Body Weight Inverted Row – The Back Exercise your aren’t doing

The inverted row or “fat man pull-up” is a great back exercise, and it’s not just for beginners… or fat guys. Here’s how to make it into a challenging muscle builder.

I’m a huge supporter and believer of pull-ups and chin-ups on how they help you develop a strong and wide back. There’s just something inherently bad-ass about being able to lift up your entire body,  I know to many people that maybe a daunting struggle specially when you are just starting out with your fitness journey.  The inverted row or “fat man pull-up” is a great back exercise, and it’s not just for beginners… or fat guys.

Commonly people who are not acquainted with the inverted row utilize the barbell row, where you pick up a barbell, bend over at the waist (keeping your back straight), and pull the weight towards your chest. Yes, this is a great exercise but once your form is compromised it can lead to serious complications and imbalances.

Luckily, the inverted row takes care of all of that.  You get to use your body weight, and there’s no extra stress on your back.  As an added bonus, you get decent core workout too.

You start this exercise by grabbing a bar like you were getting ready to bench press it, but instead of lifting the weight down towards you, you’re pulling your body up towards the bar.  Think of it like this: “benchpress” is to “pushing” as “inverted row” is to “pulling.”


How to do an Inverted Row:

  1. Position a bar in a rack to about waist height. You can also use a smith machine.
  2. Take a wider than shoulder width grip on the bar and position yourself hanging underneath the bar. Your body should be straight with your heels on the ground with your arms fully extended. This will be your starting position.
  3. Begin by flexing the elbow, pulling your chest towards the bar. Retract your shoulder blades as you perform the movement.
  4. Pause at the top of the motion, and return yourself to the start position.
  5. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Why the inverted bodyweight row is so great:

An inverted row works all of your pull muscles: your back, biceps, traps, and all the stabilizer muscles in between.  If you’ve been doing just pushups and bench presses, you need to start doing equal work with your back to stay in balance and away from injury.

If you want to eventually be able to do pull-ups, THIS is the exercise you need to work into your routine until you can do a full pull up.


Train with Eytan in Hendon/North west London/NW4

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