BOBB Rows (Bent Over Barbell Row)

Purpose: You can use BOBB rows primarily for muscle gain or strength. I use them as a stabilizer with a PVC when working with beginners who have never done them before so they can get acclimated to holding the position and recognize the movement pattern.

Primary Synergistic Muscles: Latissimus Dorsi/Lats, Mid/Lower Trapezius|Traps, Rhomboids,Teres Major,Posterior Deltoid, Teres Minor, Brachialis,Brachioradialis, Pectoralis Major

Secondary Muscles: Biceps and some triceps

Supporting Muscles/Stabilizers:
Erector Spinae
Gluteus Maximus
Adductor Magnus
Abs & Obliques

Mechanics: Compound

Become strong in ways you have never been before!

Movement Pattern: Bending over and pulling the weight to the belly button area

Step 1: “Set-up” Stand with the barbell at your hips. Keep the shoulder blades back by pulling them into retraction the best you can. I prefer to over exaggerate this extension when using heavier weight since it will tend to balance into a good position once you go into the next step.

Step 2: “Set-Up” Lower the bar either to right above the knee or right below the knee while keeping the bar against you. I tend to keep it above so I’m not smashing my knees every rep, but if practicing hang cleans frequently below the knee may be useful.

Step 3: As you lower the bar you will push your butt and hips back while keeping the chest up slightly. Again preference is everything and you will find your range as you do hundreds of these. I prefer to be almost parallel to the floor with my spine.

Step 4: Once your in position and ready to lift you are going to pull the weight anywhere from your hips to your sternum. Where you pull will determine what muscles will be engaged more or less. If you pull to the sternum you may engage the traps more. If you pull more towards the hips you may be able to use more lats.

Step 5: Through your pull you want to stretch the lats while keeping the elbows pretty close to the ribcage. I prefer either right against or no more than a few inches away from the ribs unless you’re intentionally going for a wider grip. As you pull back into the body focus on pulling fast and hard into a contraction with all the major muscles being used while retracting the shoulder blades.


-Keep the bar close to your body as people tend to let the bar get away from them and this is where you will start to run into trouble putting too much tension on the T-spine and lower lumbar spine area. At that point your spinal erectors will really have to fight and will usually be doing more work than necessary through this movement.

-You want to make sure you are not over extended in any area of the spine and definitely not overly flexed or arched over. Rounding of the spine is pretty much a no no here.

Worthy Notes:

– I don’t think people with lower back issues need to stay away from this exercise entirely though if you do you should use caution and if using weights go up slowly and gradually when doing these to see how your body reacts to them.

-People have a tendency to float forward as they speed up reps so check yourself and make sure you’re not doing this and slow down and gather yourself if you are. These things can easily lead to injury if things become too erratic and form starts to give out.
People may have troubles getting their hips back too. If you find that is the case work on the “set-up”

-Try not to jerk and use the legs and hips to pull the weight. This won’t be nearly as effective for getting strength results that will lead to muscular development. You know who you are. Just lower the weight and work on the form.

-Go up in small increments if you find the form isn’t great. Check your ego by lifting in a very controlled manner with this exercise.