How to Progress in Inverted Rows

Find out how to progress in inverted rows and take your upper body strength to new heights. Discover effective techniques, tips, and variations to gradually challenge yourself and achieve impressive results.


It is a challenging exercise that focuses on your upper back, shoulders, and arms. To continuously challenge your muscles and achieve significant gains in strength and muscle development, it is essential to know how to progress in inverted rows, regardless of whether you are a beginner or an experienced fitness enthusiast.

This guide will provide you with a comprehensive guide to various techniques and strategies that will assist you in achieving effective progress in inverted rows. We will cover different grips, body positions, and modifications that gradually increase the difficulty of the exercise, allowing you to push your limits and see remarkable improvements over time.

How to Progress in Inverted Rows?

Consider the following progression strategies in inverted rows to continue to challenge your muscles and progress:

How to Progress in Inverted Rows
How to Progress in Inverted Rows
  1. Increase Repetitions: Add one or two repetitions at a time as your strength improves to gradually increase the number of repetitions you perform per set.
  2. Elevate Feet: To increase the difficulty of the exercise, elevate your feet on a bench, step, or stability ball as you gain strength.
  3. Add Resistance: A weight vest, a dumbbell held between your feet, or resistance bands can be used to create a more challenging workout by adding additional resistance.
  4. Try Single-Arm Rows: As you progress, you may choose to perform single-arm inverted rows in order to further engage your core and increase the demand on both sides of your upper body.
  5. Focus on the Eccentric Phase: Increase time under tension and challenge your muscles by slowing down the lowering (eccentric) phase of the exercise.

Make sure that you progress gradually throughout each phase and maintain proper form and technique as you do so.

Inverted Rows vs. Pull-Ups

A comparison between inverted rows and pull-ups shows that both are highly effective exercises for strengthening the upper body muscles.

How to Progress in Inverted Rows
How to Progress in Inverted Rows
  1. Movement: Pull-ups involve a vertical pulling motion, whereas inverted rows involve a horizontal pulling motion.
  2. Muscle Activation: Pull-ups are primarily aimed at the muscles of the upper back, arms, and core, while inverted rows target the muscles of the upper back, arms, and core more heavily.
  3. Difficulty Level: Due to the greater demand on the lats and the necessity of lifting your entire body weight, pull-ups are generally considered more challenging than inverted rows.

Based on your training goals and capabilities, you may incorporate either exercise into your training routine.

Inverted Rows vs. Bent-Over Rows

Both bent-over rows and inverted rows are effective exercises for targeting the back muscles, but they differ in terms of body position and equipment used.

How to Progress in Inverted Rows
How to Progress in Inverted Rows
  1. Body Position: A bent-over row is performed with your torso parallel to the ground while an inverted row is performed with your body horizontal.
  2. Equipment: An inverted row can be done with a variety of equipment options, including suspension trainers, barbells, or a sturdy table. Bent-over rows are typically performed with barbells, dumbbells, or resistance bands.
  3. Muscle Activation: As both exercises target the upper back muscles, inverted rows also engage the core muscles due to their horizontal position.

You may want to incorporate both exercises into your routine in order to target different angles and challenge your back muscles in a variety of ways.

Inverted Rows vs. Australian Pull-Ups

There is a common misconception that inverted rows and Australian pull-ups are the same exercises. Both exercises involve a horizontal pulling motion, target similar muscle groups, and offer similar benefits. While “Australian pull-ups” are more commonly used in some regions, inverted rows are more prevalent in others. The exercise remains the same regardless of the terminology used.

Inverted Rows for Upper Body Strength

Inverted rows are an excellent exercise for developing upper body strength. They target the muscles of the upper back, arms, and core, resulting in an upper body that is strong and balanced. By incorporating inverted rows into your training routine, you can enhance functional strength, improve posture, and improve performance in other exercises.

Inverted Rows for Back Development

A great addition to any workout routine, if you wish to build a strong and well-defined back, is inverted rows. This exercise targets the muscles of the upper back, including the latissimus dorsi, rhomboids, and trapezius. By practicing inverted rows regularly, you can improve your back strength, improve your muscle definition, and achieve a more attractive physique.

Inverted Rows for Core Activation

During the rowing motion, your core muscles, including your abs, obliques, and lower back, are vital for stabilizing your body. Inverted rows provide an effective way to activate and strengthen your core muscles. Maintaining a straight and stable body position throughout the exercise increases your core strength and stability by engaging your core muscles.


1. Are inverted rows worth doing?

You can improve upper body strength and grip strength by performing inverted rows, as well as recruit glutes and hamstrings and strengthen your biceps.

2. Why are inverted rows hard?

Pull-ups are also harder, as your body is completely suspended in the air and you will need to lift proportionally more weight. The inverted row has your feet supported on the ground and angled, resulting in you lifting a smaller percentage of your body weight.

3. How many inverted rows can the average person do?

Approximately 19 repetitions of inverted rows can be performed by an average male lifter.

4. Are inverted rows harder than pull-ups?

A challenging aspect of the inverted row is constantly challenging your ability to squeeze your shoulder blades together and raise your chest toward the bar by engaging your traps and rhomboids (with some assistance from the lats). A pull-up, on the other hand, primarily involves the teres and lats with some assistance from the upper back.

5. How many inverted rows are good?

Aim for two to three sets of 8 to 12 repetitions for the inverted row. Maintain good technique throughout all sets and repetitions.

6. Do inverted rows build lats?

Among the muscles targeted by the inverted row are the lats, traps, rhomboids, posterior deltoids, and erector spinae. It also targets the biceps, forearms, abs, and even the hamstrings and glutes.


With the use of different equipment options, inverted rows are a versatile and effective exercise that targets the muscles of the upper back, arms, and core. They can be performed at home as well as in the gym. It is possible to build upper body strength, improve muscle definition, and enhance core stability by incorporating inverted rows into your training routine and gradually increasing intensity and difficulty. Take advantage of the benefits of inverted rows and take your fitness to a whole new level by keeping proper form, listening to your body, and progressing at a pace that suits your fitness level.

Leave a Comment