Is the Bent Over Barbell Row Good for the Back?

Is the Bent Over Barbell Row Good for the Back

The bent-over barbell row is a classic strength training exercise. This exercise is usually performed by men and women who want to build bigger backs or add some beef to their upper body. It’s’ generally safe if you execute it correctly, but it can be dangerous with the wrong form and execution. 

I have a question from a Fix My Back Pain customer, Rob. I wanted to answer it for you because I think it will help you and other Fix My Back Pain customers.

Here is Rob’s question:

Fix My Back Pain” is a great product with great info, but I have one question for you. Is the Bent Over Barbell Row safe and effective, or are there better alternatives?”

It is a safe and effective exercise, but when it comes to Barbell Row, it’s’ a matter of selecting the level you can do.


Barbell Row

Orsy is proceeding to go through the first level. Just a slight bend to the Barbell Bent Over Row, a slight hip hinge. She has that underhand grip and then goes through Barbell Row.

This activity is easier on the shoulders because the elbows are close to the body. Orsy got a slight hip hinge. Since she is not that far from vertical, it will not put so much strain on the back. 


Deeper Barbell Row

And then I can have Orsy progress into a Deeper Barbell Row. She is almost at 90 degrees when it comes to her knees, hips, and shoulders. She activated through that abdominal area. The elbows are tight as she goes through that rolling movement.

It depends on what you can end up doing and what your back likes.

If your back is in a sensitive stage or phase, what you can end up doing is a Seated Row Machine or a Seated Pulley Machine where your spine is more vertical. You are still working your back muscles even if there is less stress put on the back.

Then we can go to where Orsy had gone. There is a slight hip hinge when it comes to Barbell Row. She can end up going the maximum distance to Barbell Row if her back can end up handling it.

If Orsy ends up going to that highest Barbell Row, she’s got stress and strain on her back, and she would end up backing up and going to that first one she had gone through.

I hope that answers your question, Rob.

The bent-over barbell row is a fantastic exercise for building strength, but it is a little risky for your back if you do it wrong. Though, it is essential to be mindful that the bent-over row is one of the most common weight-training exercises in gyms and fitness facilities nationwide.

If you think you have any back issues, it would be best to avoid this exercise. It can be dangerous if done incorrectly or with too much weight. Make sure to do it right and with the right amount of weight.

It is an effective exercise, but you must select the right level that works for you right now.

This is Rick Kaselj from and

Take care and bye

Rick Kaselj, MS

Low Back Pain Solved