Chest Supported T Bar Row: Muscle Worked, Alternate

The chest supported T-bar row exercise, also called chest supported machine row, is similar to T-Bar Row. It helps you work the majority of the muscles on the back.

The chest-supported T-bar row is a highly effective exercise that also offers the added benefit of minimizing lower back strain.

In other words, this variation requires less effort to stabilize body position during the row because one end of the bar pivots at a fixed point on the floor and the chest supported on the bench.

The chest supported T-bar row is most commonly incorporated into exercise routines that require significant hypertrophic muscle growth and neurological adaptation.

Muscle Worked During Chest Supported T-bar Row

A chest supported T-bar row is a compound exercise, so it works a lot of different muscle groups at the same time.

The main Muscle worked during chest supported machine row are:

Secondary muscles worked during the Chest supported T-bar row also incorporates.

Antagonist Muscle worked: Chest, Triceps, Front deltoid.

The muscle groups in the legs as either accessory dynamic movement stabilizers or as simple static support stabilizers.

Chest Supported T-bar Row

How To Do Chest Supported T-bar Row

  • Place your feet on the platform and your chest and abdomen on the angled pad. With a slight bend in the knees, find a comfortable position where the T-bar row machine’s chest support pad is pressed against your entire sternum.
  • Grasp the bar with a shoulder-width grip, unrack it, and begin with your arms extended in front of you.
  • Gripping the bar either with a T-bar row grip or simply by the barbell itself, squeeze your scapula together while simultaneously drawing your elbows towards your back. This will raise the weight plates towards your chest, completing the concentric portion of the exercise.
  • Ensure that your back is completely stable and straight all throughout this exercise.
  • Slowly return the weight to the starting position by straightening your elbows and allowing your shoulder blades to come forward.
  • Don’t relax and let the weight fall back towards the ground. Keep it under control the whole time.
  • Completed the desired number of reps.
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Supported T Bar Row Hand and Grip Position

Here are some of the ways you can alter your row to hit different muscles.

Grip Position

1. Overhand Grip

The upper back will be targeted more by the overhand grip. Because the elbows will push out from the body, the upper back and delts will receive increased activation.

2. Underhand Grip

On the other hand, an underhand grip will force the elbows to stay close to the body. This will generally cause greater activation of the middle and lower traps. You will get more bicep activation because of elbow extension.

3. Neutral Grip

Various elbow angles can be used with a neutral grip. However, its main benefit is that it takes stress off the elbow. Because of this, people who suffer from elbow pain will love using a neutral grip.

Grip Width

1. Narrow Grip

Using a narrow grip will usually cause your elbows to drop, which will cause you to pull lower. This is going to hit your lats and middle and lower traps more. Additionally, the biceps receive a greater workout with a higher range of motion.

2. Wide Grip

Using a wide grip will force you to use an overhand grip and force your elbows out. This will enhance the emphasis on the rhomboids, and rear deltoid.

Other Variation Of Supported T Bar Row

The chest supported t-bar machine row can be performed with different grip variations, such as an overhand grip, reverse grip, and neutral grip.

If you are new to performing it, you may want to apply a few modifications to make the exercise easier. One way to counter this problem is to use a lighter weight. Another is to use a neutral grip chest supported T bar Row.

If you are looking for a more advanced variation to stimulate different muscle fibers in the back, then try reverse grip chest supported T-Bar row

1. Reverse Grip Chest Supported T-Bar Row

The reverse grip T-bar row is a strength training exercise that works the same muscles as rowing a boat. The goal is to make the muscles that move the arms toward the body stronger, and the muscles that move the shoulder blades toward the spine stronger.

Because of the hand position, reverse grip t-bar rows can allow you to lift medium weight and achieve a greater contraction of back muscles.


Chest Supported T-Bar Row Tips

In order to maximize the muscle-building potential of the machine T-bar row, it is essential to use proper form.

  1. Slightly tuck the elbows while pulling to maximize the action of the lats.
  2. Actively brace the core and slightly tilt the hips forward.
  3. Extend the bar as high as the apparatus will allow, pause briefly at the top, and then lower to a full stretch at the bottom.
  4. Make sure to keep the shoulder blades retracted throughout the entire movement.
  5. Do not relax during the lowering phase.
  6. Use lighter weights. This exercise can be challenging to perform with a heavy load. The pressure of the chest pad causes the chest to become greatly compressed, making it difficult to breathe.
  7. Go wider or use the straight handles to emphasize the rear delts more. The lats should be emphasized more with narrower grips. If you have any pre-existing shoulder joint or rotator cuff issues, we recommend avoiding the former.

Chest Supported T Bar Row Alternate

Let’s look at the best alternate of chest supported T-Bar row for building muscle and strength.

To add variety to your back workout routine, replace the chest supported machine rows with a different exercise that works the same muscles (latissimus dorsi).

Use dumbbells, cables, barbells, a gym machine or even your own body weight to perform the rowing motion.

1. Chest Supported Barbell Row

A chest supported barbell row is an effective variation. As the name suggests, it’s a row where your chest is supported.

By leaning into a bench with your upper torso, you’re removing the need for your back to stabilize the movement. These barbell back exercises will help you build your middle back strength.

Barbell Chest Supported Rear Delt Row

2. Bent Over Barbell Rows

If you are looking to strengthen the upper back and add massive muscle to the upper back region, then bent over barbell rows are the best back exercise.

  • Pulling the bar up higher toward the chest targets the upper latissimus and trapezius.
  • Pulling the bar through a lower trajectory to touch the abdomen targets the lower lats.
Bent Over Barbell Rows

3. Seated Cable Rows

Seated Cable Rows is an excellent exercise to build middle back muscles and this works on lower lats as well.

It can be done with wide and narrow grips. This exercise is done on a cable rowing machine with separate handles.

Seated Cable Rows

4. One Arm Dumbbell Rows

One Arm Dumbbell Rows are an excellent alternative to chest supported rows, and it provides the full-range motion to build the lats muscles.

This is a simple yet effective exercise that will help you build a bigger and stronger back and improve your posture.

This exercise helps to work on each side independently, thereby providing better muscle isolation and a longer range of motion.

One Arm Dumbbell Row

5. T Bar Rows

T bar rows are a power exercise to build middle back muscles. Check the correct execution technique and blast your back muscles. It also works on the outer lats when done with a narrower grip.

T bar rows are done on a T bar machine or placing a barbell at the corner. T bar rows are a tough exercise, but building a strong back is a must to develop a quality physique, stay injury-free, and back pain-free for life.

Landmine T Bar Row


This exercise is highly recommended for anyone interested in building back strength and gaining muscle size. It not only allows for targeted muscle development, but also provides an overall upper body workout.

If you do these back exercises consistently, the results will speak for themselves.

Thanks for reading
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