T-bar rows benefits, set-up, and muscles worked in the exercise

T-bar rows benefits, set-up, and muscles worked in the exercise

Understanding T-bar row benefits, set-up, and muscles used

T-bar row is a kind of barbell bent over row that is popular in weightlifting. More people are now switching to the good life by eating healthy food and hitting the gym. As people goes to the gym, one of the most used equipment in building muscles is the t-bar row.

The T-bar row is an innovation in the modern gym equipment. It was used since early 20th century by gym experts and even beginners. This type of equipment comes with a machine and a lever system in the end. It has a straight bar with plates that you can adjust and a handle (t-bar). This type of equipment is usually made of high-quality metal that can last for a long time with proper care.

In addition, the T-bar row is easy to use. Let us now know the steps in using the t-bar row:

The procedure of using T-bar row

The T-bars rows are done in a machine. However, you can also create your own T-bar row system using the available equipment in the gym.

You can use the T-bar by lying or standing. There is no standard procedure to do this but you can follow this steps to gain the most out of your T-bar row exercises.

Load the T-bar

The first step is to load the T-bar row with the weight that you wanted to lift. Steel plates are now available in various weights such as 0.5 kg, 1 kg, 1.5 kg, 2 kg, 5 kg, 10 kg, and 20 kg. You can choose a single plate or have multiple plates in your bar. However, professionals recommend weightlifters to load the T-bars with lighter weight to finish the routine.

Adjust the height of the bar

After loading the T-bar, the next step is to adjust the height of the bar. In some machines, all you have to do is stand on the step and the bar cannot be adjusted. If you are doing the lying T-bar row, make sure that your chest is above the pad. But if you are doing the T-bar row while standing, then there will be no pads anymore for your chest.

Position your hands on the handles

The next step is to position your hands on the handles and step your feet on the stands. You can choose between palms up or palms down depending on which part of the body you would like to give emphasis. Then, slowly lift the bar and make sure to extend your arms.

When you are doing the standing T-bar row, make sure that you bend your hips and legs and make your core tight. Spread your legs apart and make sure that you distribute your weight evenly between your legs. Always see to it that you are also facing front and never put your head down.

Breathe properly

During the entire T-bar row routine, make sure that you inhale and exhale slowly to keep up with the pace of your routine. Check as well that you don’t lift your body from the pad if you’re doing the lying t-bar position.

Get back to the starting position and repeat the routine. You can do the T-bar row exercises for 15 reps with 3 sets and have a one-minute break in between sets. The break will allow you to catch your breath and hydrate right after sweating.

You can do the T-bar row exercises before cardio workouts. This will give you the energy that you need for the rest of the day.

T-bar row exercises also give many health benefits. Let us now enumerate each one of them:

Benefits of using T-bar row

Improve strength

The first benefit of using T-bar row is it makes you stronger and it brings you in a better shape. Your posture will improve as well as your coordination and balance too.

Moreover, it can develop the muscles in your bodies such as the shoulder, arms, back, core, and legs. Your bones will be protected and it will have some improvements. This will help you prevent injuries and prevent the risk of falling as you age.

Keep off the weight

Using T-bar machines and other strength training can help you lose weight or maintain the current weight that you are into. Lifting weights can enable you to burn calories and fat, thus making you fit and toned.

Moreover, strength training can make you boost your metabolism about 15% which in turn can jumpstart your plans to lose weight.

Prevent diseases

Strength training such as using T-bar rows can prevent the spread of diseases and lead you towards a healthy lifestyle. It can prevent several heart diseases such as hypertension, cardiac arrest, stroke, and others. These exercises improve the cardiovascular system that pumps enough oxygen to the major parts of our body to keep functioning.

Improve mood

Lastly, hitting the gym regularly will improve your mood because exercising releases endorphins or the ‘happy hormones’. Strength training just like with the use of T-bar rows, can make you sweat a lot and release the toxins in your body, it can make you sleep soundly at night, and improve your overall way of living.

In a nutshell, T-bar rows are easy to use even men and women enjoys it using at the gym. It also brings multiple benefits to people of all ages. But to understand better the science behind T-bar row exercises, let us now discuss the muscles being used in the routine.

Muscles used in T-bar row exercises

The major difference of using T-bar rows versus ordinary bent over is that T-bars can develop almost all of the muscles in your arms, shoulder, and back. It can thicken your muscles and make it stronger too.

Here are some of the muscles developed in the exercise:

Back Muscles


The first muscle developed is the Lats or the Latissimus dorsi muscle. It is a flat and huge muscle at the back which is located behind the arms. The lats are covered by another muscle which is Trapezius near the midline at the back. Latissimus dorsi means the ‘biggest muscle in the back’ in Latin.

The lats are responsible for extension, flexion, and internal rotation of the joint of the shoulder. It is the muscle in-charge of bringing the shoulder back to the middle of the body or the hip.  When it comes to the posterior fibers, it has a synergistic role to play.

Training the latissimus dorsi muscle or the lats can enable it to grow thicker and bigger. In addition, it can also help increase your overall performance in the gym such as your deadlifts, squats, and bench press. Amazingly, the T- bar row exercises can also help you run faster by maintaining your lats healthy.

If you have tight lats, then you will more likely to develop shoulder and back pains. There are seldom injuries recorded in line with lats, thus as much as possible, develop your lats now to achieve long-term health benefits.


The next muscle is the trapezius. The Trapezius can be found at the back, from the occipital bone, thoracic vertebrae, down to the spine of the scapula. It has three regions which are superior fibers, inferior fibers, and middle fibers. It is larger than the abdominal muscles and that is why this part is often neglected in weightlifting.

The trapezius or ‘musculus trapezius’ is named after the trapezoid, which is a four-sided polygon. It is also known as the ‘monkshood muscle‘. It is shaped like a trapezoid and a diamond at the back of the human being.

This muscle is responsible for the movement and the stabilization of the scapulae. It can contract the scapulae and be able to extend the neck. The trapezius is also responsible for throwing and for lifting weights from lower and higher points.Training the trapezius with the help of T-bar row exercises can give good posture and good health.

Erector Spinae

The next group of muscles is the erector spinae which can be found at the back. This type of muscle wraps around the spine, thoracic region, and the ribs. It is furthermore subdivided into three parts that differ in fiber size and structure.

The main function of the erector spinae is to provide support for the spine after you stand up from sitting or bending position. It can also enable you to bend to the side, flex your body, and rotate it.

A strong erector spinae can prevent back pains because it can support your core. It can also increase your overall performance and the body’s strength.

Arm Muscles

The biceps or the biceps brachii is a group of muscles that can be found in the upper arms. It lies between the shoulder and the elbow. Biceps brachii means two heads in Latin and it includes the short head muscles and the long head muscles. It also looks like a little rat in the arms, that’s why it is called as biceps.

This muscle is responsible for raising the arms or flexion and also for bending it. In addition, it can also rotate your forearm and enable the palms to turn upward. This movement is called as supination.

Other muscles that are developed in the t-bar row training are the brachialis and the brachioradialis. These muscles can be found in between the biceps.

The triceps is also another muscle developed during T-bar row exercises. Triceps or ‘three heads’ in Latin has three parts which are the lateral head, long head, and medial head. It is located at the back of the arm behind the biceps and attaches to the upper portion of the shoulder and the elbow. It is responsible for straightening the arm and extending the elbow.

As you do the T-bar row exercises, the biceps, triceps, and other arm are also developed.The key to having developed arm muscles is gripping the bars nice and steady. The curlings of your arms as you lift the weight will make the muscles stronger and thicker.

Abdominal Muscles

Through bending, curling the arms, and lifting the weights, your abdomen are also developed. The abdominal muscles are also the group of muscles developed during T-bar row exercises. These muscles can be found between the pelvis and the chest. There are three layers of muscles that can be found in our abdomen and these are internal oblique, external oblique, and transverse abdominal.

The abdomen consists of organs used by the body for digestion. It has the digestive tract such as the small and large intestines, stomach, appendix, liver, bladder and urinary systems such as ureters and kidney.

Developing your abdominal muscles is important to build not only 6-pack abs but also to have a stable and upright core. It can manage lower back pain, improve balance and stability, avoid injuries, and overall gain easier activities daily.

Lower body muscles


The next group of muscles developed in the lower body is the hamstrings. Hamstrings are muscles of the thigh and can be found behind the knee. It is composed of “bicep femoris or long head”, “semibranosus”, “bicep femoris or short head”, and “semitendinosus.” These muscles are responsible for bending the knee, middle rotation, and extending the hip joint.

The hamstrings cross the joints in the hip and the knee. With this, they work by moving the hips backward and by bending the knees. When you are doing a strenuous movement, the hamstrings plays a major role in shifting the weight from your hips and your knees. It also absorbs the shock from your body due to force and high velocity.

In addition, if you have strong hamstrings, then you can be able to run faster, jump higher, and accelerate on your daily task with amazing power. With strong hamstrings, you can be able to prevent injuries and have good body posture.


Another muscle developed located at the lower body is the glutes or the gluteus maximus. It is the muscle of the buttocks and it is considered as the largest muscle extensor of the hips. Furthermore, it has three more muscles which are the gluteus minimus, gluteus medius, and gluteus maximus.

It functions as bringing the thigh in line with the body. Glutes are the group of muscles which we use for walking, running and other sports. It also plays an important role in maintaining the balance of the body.

The glutes are one of the largest muscles of the body and it is essential for every activity. Developing the glutes will enable you to have increased performance because it is responsible for accelerating and decelerating. Strong glutes can also prevent injury.


In a nutshell, T-bar row is one of the innovative gym equipment that aims to maximize workouts. With T-bars, you can adjust the weights and the height of the bars. It is easy to set-up and both men and women can do it.

T-bar rows are also a good exercise versus conventional barbells and it can help you have thicker back muscles. It can enable you to develop your skills and improve the overall quality of your life.

It is important to note however that in switching with the use of T-bars, the help of professionals is advised so as to prevent injuries and make the best out of your workout.