How to Build Muscle Fast Using the Barbell Row

Arnold Schwarzenegger - Barbell row

Want to build muscle fast? The barbell row will help any lifter lift more weight on all other core lifts. As a fantastic barbell exercise, the barbell row is better than the commonly used dumbbell row. Dumbbell exercises are good, but not as good as barbell exercises

The barbell row builds muscle primarily in your upper back. No other lift will have you gaining muscle mass in the upper back more efficiently than the barbell row.

There are a large number of reasons for using the barbell row over a dumbbell row. The barbell row promotes overall back and arm muscle development. Your upper and lower back will be strengthened. Since the back and trunk of your body are used in basically every lift, gaining muscle mass with the barbell row will improve every single one of your lifts. If you want to build muscle fast, use the barbell row.


How to Build Muscle Fast With The Barbell Row


As with all barbell exercises, you will build muscle mass best if the barbell row is performed correctly. Incorrect form can lead to injury. Here are the steps for gaining muscle mass correctly with the barbell row...

Step 1: Start the barbell row with the barbell on the floor. Don't let it hang in the air. Letting the bar touch the ground promotes more muscle gain than letting it hang in the air.

Step 2: Extend the hips. The more you extend the hips, the more you use the back and arm muscles. Since the arms and back are the target muscles, you'll build muscle fast when you use the right technique.

Step 3: Grab the bar and position your body correctly. Feet should be shoulder width apart, and the bar should be over your feet and directly under your shoulder blades. Look at the floor a bit ahead of the bar.

Step 4: Lift. Your hips shouldn't extend too much, and your back should stay in the same position as it was before you lifted. Try to make your shoulder blades touch as you bring the bar to your chest.

Step 5: Lower the bar. Don't let technique get sloppy.


Barbell Row Instructional Video


Safety for The Barbell Row


The barbell row will build muscle fast just as long as you don't get injured. Here are some tips to makes sure you lift without interruption.

  • Start light and work your up if you're a beginner.
  • Keep your back in the same position the entire lift. Don't allow it to go toward the ceiling or towards the floor
  • Use your hips for extension, not your knees.
  • Don't cheat! You could use body momentum with the barbell row, but that's cheating, and cheating will not build muscle fast!


Barbell Row Alternative: The Dumbbell Row


There are a couple of variations to the barbell row. Barbell exercises, like the barbell row, are always better muscle builders than dumbbell exercises like dumbbell rows. Unfortunately, you don't always have a barbell handy to do a barbell row. When there isn't a barbell available, dumbbell exercises are decent alternatives.

Other barbell-related alternatives to the barbell row include the Pendlay Row and the Reverse-grip Row. The Reverse-grip works the biceps more while the Pendlay puts more emphasis on the upper back. Talk to a gym professional to learn how to do these two lifts correctly.

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