Wide Grip “Elbows Out” Inverted Rows

Posted on by Ben Bruno

If you read this blog with any regularity or follow my writings or videos then you probably already know I’m a huge fan of inverted rows.

If you don’t, I’m a huge fan of inverted rows.

Ok, bad joke.

Anyway, today I want to share an inverted row variation I’ve been using and liking: wide grip “elbows out” rows.

Just like the name suggests, it’s an inverted done with the hands set wider than normal where you keep your elbows flared out rather than tucking them in close to your sides as you would with a regular inverted rows.

If you’ve ever done a wide grip barbell row, it’s very similar to that, only much safer for the lower back. You’ll feel it differently too; while it works more-or-less the same muscles as a regular inverted rows, there’s proportionally more stress on the rear delts, so if that’s something you’re looking for, this could be a great choice.

You don’t need suspension straps for these, but I think they enhance the exercise greatly because they allow you to a use a neutral grip. I actually prefer somewhere between neutral and pronated, but the point is that the straps allow you pick the hand position that’s most comfortable for you. Hang the straps from either side of a power rack rather than hanging them together from the front.

If you don’t have straps though, just grab the bar wider and don’t worry about it.

I like to pause each rep at the top, but that’s just personal preference.

These are harder than regular inverted rows, so take that into consideration. You’ll probably want to start with your feet on the floor and progress to elevating them on a bench as you get used to them and get stronger. Trust me though, they’re a lot harder than they might look.

In any case, if you’re looking for a great exercise to crush your rear delts and upper back, these may be the ticket.

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  • Jake

    Ben, any indication as to if using a wider grip can be more strenuous on the shoulders?

    • Ben Bruno

      I’d say it’s more strenuous in the sense that it’s harder, but I wouldn’t say it’s dangerous.

    • Jeromie

      I’d say it depends on internal rotation of the shoulder. I usually don’t see shoulder issues in pulling movements, though. I wouldn’t think it dangerous. The only way to know is to try it!

  • IvanTih

    Ben how far should my feet be from Ring when I do rows?