, pub-5193898349613817, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0
22.7 C
New York
Wednesday, May 31, 2023

The way to Do the Chest-Supported Row for a Greater and Stronger Again

You stroll right into a crowded health club in your upper-body or pulling day and also you’re able to do your rows, however you discover that all the barbells are taken. Right here’s what you need to do: spot an open weight bench close to the dumbbells, get ahold of a pair of ‘bells and get to work. The chest-supported row is a superb upper-body train that builds your biceps and again with additional assist.

Supporting your chest throughout a row is a protected strategy to load your again muscle mass with out sacrificing kind. In case you’re a seasoned lifter you’re going to have the ability to pull a bit heavier as you isolate the motion; for newcomers, it is a nice train to learn to retract your shoulder blades and have interaction your muscle mass with out taxing your backbone.

A muscular person doing chest-supported dumbbells rows.
Credit score: MDV Edwards / Shutterstock

Again workout routines assist a wholesome posture and rowing with dumbbells will provide you with the advantages of unilateral coaching as nicely. There’s quite a bit to like on this one. Let’s dive into how and why to do the chest-supported row and a few options and variations to vary issues up.

The way to Do the Chest-Supported Row

The chest-supported row entails utilizing a bench for built-in stability so you’ll be able to shield your decrease again and hammer your lats safely. 

You’ll goal your biceps and again as you press into the ground and the bench that can assist you interact your core and glutes. Right here’s a step-by-step breakdown for the train. You’ll want an adjustable weight bench and a few dumbbells, however do word which you can carry out a chest-supported row with principally any kind of free weight.

Step 1 — Lay Down on the Bench

A person doing the chest supported row.
Credit score: OPEX Health / Youtube

Set your bench to a forty five diploma incline. Seize your dumbbells and lie chest-down on the bench. Maintain your weights by your sides along with your palms going through one another. Press your toes into the ground and squeeze your glutes and abs to start constructing pressure. 

Coach’s Tip: Urgent into the bench helps create stability. Take a second right here to create most pressure from the beginning place.

Step 2 — Row the Weights

A person doing the chest supported row.
Credit score: OPEX Health / Youtube

Provoke the chest-supported row by retracting your shoulder blades after which observe by means of by pulling your elbows up towards the ceiling. Maintain your higher arm tucked tight to your torso the entire means.

Coach’s Tip: Preserve a impartial backbone by protecting your abs engaged. Attempt to retract your shoulder blades with out overly extending your backbone.

Step 3 — Decrease the Weights Again Down

A person performing the chest supported row.
Credit score: OPEX Health / Youtube

After pausing momentarily, slowly decrease your weights again in direction of the ground, protecting your elbows in. Preserve pressure by protecting your shoulders down and abs engaged. Keep engaged on the backside of the carry. 

Coach’s Tip: Transferring slowly with management throughout the eccentric section — or decreasing down — of an train will help you construct muscle and power.

Chest-Supported Row Units and Reps

Whether or not your objective is hypertrophy, power, or endurance, you’ll wish to select your units and reps accordingly. Listed below are a few alternative ways you’ll be able to program the chest-supported row:

  • For Muscle Mass: Do 4 units of 10 reps. It is best to be capable of do one or two extra reps on the finish of every set, so you’ll be able to full all 4 with good kind.
  • For Power: Carry out 5 units of 5 reps with heavy dumbbells.
  • For Endurance: Do three units of 15 reps. Select a average load which you can keep your kind by means of your excessive reps. 

Widespread Chest-Supported Row Errors

The chest-supported row is less complicated than the bent-over row within the sense that your physique doesn’t must work as onerous to stabilize your posterior chain. The additional assist could make the train appear simpler, however there’s just a few frequent errors that you ought to be aware of.

Going Too Heavy, Too Quickly

In case you’re used to doing heavy rows with a barbell, you understandably would possibly assume you’ll be able to instantly load up the chest-supported row. Nonetheless, holding two heavy dumbbells could tax your grip earlier than you’re used to and trigger you to drop the weights and fail. Begin with a weight you’ll be able to comfortably do 10 reps with and go from there. 

Overly Extending Your Backbone

For newcomers simply studying the motion sample of rowing, it’s frequent to hyperextend your thoracic backbone when making an attempt to retract your scapula. If the cue to squeeze your shoulder blades collectively throws you off, take into consideration additionally driving your elbows in direction of the ceiling. 

A person doing the chest-supported dumbbell row with an arched back.
Credit score: MDV Edwards / Shutterstock

Through the chest-supported row, you shouldn’t be arching your again to the purpose of your chest peeling off the bench.

Utilizing Momentum (As a substitute of Management)

In case you are making an attempt to construct power or muscle with an train just like the chest-supported row, it’s higher to lean into the design of the motion and prioritize strict management over unfastened momentum. Interact your muscle mass on the concentric (lifting) and eccentric (decreasing) phases. You may also pause for a second on the high of the carry. 

In case you’re unable to carry out these actions with management you could wish to decrease the load to construct up some extra power.

Chest-Supported Row Variations

You possibly can change some points of the chest-supported row when you’d love to do a variation. For instance, strive doing it unilaterally to coach one facet at a time, or decrease the peak of the bench to extend problem. Listed below are just a few chest-supported row variations to check out.

Chest-Supported Single-Arm Row

If you wish to goal one facet of your again at a time, strive the chest-supported single-arm dumbbell row. In case you have an asymmetry in your power, muscle, or mobility, unilateral workout routines will help even issues out.

There are just a few methods to strategy unilateral free-weight workout routines. You possibly can alternate sides — depart your left arm down whereas your proper arm rows, decrease your proper arm, row your left arm, and proceed. You may also depart your left arm down whilst you full reps in your proper facet, after which change sides.

Lastly, do that with an isometric maintain. Row each arms up, after which maintain your left arm on the high of the carry whilst you full reps along with your proper facet.

Seal Row 

The seal row is a sort of chest-supported row that requires an elevated flat bench. By altering the angle of the bench, you’ll discover that you’ve got much less leverage and an extended vary of movement. 

[Read More: At-Home Workouts for Strength, Muscle Growth, Power, and More]

The total-body assist of the seal row protects your decrease again whereas additionally including in a small component of steadiness, since no a part of your physique is related to the ground as you row.

Dumbbell Bent-Over Row

If you wish to strive a non-supported variation give the usual bent-over row a shot. Be aware that this development doesn’t contain supporting the non-working facet of your physique on a bench. 

The bent-over dumbbell row supplies the identical stage of problem to your higher again muscle mass whereas calling your posterior chain into motion as nicely. Count on this motion to tax your decrease again, glutes, hamstrings, and core in equal measure. 

Chest-Supported Row Alternate options

If the chest-supported row isn’t doable for you, listed here are just a few options. You’ll nonetheless be constructing pulling power whereas working your again, lats, and biceps with these actions, although, relaxation assured. 

Seated Cable Row

The seated place of the cable row offers you some assist, however you’ll have to make use of your core to keep up a superb posture and impartial backbone. Altering up your gear is usually a good problem on your physique; cables present extra constant mechanical pressure than free weights, and your again will definitely really feel the distinction.

You possibly can play with a close-grip deal with or wide-grip deal with to focus on totally different muscle mass in your again. Freshmen will profit from studying this motion with a light-weight weight, however superior lifters can go a bit heavier. Watch out to not hyperextend your backbone as you retract your shoulders and maintain your ribs down.

You may also do a single-arm cable row with one deal with, however use two palms if you wish to maintain it just like the chest-supported row.


A TRX row is a body weight train, however don’t underestimate it. You’ll study to maintain your full physique engaged as you utilize your again muscle mass, lats, and biceps to tug your self up. To make this train just like the chest-supported row, flip your palms to face one another with a impartial grip.

[Read More: Learn the Best TRX Exercises for Your Experience Level]

Maintain your physique straight by partaking your core and squeezing your glutes. To progress this row, progressively alter your physique such that it’s nearer to parallel to the ground, somewhat than standing upright. 

Inverted Row

The inverted row is a extra superior body weight row, usually carried out whereas holding onto a barbell. Inverted rows usually require you to make use of an overhand grip, nonetheless, you’ll be able to maintain the bar along with your palms supinated to get your biceps into the sport as nicely. 

Inverted rows will help you construct body weight pulling power that may carry over to different actions resembling pull-ups. They are going to work your higher and mid-back and are one other alternative to observe good spinal mechanics as you retract your shoulder blades.

Muscle tissues Labored by the Chest-Supported Row

The chest-supported row is an upper-body train that works nearly each muscle in your higher again (aside from your lumbar backbone, in fact). Listed below are the key muscle teams at play. 

Latissimus Dorsi

Your latissimus dorsi (lats) are your largest again muscle mass. Your lats are liable for protecting your arm in direction of the center of your physique, or adducting, as you row your dumbbell. (1) Your lats additionally help in scapular actions, and are the prime mover throughout all rowing variations, together with the chest-supported row. (1)


Your trapezius, or traps, are comprised of three components: higher traps, mid traps, and decrease traps. Your traps perform to maneuver and stabilize your scapula. Your mid-traps are liable for scapular retraction. (2) Your decrease traps assist to depress your scapulae which is essential to maintain your shoulders knocking down if you carry out your rows.


Your rhomboids are a pair of deep muscle mass in between your shoulder blades. They help in transferring your higher arms and stabilizing your shoulders and scapulae. (3) If you squeeze your shoulder blades collectively on the high of your row your rhomboids are working. 

A person's back with arms flexed.
Credit score: Ollyy / Shutterstock

These muscle mass are sometimes underworked when you sit slouching at your desk, and strengthening them by means of workout routines just like the chest-supported row could assist to enhance your posture.


Your biceps include a protracted head and a brief head within the entrance of your arm. Your biceps are liable for flexing your forearm and help in flexing your elbow. (4) As your again muscle mass work to retract your scapulae, your biceps assist your arm bend on the high of your row. Notably, your biceps additionally assist in stabilizing your shoulder blades. (4)

[Read More: The Best Biceps Exercises For Greater Growth]

Your biceps are additionally liable for supinating your forearm. In case you go for a supinated grip in your rows, you’ll get some extra biceps work in.

Advantages of the Chest-Supported Row

The chest-supported row is all about that assist. You’ll have some built-in stability that may shield your again and permit you to focus onerous on the muscle mass that matter. Coaching your again can profit your posture, and utilizing dumbbells helps to deal with imbalances. 

Constructed-In Stability Has Bought Your Again

In any train, it’s all the time vital to interact your core to withstand spinal motion beneath load. The chest-supported row ensures you some additional stability and, whilst you nonetheless must maintain your backbone nonetheless, it’s total a lot simpler than doing any type of unassisted bent-over row.

[Read More: The Easiest Ways to Effectively Train Through Injuries]

Unassisted rows are nice, however might not be appropriate for you in all instances. As an illustration, in case you are recovering from a again damage, the chest-supported row could also be a viable different to nonetheless hit your rows with additional safety.

You May Be In a position to Raise Heavier

Supporting your backbone could enable you to carry heavier weights, because you don’t want to fret about bracing your core or flexing your decrease again all through your units. 

[Read More: How To Train The Brain For Bigger Lifts In The Gym]

As such, the chest-supported row permits you to put your entire focus and power into your higher physique. This will permit you to carry heavier, and will be helpful in case your objective is hypertrophy or power. Older adults and anybody who could have limitations with standing may profit from lifting heavier with added assist. You possibly can reap the bone well being advantages of weight lifting whereas limiting exterior threat components.

Get the Advantages of Unilateral Coaching

Lifting dumbbells will provide you with the advantages of unilateral coaching — working one facet of your physique at a time. In case you have power, muscle, mobility, or stability imbalances, unilateral lifting could assist to even them out. (5

Within the chest-supported row, even in case you are lifting each arms on the similar time, holding a separate weight in every hand will name for extra recruitment and stabilization of every facet than rowing with a barbell. 

The power features you make with unilateral rowing could carry over to your bilateral rows. Unilateral coaching has additionally been proven to probably increase sports activities efficiency. (5)

Might Enhance Posture

Coaching your higher and mid-back could assist enhance your posture. Spending time sitting at your desk or your cellphone may cause your shoulders to spherical and your head to jut ahead. Some literature has proven that common train will help scale back the ache and stress in your backbone brought on by sitting. (6)

[Read More: The Best Posture Exercises To Help Ease Back Pain]

Though you can be sitting within the chest-supported row, you should use the additional assist as a chance to actually give attention to pulling your head up, miserable your shoulders, and sustaining a impartial backbone. Strengthening your higher and mid-back muscle mass will help assist a wholesome backbone and posture.

Who Ought to Do the Chest-Supported Row

The chest-supported row will be helpful for lifters of all ranges. In case you fall into one among these camps, it would simply be the train for you. 


In case you’re new to power coaching, the seated place and the stabilization supplied by the chest-supported row will enable you to study to interact your core and resist spinal motion. 

A muscular person starting to do the chest-supported dumbbells rows.
Credit score: MDV Edwards / Shutterstock

You possibly can study the horizontal pulling sample and find out how to retract your scapula with out overly extending your backbone. When you find yourself new to the health club, you may make a whole lot of progress shortly, and also you’ll profit from safely lifting heavier on this place to start out strengthening your higher physique. 


Bodybuilders can take the chest-supported row as a chance to focus on particular person muscle mass like their rear deltoids. You may also change the angle of the bench, your grip, and hand place in your dumbbells to hit totally different points of your again or domesticate a robust mind-muscle connection.

[Read More: The Best Bodybuilding Ab Workout For Your Experience Level]

The chest-supported row could also be a compound train, however the seated place offers you an opportunity to actually hone in in your higher again. Working with heavy dumbbells may even enable you to construct up your forearm muscle mass.

Power Athletes

For power athletes trying to transfer as a lot weight as potential, slowing it down with a unilateral chest-supported row will help you construct power that may carry over to your major lifts. Coaching your grip with dumbbells may also be helpful if you find yourself coaching with barbells.

The chest-supported row works your lats and will help you stabilize your shoulders. Hitting your biceps right here can also be going to assist improve your pulling power. It may be an amazing accent motion to throw in if you find yourself altering up your program.

Help Your self

The chest-supported row is a superb train that may majorly strengthen your again and biceps from a seated place. That additional assist will provide you with some built-in stability to guard your backbone so that you might be able to carry a bit heavier. 

This makes it splendid for anybody from newcomers to superior lifters. If the health club is packed otherwise you simply need a break from barbells to vary it up, seize some dumbbells and check out it out.


Bought questions concerning the chest-supported row? Let’s get you some solutions.


  1. Jeno SH, Varacallo M. Anatomy, Again, Latissimus Dorsi. [Updated 2023 Mar 5]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. 
  2. Ourieff J, Scheckel B, Agarwal A. Anatomy, Again, Trapezius. 2023 Mar 11. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan–. 
  3. Farrell C, Kiel J. Anatomy, Again, Rhomboid Muscle tissues. 2022 Might 20. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan–.
  4. Tiwana MS, Charlick M, Varacallo M. Anatomy, Shoulder and Higher Limb, Biceps Muscle. [Updated 2022 Aug 30]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. 
  5. Liao KF, Nassis GP, Bishop C, Yang W, Bian C, Li YM. Results of unilateral vs. bilateral resistance coaching interventions on measures of power, bounce, linear and alter of course pace: a scientific evaluation and meta-analysis. Biol Sport. 2022 Sep;39(3):485-497. 
  6. Kim D, Cho M, Park Y, Yang Y. Impact of an train program for posture correction on musculoskeletal ache. J Phys Ther Sci. 2015 Jun;27(6):1791-4.

Featured Picture: MDV Edwards / Shutterstock

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest Articles