Barbell rows are one of the greatest exercises you can do for your back, but you have to make sure you do them correctly. Here is how!
It’s no exaggeration when I say that barbell rows are the Swiss knife of back exercises, making them my second most favorite back exercise right after pull-ups.
Why? Well, they don’t only exercise your lats, but also your middle and lower traps, the rear delts, the rhomboids, the rotary cuff and more. For good measure you even get some brachialis and forearms thrown in. But key to do them is to keep your back straight and the elbows in:
Elbows In, Back Straight, Seriously!
Once more, you have to do the exercise correctly to really target all the muscles we talked about above. If you find yourself moving the upper body or that your arms are flaring out, use less weight!
Can You Use Them To Get Better At Pull-Ups?
Maybe, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. Barbell rows have no true target muscle, although they do involve the lats of course, while pull-ups involve a lot of muscles, but have the lats as clear target. For the fastest possible improvement in number of pull-ups you therefore have to do pull-ups.