Inverted Row (Supine Row) Exercise

Inverted row, also known as supine row is an exercise that helps you lose back fat and tones your upper back. 

Similar to the barbell row, the most popular row exercise, the inverted row works the lower, mid and upper trapezius muscles, the latissimus dorsi and biceps. 
Though both row exercises work the similar sets of muscles, they are performed differently. 

The barbell row is performed with a bent over position and by pulling the weight up (barbell) towards your chest, whereas the inverted row is performed with just bodyweight and by pulling your body up. 
They are both effective back exercises, but the barbell row comes with a major limitation. 

The amount of weight you can work with is limited by your lower back strength.

This may come as a surprise for an exercise that primarily works the upper and mid back, but it’s in fact a common problem with bent over exercises.

Without the sufficient strength in your lower back, the exercise cannot meet its full potential. 

Even if you have good lower back strength, as you increase your weight to a heavier load, it will become increasingly difficult to keep postural alignment and isolate the back and arm muscles completely without putting pressure on the lower back. 

The inverted row takes care of all that. 

Instead of external weights, you use your own bodyweight as resistance. 

You will also perform the row in reverse by pulling yourself up, and that’s where it got its nickname, “reverse bench press”. 

The way it’s performed is, you grab a bar like as when you’d do a bench press. 

Instead of pulling up the weight, you’ll pull up your body toward the bar.

This not only frees your lower back from any unwanted pressure, but also engages your abs and cores and tones the midsection.  
Ultimately, it’s a safer, more convenient way to perform the row exercise and lose your back fat

Benefits of the inverted row 

The inverted row is a compound exercise that works several muscles all at once. 

It’s a back exercise that works the entire back including the mid and lower trapezius muscles, upper traps , serratus anterior, biceps, and the core.  

It’s a great opposing motion to work with the pushup.(1)
Too often, it’s a necessary one. 

There are far more people who perform push ups regularly than the inverted row. But in reality, you need an equal amount of both to maintain muscle balance and stay injury-free. (2)

“The inverted row is a great opposing motion to work with the pushup”, says Men’s Fitness Editors. 

“If you’re been ding just pushups or bench press press, you need to start doing equal work with your back to stay in balance and away from injury”  says Steve from

How to Get the Most out of the Inverted Row: 

To add more bicep to the exercise, turn the hands around  so you’re holding the bar with underhand grip and you’ve got a better bicep workouts.

The inverted is definitely a “Multi-tasking exercise” that can cut your workout time into half. So you won’t have to perform extra arm exercise to work your biceps. 

Exercise Steps: 

To do this exercise, you’ll need a smith machine or TRX. (for home, use TRX)

  1. Set the bar at a level where you can reach it from the ground. Lie flat on the floor face-up underneath the bar. (smith machine set chest height.)
  2. Grab and hold the bar with an overhand grip, palms facing away from you.
  3. Make sure your arms and body are straight and heels are on the floor together. Let your upper body hang. 
  4. Brace your abdominals, contract your glutes, and lift your body off the floor towards the bar until your chest touches it. Pause, then slowly lower your body back down until your arms are fully extended.  
  5. Make sure your body maintains a straight line throughout the movement. Do 2-3 sets for 8-12 reps.

Exercise Table

10-122-3EasyGym or Home

Inverted Row With TRX Feet split 

Exercise Steps:

  1. Set up the straps of the TRX to medium length. 
  2. Stand facing the anchor point and hold the TRX handle in each hand with your arms straight out in front of your chest.
  3. Keep your body in a straight line from head to heels with your right leg straight and your left knee bent. Lean backward away from the anchor point.
  4. Get into a modified split stance by extending your arms fully until your body forms a 45 degree angle with the floor. 
  5. Pull your chest up until your hands reach your chest level. Initiate the movement with the shoulder blades, not your arms.
  6. Hold for 1 second, then lower yourself back to the starting position. Repeat 10-12 times. 


  • Keep your shoulders back and down.
  • Keep your torso stable so your body stays in a straight line throughout the movement.
Misato Alexandre


After making healthy living a priority, Misato lost over 20 lbs in less than 90 days. Instead of weight loss being a dreading experience, living the lifestyle of health and fitness granted her more happiness and joy than ever before. She co-founded Fitwirr to make health and fitness simple for everyone and share her tips through writing evidence-based articles on nutrition, weight loss, and exercise.

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