11 Inverted Row Alternative Exercises

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Many inverted row alternatives can provide a great workout.

Inverted rows are a great way to build strength and muscle mass in your back. A simple exercise that can be performed with just a few pieces of equipment.

However, if you’re looking for a change of pace, that can help to provide a better workout for you – in this article are ten of the best inverted row alternative exercises for you.

The Inverted Row Exercise

The Inverted Row is an excellent back exercise that can be performed with minimal equipment. Inverted rows are performed by grasping a bar or sturdy object with an overhand grip, then hanging with your arms straight.

You then pull your body up towards the bar, maintaining a straight back position and squeezing your shoulder blades together at the top of the movement.

Inverted rows are a great exercise for developing strength and stability in the upper back and core, making them an excellent addition to any workout routine.

There are many different ways to perform Inverted Rows, and there are a variety of Inverted Row alternative exercises that can be done as well.

Keep reading for 11 Inverted Row alternative exercises that can be done to target the same muscle groups.

Muscles Worked With Inverted Rows

The Inverted Row is a great exercise for targeting the muscles of the upper back, including the:

  • Latissimus dorsi (lats)
  • Trapezius (traps)
  • Rhomboids
  • Biceps
  • Posterior deltoids (rear shoulders)
  • Erector spinae

Mainly, inverted rows work the lats, which are the large muscles on the sides of the back, the traps, which are the muscles of the upper back, and the biceps.

The inverted row is a great upper body exercise for developing strength and stability in the upper back and core, making them an excellent addition to any workout routine.

11 Inverted Row Alternatives

Here are 11 Inverted Row alternative exercises that can be done to target the same muscle groups:

  1. Dumbbell Rows
  2. Barbell Rows
  3. T-Bar Rows
  4. Seated Rows
  5. Chest Supported Rows
  6. Pendlay Rows
  7. Yates Rows
  8. Low Rows
  9. Iso-Lateral Machine High Row
  10. Seal Row
  11. Pull-Ups

These exercises will be explained in more detail below.

Related Exercise Guides:

Dumbbell Rows

Dumbbell rows are a great alternative to the inverted row, if you don’t have a suspension trainer, bands, a pull up bar, or smith machine. All you need are dumbbells, or weights.

The single arm dumbbell row helps to build strength in the upper back, lats, and biceps.

In addition, they also help to improve posture.

How To Do It

Dumbbell rows are a great alternative to traditional inverted rows, as they provide a more targeted workout for your back muscles.

To perform a dumbbell row, stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold a weight in each hand, with your palms facing your thighs. Bend your knees slightly and hinge at your hips until your torso is parallel to the floor.

While performing a single arm dumbbell row keep your back flat, pull the weights up to your sides and lead with your elbows. Squeeze your shoulder blades together at the top of the move and then lower the weights back to the starting position.

Repeat for 10-12 reps on each side.

Tips

When performing dumbbell rows, it is important to keep the back straight and to squeeze the shoulder blades together. To increase the intensity of the exercise, you can increase the weight of the dumbbells. You can also add an additional set or reps to your routine.

Barbell Bent Over Rows

Barbell bent over rows are one of the best exercises you can do to target your upper back. They work a variety of muscles in your back, including the latissimus dorsi, teres major, and posterior deltoids.

In addition to targeting your back muscles, barbell rows also work your biceps and forearms. This makes them a great exercise for overall upper-body strength.

One of the benefits of barbell rows is that they can be performed with a variety of grip widths. This allows you to target different muscles in your back, depending on your goals.

For example, a wider grip will target your lats more, while a narrower grip will work your middle back muscles more.

You can also vary the width of your stance to target different muscles. A narrower stance will work your inner thighs and glutes more, while a wider stance will target your outer thighs and hips more.

Another benefit of barbell rows is that they’re relatively easy to learn. If you’re new to strength training, they can be a great exercise to start with.

They’re also a great exercise to add to your existing routine if you’re looking for a new challenge.

If you’re looking for an inverted row alternative that will help you build strength and muscle, barbell rows are a great choice.

How To Do It

To do a barbell row, start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Bend forward at the hips and grasp the barbell with an overhand grip, your hands shoulder-width apart.

Keeping your back straight, pull the barbell up to your chest, squeezing your shoulder blades together at the top of the movement. Lower the barbell back to the starting position and repeat.

Tips

When performing barbell rows, it is important to keep the back in a neutral position. To achieve this, focus on contracting the muscles of the back while maintaining a tight core.

In addition, keep the shoulder blades retracted and down throughout the entire exercise.

Lastly, control the barbell on the way down and resist the temptation to let it swing.

>Humble Row

T-Bar Rows

The T-Bar Row is a great alternative to the Inverted Row because it targets the muscles in your back and shoulders more intensely. In addition, the T-Bar Row also helps improve your grip strength.

How To Do It

To do a T-Bar Row, you’ll need a weight bar, a T-bar row handle, and weight plates.

  1. Begin by placing the weight bar on the floor and then setting the T-bar row handle on top of the weight bar.
  2. Next, load the weight plates onto the weight bar.
  3. Once you have loaded the weight plates, stand over the weight bar and position your feet hip-width apart.
  4. Grab the T-bar row handle with an overhand grip, making sure that your hands are shoulder-width apart.
  5. From this position, brace your core and then pull the T-bar row handle up towards your chest, keeping your elbows close to your body.
  6. As you pull the handle up, squeeze your shoulder blades together.
  7. Once you have reached the top of the movement, slowly lower the T-bar row handle back to the starting position.
  8. Repeat for the desired number of reps.

Tips

When performing t-bar rows, be sure to keep your back straight and avoid using momentum to lift the weight.

In addition, focus on pulling the weight towards your chest, rather than simply lifting it. This will help ensure that you target your back muscles rather than your arms.

Finally, be sure to use a weight that is challenging, but not so heavy that you cannot complete the exercise with proper form.

Seated Rows

The seated row is a great alternative to the inverted row because it provides similar benefits while also being a bit more challenging.

With the seated row, you can focus on pulling your shoulder blades back and down to engage your back muscles. This exercise is great for strengthening your back and improving your posture.

How To Do It

To do a seated row, you’ll need a pulling machine at the gym, or a resistance band at home.

Sit with your back straight and your legs bent at 90 degrees. Grab the handles of the machine (or the band) with an overhand grip, and pull them towards your chest, keeping your elbows close to your body.

Squeeze your shoulder blades together at the top of the movement, and then slowly return to the starting position.

Tips

When performing seated rows, keep the following tips in mind:

  1. Keep your back straight – don’t hunch your shoulders or round your spine.
  2. Use a weight that’s challenging but not so heavy that you can’t complete all the reps.
  3. Don’t let your elbows flare out to the sides – keep them close to your body.
  4. Squeeze your shoulder blades together at the top of the movement.
  5. Don’t use momentum – go slow and controlled throughout the entire range of motion.

Variation

One variation of the seated rows and alternative to the inverted row is the seated cable row. Seated cable rows can be performed using a specific pulling machine or a standard cable machine and a weight bench. Use a narrow grip or wide grip, when doing this exercise.

Chest Supported Rows

Chest-supported rows are a great alternative to inverted rows for several reasons.

First, they allow you to keep your torso in a more upright position, which takes stress off of your lower back.

Second, they place more emphasis on the middle and upper back muscles, rather than the biceps and shoulders.

And third, they allow you to use heavier weights, which can lead to greater muscle and strength gains.

If you’re looking for a challenging back exercise that will help you build a strong and muscular upper body, then give chest-supported rows a try!

How To Do It

To perform chest-supported rows, you’ll need to set up a bench or sturdy chair in front of a weight rack. You can use a weight bar or dumbbells.

Position yourself on the bench or chair so that your chest is supported and your back is straight. Grasp the barbell or dumbbells with an overhand grip, and row the weight up to your chest.

Lower the weight back down to the starting position, and repeat for 8-12 reps.

Tips

When performing chest-supported rows, it is important to keep the back and spine straight. To do this, focus on pulling your shoulder blades down and back. This will help engage the muscles in your back and protect your spine.

In addition, keep your core engaged and avoid arching your back.

Finally, be sure to use a weight that you can control and perform the exercise with good form. If you are new to chest-supported rows, start with a lighter weight and gradually increase as you get stronger.

Pendlay Rows

The Pendlay row is an excellent alternative to the inverted row for a few reasons.

First, it is a more explosive exercise that recruits more muscle fibers. This means that you will see better results in terms of muscle growth and strength gains.

Second, Pendlay rows are a great way to build up your back and shoulder muscles. This is because you start each rep from a dead stop, which forces your muscles to work harder.

Finally, Pendlay rows are a great exercise for improving your posture. This is because they help to strengthen the muscles in your upper back, which can help to pull your shoulders back and improve your posture over time.

How To Do It

Pendlay rows are a great way to build strength and muscle in your back. To perform them, you’ll need a weightlifting barbell.

  1. Place the barbell on the floor and stand in front of it.
  2. Place your feet shoulder-width apart and bend your knees slightly.
  3. Bend forward at the hips while keeping your back straight and grasp the barbell with an overhand grip – hands just beyond shoulder-width apart.
  4. Let the barbell hang at arm’s length, shoulders rounded forward, back straight. This is your starting position.
  5. From here, drive your heels into the floor and lift the barbell off the ground, keeping your back straight and moving the barbell close to your body as you do so.
  6. Reverse the motion, lowering the barbell back to the starting position.

Repeat for the desired number of reps.

Tips

When performing Pendlay rows, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Keep your back straight – don’t let it round at any point during the exercise.
  • Keep your core engaged to protect your back.
  • Use a weight that is challenging but still allows you to complete the desired number of reps with good form.
  • Inhale as you lower the weight and exhale as you lift it back up.
  • Keep your elbows close to your body throughout the exercise.

>Humble Row

Yates Rows

The Yates row, also known as the reverse grip bent over row, is an excellent alternative to the standard inverted row.

This exercise targets the same muscles as the inverted row but places greater emphasis on the lower back.

It is a great exercise for building strength and muscle in the upper body, especially the back.

Benefits of the Yates row include:

  • Improved posture and spinal alignment
  • Increased strength and muscle mass in the back, shoulders, and arms
  • Greater stability and balance

How To Do It

The Yates row can be performed with a barbell, dumbbells, or even a resistance band.

If using a barbell, place your hands in a reverse grip (palms facing up) and row the weight to your chest. For dumbbells, simply hold them in each hand with a reverse grip and row them up to your chest.

If using a resistance band, anchor it to a sturdy object at about hip height and row the band up to your chest.

Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Bend at the hips and lower your torso until it is nearly parallel to the floor.

Keeping your lower back in its natural arch, pull the weight to your chest.

Pause for a count of two and then slowly lower the weight back to the starting position.

Repeat for 8-12 reps.

Tips

When performing Yates rows, there are a few things to keep in mind to get the most out of the exercise:

  1. Be sure to keep your back straight and your core engaged throughout the entire movement.
  2. Don’t let your shoulders shrug up towards your ears – keep them down and back.
  3. Focus on squeezing your shoulder blades together as you row up.
  4. Use a slow and controlled tempo – don’t try to go too fast.
  5. If you feel your form starting to suffer, stop the exercise and take a break. It’s better to perform a few perfect repetitions than a bunch of sloppy ones.

>Humble Row

Low Rows

Low rows are a great alternative to inverted rows because they offer a variety of benefits that can help you achieve your fitness goals.

Low rows mainly target the muscles in your back and shoulders, which are key areas for strength and stability. They also help improve your posture, which can correct any bad habits you may have developed over time.

In addition, low rows can help improve your grip strength, which is important for many sports and activities.

Finally, low rows are a great way to build muscle and burn fat, both of which are important for overall health and fitness.

How To Do It

The low row can be performed using a seated cable row or a low row machine.

To do it, sit in the machine with your back straight and your feet planted firmly on the ground. Grab the handles of the machine with an overhand grip and row them towards your chest, keeping your elbows close to your sides.

Slowly return to the starting position and repeat for 10-12 reps.

Tips

When performing a low row, be sure to keep your back straight and avoid rounding your spine. When you lean too far forward, you put unnecessary stress on your lower back.

In addition, keep your shoulders down and away from your ears to avoid putting strain on your neck.

Use a slow and controlled motion when rowing to ensure that you are using the proper form.

Finally, focus on using your back muscles to pull the weight rather than your arms.

Variation

One variation of this exercise could be performed with resistance bands.

>Humble Row

Iso-Lateral Machine High Row

The Iso-Lateral Machine High Row is a great alternative to the inverted row. It targets the same muscles but provides a different range of motion and more resistance.

This exercise is particularly beneficial for athletes who need to improve their strength and power in the rowing motion.

In addition, the Iso-Lateral Machine High Row allows you to more easily control the range of motion and focus on specific muscle groups – lats and traps are worked effectively during this exercise.

This exercise is a great option for those who are looking to increase their strength and size.

How To Do It

Here’s how to do the Iso-Lateral Machine High Row:

  1. Start by setting the machine to your desired weight.
  2. Sit with your front against the pad and your feet on the footplates.
  3. Reach up and grasp the handles, making sure your palms are facing each other.
  4. Row the handles back until your elbows are at a 90-degree angle.
  5. Pause for a moment and then return to the starting position.
  6. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Tips

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when doing the Iso-Lateral Machine High Row:

  • Keep your back straight and your core engaged throughout the exercise.
  • Focus on using your back muscles to move the weight, not your arms.
  • When you reach the top of the movement, squeeze your shoulder blades together.
  • Don’t arch your back or swing the weight.
  • Start with a light weight and gradually increase the amount of weight as you get stronger.

>V-Bar Lat Pulldown

Seal Rows

This exercise primarily targets the upper back and lats but also works the biceps, forearms, and core. Therefore making the seal row a great alternative to the inverted row.

This exercise requires a seal row bench or a purpose-built prone row bench. It is also possible to use a flat free weight bench on an elevated surface.

How To Do It

To perform a seal row, lie face-down on the bench with your torso parallel to the floor. Hold a weight in each hand with your arms extended straight below your shoulders.

Bend your elbows and pull the weights towards your chest, maintaining a straight back and level head. Pause and squeeze your shoulder blades together at the top of the movement.

Slowly lower the weights back to the starting position.

Tips

When performing a seal row, be sure to keep your back straight and your core engaged. In addition, be sure to focus on pulling your shoulder blades down and together. This will help ensure that you are getting the most out of the exercise.

In addition, be sure to use a relatively light weight so that you can maintain good form throughout the exercise. This will help to prevent injury and ensure that you are getting the most benefit from the exercise.

Finally, be sure to keep your breathing steady and controlled throughout the exercise. This will help you to maintain focus and avoid becoming lightheaded.

>Humble Row

Last Alternative To The Inverted Row: Pull-Ups

Pull-ups are a classic exercise, that provides you with one of the best inverted row alternatives there is. If you are looking for a more challenging exercise this is it. All you need is a pull-up bar at home, in the gym, or outside.

The benefits of the pull-up include improved strength and muscle mass in the upper body, as well as better posture. In addition, the pull-up is a functional exercise that helps you perform everyday activities with greater ease.

To perform a pull-up, simply grasp a bar with an overhand grip and pull yourself up until your chin is over the bar. Lower yourself back down under control and repeat for desired reps.

Tips For Beginners And Performance

If you can’t perform a full pull-up, try doing assisted pull-ups.

Another way to work up to pull-ups is by doing negative pull-ups. This involves starting in the top position of a pull-up and slowly lowering yourself down until your arms are fully extended. It’s important to lower yourself under control and not to drop too quickly, as this can put strain on your joints.

Start with 2-3 sets of 5-10 reps and increase the volume as you get stronger. Remember to focus on quality over quantity – perform each rep with perfect form.

>Different Pull-Up Grips & Exercises

As always, when working out, remember to stay hydrated drink enough water on a daily basis for maximum performance in training as well as in other activities. Calculate your needed daily water intake, using this daily water intake calculator.

>Motivation & Inspiration: How David Goggins Broke The Former Pull-Up World Record

Final Thoughts On Inverted Row Alternatives

Inverted rows are a great way to target the back muscles, but sometimes it’s nice to switch things up.

In this article, I have provided 11 of the best inverted row alternative exercises for you to try. These upper body exercises will help you build strength and muscle in your back, shoulders, and arms.

Mix up your routine by incorporating some of these exercises into your next workout and see results!

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