Mend Physical Therapy Blog and Injury Information

Muscle Activation During an Inverted Row

July 22, 2016


The standing row is an excellent exercise to develop strength and stability in the upper back, shoulder, and arms.  In addition to the standard standing position, individuals may choose other positions including using TRX straps or a bar to increase the demands on the upper body and core musculature.  A recent article examined the recruitment of these muscles during various positions of the row exercise (Youdas et al. J Strength Cond Res. 2016).

Authors placed 26 patients through 4 different versions of the inverted row to determine their relative muscle recruitment patterns.  The authors noted all positions of the inverted row were excellent for targeting the biceps, deltoids, latissimus dorsi, and trapezius muscles.  Surprisingly no significant differences were noted performing the exercise in either a single or double leg supported position.   This article adds to the existing strengthening literature indicating the inverted row with straps or a bar is an excellent option to strengthen the upper back musculature.