How to Do the Inverted Row Exercise

Easy to scale and implement make the inverted row is an awesome back and core exercise for beginners to advanced.

This guide covers the how to, muscles work, progressions, and variations to keep you challenged while adding variety to your workouts.

Inverted row and recline rows are the same exercise and the names are used interchangeably.

Watch as BarBend guides you through the Inverted Row.

Inverted Row Progressions:

  1. Alter the tempo
    1. Add a 3 second holds at the top of each rep.
    2. Increase the eccentric
  2. The lower the bar the more difficult the exercise.
  3. When you reach a point where the bar can’t go any lower. Raise your feet on a box or bench.
  4. Add weight. Using a weight vest is your best bet.


  • Keep your torso rigid. Shoulders are always square to the pulling arm.
  • Maintain a straight line through the hips, shoulders, knees, and ankles.
  • The only difference between this version and the standard inverted row is that you’re doing it with one hand. Everything else remains exactly the same.

Inverted Row Variations

  • 1 Arm Inverted Row
  • Suspension Straps – Using suspension straps makes removes stability making your row more challenging and upping the demands on your core.
    • 1 Arm TRX Row
  • Towel – Use a towel as your handle. This will give your grip a killer workout.
  • Slide – Move side to side at the top to increase time under tension and increases load on one side.

TRX 1 Arm Inverted Row

One Arm TRX Row

How to do it:

  • Stand in front of a fixed bar. Grab it with one hand and lean back. Feet flat on floor.
  • Pull your chest to the bar. Start by pulling your shoulder blades and finish by pulling through the elbow.
  • Return to the start position under control.


Inverted Row Slides

Grappler’s Row

FREE 5-Day Email Course

Look like an athlete without giving up your favorite foods or living in the gym.