Bent-over row (Skill)

Upper Strength Movement Skill Progression 2

Bent-over row

Bent-over Row


  • Development of horizontal upper body pulling strength

  • Lower back extensor strength


Bent-over row start position.

Bent-over row top position.

  • In a standing position, grasp a barbell slightly wider than shoulder width, or hold dumbbells

  • Perform a Romanian deadlift: flex at the hips by pushing your hips directly backwards, keeping your lower back neutral

  • As you bend over, slide the bar down your thighs until it reaches the kneecap

  • Bend your knees slightly if this is more comfortable

  • Maintain a neutral back position and take a breath in

  • Initiate the upward phase by breaking the elbows backwards and slightly outwards

  • Pull the barbell/dumbbells up until touching the lower chest; squeeze the shoulder blades together

  • Lower the barbell/dumbbells by extending your elbows until they fully straighten

  • Breathe out as the elbows straighten


  • Learning: 3 x 8–12 repetitions (2–3min recovery) with 15-20kg barbell or dumbells

  • Basic strength: 3 x 5–7 repetitions (2–3min recovery) at RPE of 7–8 or 70–85 per cent 1RM


  • Increase load