Tip: Ditch the Barbell Row

There's a better exercise to build your back. Safer too. Check it out.

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Building your back doesn't have to brutalize your spine. Here's one of the best spine-friendly row variations that places the spine and torso in a supported position while crushing the back muscles.

Chest-Supported Neutral Grip Row

The chest-supported row supports the chest and spine to reduce the postural loading on this region. In traditional exercises like the bentover barbell row, the biggest limiting factor is usually spinal posture and static positional hold, not the muscles hitting failure. When this happens, you won't get a good training effect and your orthopedic health will be put at risk.

Ramp It Up

To take this exercise to the next level, load it heavy and move the dumbbells with constant tension – no pauses or loss of contraction during any of the range of motion. Constant time under tension creates a huge muscular and hormonal response that leads to growth and strength gains. Fight the urge to cheat and stay strict to reap the benefits.