a resounding YES!!

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4. Little Equipment and Preparation Needed

The inverted row does not require a great amount of preparation, equipment, or space, making it a great movement to add to any athlete’s and lifter’s exercise arsenal. The ability to perform these movements anywhere in the world, in nearly any environment, opens up the door to fitness throughout every stage of one’s life. Whether you are traveling, training out of your garage, or in a space with a large group of athletes crammed in, inverted rows can be done to increase all the benefits discussed above in very effective and efficient manner.

More About Inverted Rows

In earlier articles we discussed the inverted row, how to perform them, and some popular movement variations nearly every athlete, coach, and lifter can learn. Take a look below at some more articles on the inverted row, and remember, the more you row, the more you grow 🙂

Featured Image: @tfwhelsinki on Instagram