Adjust the height of the Smith machine bar so that it’s a little higher than arm’s length from the floor.
Lie under the bar with your legs and body straight.
Grasp the bar with an overhand grip that’s a little wider than shoulder width.
Keeping your legs and body straight, exhale as you pull your chest up to the bar.
Hold for a count of two and squeeze your back muscles.
Inhale as you lower your body until your arms and shoulders are fully extended.
Comments and tips
In a comparison by Canadian scientists of the inverted row, the bent-over barbell row, and the standing one-arm cable row, the inverted row was found to elicit the highest activation of the latissimus dorsi, upper-back, and hip extensors. The exercise was also found to place far less stress on your lower back, making it ideal for people who have back problems.
In the inverted row, your biceps brachii and the long heads of your triceps brachii act as stabilizers only, not as synergists.
To make the inverted row easier, either raise the bar higher or perform the exercise while sitting on your buttocks.
To make the exercise more difficult, either wrap a chain around your torso, wear a weighted vest, or elevate your legs so that they are almost level with the bar. If you elevate your legs, you can also safely place a weight plate on your abdomen.
You can perform the inverted row at home by lying under a chair, holding the chair’s sides, and pulling yourself up.
Also known as the body row, the supine row, and the fat-man pull-up.