Overhand Vs Underhand Barbell Row – Which One Should You Do?

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In this instructional video, Redcon1 Head Trainer Joe Bennett teaches us the differences in using overhand vs. underhand grip on a barbell row. Both variations are useful, but as Joe explains they really need to be treated as two separate exercises. Overhand barbell rows tend to naturally bow a persons elbows out and make for more muscle activation in the upper back, rhomboids, and traps. Underhand rows work more of the lats. The goal for every person is to have the elbows tucked near the body and pulled back. You do not want the elbows to flare out if possible. With a barbell laying on a fixed plane of 180 degrees it makes wrist flexibility an important aspect when choosing which grip variation to use. If you lack wrist flexibility it will lead to the elbows flaring, which can then lead to a greater risk of injury in the elbow and shoulder. Regardless of the grip you use, it is important to lock the hips in place to keep the attention off of the spinal erectors.

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