How To Do Bent Over EZ Bar Rows Correctly [With Video & Visuals]

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INTRODUCTION: EZ BAR VS BARBELL

The upper body pull is a movement pattern that is often ignored by many trainees. The vast majority of people train their anterior/pushing muscles much more than they train the back/pulling muscles.

It is important to balance out your pushing and pulling exercises with at least a 1:1 ratio.

The EZ bar row is a great exercise that you can add to your arsenal to strengthen the upper back muscles.

Some trainees might experience wrist or shoulder discomfort with a straight barbell, and these are the situations where an EZ bar is helpful.

The EZ bar is easier to use because the curves on the bar allow you to place your wrists and thus your shoulders into a more comfortable externally rotated position.

EZ BAR ROW FORM VIDEO

BENEFITS OF THE EZ BAR ROW

  • The Row trains and strengthens the low back, the traps, the rhomboids, the biceps and the posterior deltoids

  • The curves on the EZ Bar allow for a more natural range of motion and is more comfortable on your wrists

  • Helps re-align the shoulder joint and improves forward shoulder posture

MUSCLES WORKED DURING THE EZ BAR ROW

  • Rhomboids

  • Posterior Deltoids

  • Mid-Low Trapezius

  • Lattisimus Dorsi

  • Forearm/Grip Muscles

PERFORMING THE EZ BAR ROW WITH GOOD TECHNIQUE

  • Obtain an EZ Bar (a standard barbell is fine, but the EZ Bar is more comfortable) and load it with the appropriate weight

  • Set your grip on the bar at approximately shoulder width, grabbing it where the curve of the bar feels the most comfortable on your wrist

  • You can use an underhand, or overhand grip

  • An underhand grip is more comfortable and it incorporates the biceps more than an overhand grip

  • Brace your core and begin bending over by flexing at the hips, NOT the spine

  • Only go as far as you can keep your spine neutral. This will put your spine anywhere between a 90-120 degree angle from the floor depending on your flexibility

  • Bend your knees slightly

  • The starting position should look similar to that of the conventional deadlift, with a slight stretch on your hamstrings

  • Once you have reached the starting position, begin the movement by bringing your elbows up towards the ceiling

  • Focus on squeezing your scapulae together as the Bar approaches your body

  • The bar should touch somewhere above your navel

  • When reversing the movement, do not let your scapula protect all the way, try and maintain some level of retraction even at the very bottom of the movement

  • Repeat for the desired amount of repetitions

  • NEVER let your spinal alignment change. If you cannot keep your spine close to neutral, the weight is too heavy

  • When finished, you can simply lower the barbell to the floor

 

 COMMON MISTAKES

NOT KEEPING A NEUTRAL SPINE

This exercise can potentially put a lot of stress on your lumbar spine if not done correctly. Keep your core braced and your spine neutral

USING EXCESSIVE MOMENTUM

This happens when the weight is too heavy. Not only can you get injured, but you are also defeating the purpose of the exercise. Lower the weight and make sure that you are training the appropriate muscles

CHALLENGE

Row 75% of your bodyweight for 8 repetitions

HOW CAN I INTEGRATE THE BENT OVER EZ BAR ROW INTO MY TRAINING?

Check out The WCT Best Workout Template For Busy Professionals to find a simple way to add the EZ bar row and other great exercises into your routine.

BENT OVER EZ BAR ROW ALTERNATIVES

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Alex Robles, MD / Brittany Robles, MD, MPH

Alex Robles, MD / Brittany Robles, MD, MPH

Alex & Brittany Robles are OBGYN's, fitness experts, and founders of The White Coat Trainer, a site dedicated to improving the health and fitness of busy individuals. Their advice has been featured on KevinMD, The Doctor Weighs In, My Fitness Pal, Reader's Digest, and The Active Times. Learn more about them here.

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