Recommended Exercise: Inverted Rows

Back muscles often get neglected in most bodyweight workouts. Usually bodyweight workouts include some variation of pull-ups but what about horizontal pulling movements? Considering our bodyweight workouts most definitely include pushups/ burpees (horizontal pushing movements), it is smart to add at least one horizontal pulling movement into your bodyweight training schedule. With infinite number of variations, inverted rows does the trick for beginners to advanced level athletes. So let us learn the basics first:


Exercise type: Bodyweight | Compound | Horizontal Pull

Targeted Muscles:

  • Back (lats, rhomboids, traps)
  • Biceps (both short and long heads)
  • Other core muscles (transverse abdominis, erector spinae, hip flexors, glutes)

Equipments needed:

  • A fixed rod/ something to grasp
  • Table(in case rod is fixed higher than waist)
  • TNT by AC/DC playing in background (optional)

Key Tips:

  • Keep your body aligned in a straight line (similar to plank), keeping your core tight will help immensely
  • Position your feet such that the rod when pulled touches the end of your sternum (the end of your mid line of chest area)
  • As for all compound pulling exercises, imagine your arms to be just a hook, use your lat muscles and squeeze for a second when your sternum hits the bar, then slowly lower yourself


  1. Underhand grip (biceps assist more, less focus on lats, easier on shoulder joint)
  2. Overhand grip (biceps work less, more focus on lats, easier on elbow joint)
  3. Leg position:
    • Whole foot resting on ground: easier
    • Only heel touching: tougher
    • Feet lower than rod: easier
    • Same as rod: tougher
    • Single leg: tougher (involves high core control)

Most advanced variation: Planche pullups


  • Bent Over Barbell Rows
  • Seated rows


In Lucem Scientiam,


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