How to Do a Supine Row

This is an excellent exercise to add to your routine if you’re looking to strengthen your pulling muscles. It is much more accessible to the average gym enthusiast and can go a long way toward building the muscles required to a complete a pull-up. Supine rows target all of your back muscles without the strain of a traditional bent-over row. They also target the biceps and forearms and help to increase grip strength. As an added bonus, the abs and glutes are activated during the exercise.

This exercise can help to develop better posture as well as strengthen and protect the shoulders from injury. Activities that require lifting and pulling heavy objects will become easier as a result of performing regular supine rows.

How To

  • To begin, set the bar to about waist height, or higher if needed.
  • Position yourself on your back underneath the bar. The bar should be centered over your chest, and your back should clear the floor when you take hold of the bar. You don’t want to come into contact with the floor at the bottom of each rep.
  • Take hold of the bar at slightly wider than shoulder width. You should be using an overhand grip, with palms facing away from you.
  • Engage your abs and glutes, thinking about keeping your entire body in a straight line through the entire exercise. As you pull your chest to the bar, actively pull your shoulder blades together and down your back as you drive your elbows back.
  • Pause for a beat at the top of the motion and then slowly lower yourself down. Remember to keep the body straight and muscles engaged all the way down.


Three sets of 10 is a great average to aim for. If you can’t complete that many, then start with three sets of five and work your way up. If you want to challenge yourself, you can start working toward three sets of 20.


Higher bar: Set the bar higher if waist height is too low to begin with. Depending on how high you have the bar set, you may be able to grip the bar and walk your feet out until you are at an angle that you’re comfortable with. As the bar gets lower, you can crouch down and walk your feet out until the body is extended, or raise yourself up from a seated position under the bar.

Bent knees: Bending the knees can help to reduce the amount of weight you are lifting. Make sure to maintain a straight body from the knees up when using this variation.

Adding weight/ changing the angle: To increase the level of difficulty, you can add a weighted belt, or even put your feet up on a sturdy block. This puts your upper body on a decline and raises the level of difficulty significantly.

Cautionary Notes

Make sure you do not arch your back. Similarly, try not to let your body sag. You want to keep your body in a straight line from heel to ear.

Try not to shrug your shoulders as this can cause a strain to the neck. Always think about keeping the shoulders pulled down throughout the movement.

Some people will seek to create their own bar so they can perform this exercise at home. If you are going to do this, just be careful that you are working under a stable apparatus.

More Supine Row Related Resources

Inverted row exercise instructions and video | Weight Training Guide
How to Do an Inverted Row (Bodyweight Rows): Ultimate Guide | Nerd Fitness
Inverted Row | Exercise Videos & Guides |
How To Do The Inverted Row | Coach Exercise Guide : Inverted Row
The Pull Up Vs. The Inverted Row | Redefining Strength
How to Master Inverted Bodyweight Row Form for Back Muscle
Inverted Row Exercise Form Guide with Video & Pictures

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