Inverted Row Alternative: What You Can Do

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You can call me the Fitness & Health GEEK. I've been involved in the fitness industry since 2015. Exercise and Nutrition are my bread and butter.

When covid-19 first spread all over the world, nearly all of us switched to home workouts. The reason behind that is that we don’t want to neglect our bodies and health, but at the same time we are unable to go to the gym.

When it comes to bodyweights exercises, There are not many options available to you. In this post, we will list the best inverted row alternatives.

Bodyweight-based exercises have a wide variety of benefits and you could possibly target your whole body. But when it comes to certain muscles, you will have very few options to choose from.

Also, when you compare bodyweight-based exercises to resistance-based exercises, you will have some bodyweight exercises that will be even or defeat resistance-based ones.

When we talk about the inverted row exercise, we should mention that it is from the few bodyweight exercises that are very effective and could be done at home without any equipments.

Ask anybody whether they do inverted rows when training at home or not, the answer is definitely yes, especially if they don’t have any equipment.

But unfortunately, because there is no one rule or one exercise when it comes to bodybuilding, some people would not prefer doing the inverted rows.

So, we would list the best alternatives to this exercise that will get you the same results and benefits.

inverted row alternative

Why should I do inverted rows? What does it target?

Inverted rows exercise is an exercise that targets the back as the main muscle. As it requires no equipment at all, just a food table or chair, it is almost the single exercise that targets the whole back when it comes to training at home.

The inverted rows is like the barbell rows, the king of back exercises, but with your own bodyweight.

Instead of pulling the bar from the ground, you pull your own body, which is very convenient for people that are unable to go to a commercial gym or those who don’t have gym pieces of equipment.

The inverted row has many benefits for different fitness levels but the main benefit is that as an exercise, it builds up your whole back, rear shoulder, and biceps. It targets all of your pull muscles, just like any back exercise you would do at the gym.

The inverted row is very beneficial for beginners as it gives you a great baseline in regards to your back muscle mass, strength, and endurance.

Also, while doing it, you would feel the contraction in your lats and back, which many lifters lack.

Muscle mind connection is a must when it comes to building muscle mass because if you can not feel the muscle working, how could you build it?

Moreover, people with back pain especially lower back pain would not be able to do barbell rows, dumbbell rows, or any pulling movement that requires you to have your lower back as the stabilizer muscle.

So, with the inverted rows, you will have the same benefits but with no stress or pain at all in your lower back. Also, if you do a lot of deadlifts and squats and want to let your lower back recover for some time, incorporating the inverted rows would be beneficial for you.

Inverted Row Alternatives: Exercises to try

1. Seal Row

The seal row is a popular exercise among the fitness community as it does the same job as any rowing exercise. Its setup is somehow tricky, but when performed right, it allows you to build a great amount of muscles with great muscle stimulus.

Why you should do it

The seal row offers some great benefits similar to the inverted row. The seal row will not have you limited by any weak muscles, but instead, it will only work your back as your whole body will be supported on the chest.

For people with lower back pain and such, the seal row will offer the same benefits to the inverted row so no need to do barbell rows and increase the pain.

How to do it

To do the seal row, you should have a seal row bench or just increase the bench height by putting it on two boxes.

Make sure that your bench setup is stable and strong then put a barbell below the bench directly. To start, lay on the bench on your chest, grab the bar, and start rowing by pulling it to the belly button or lower chest.

2. TRX Row

The TRX Row is a convenient way to hit your back, shoulders, and arms either at home or at the gym. It uses the suspension system as the resistance system and it quite popular and effective.

Why you should do it

The TRX Row uses the same mechanism as the inverted row which is the bodyweight. It is a good alternative to it as it could be modified for different angles, grips, and for different fitness levels.

It targets the same muscle groups just as the inverted rows and the TRX system itself is so useful for other muscles as well.

How to do it

To do it, have your TRX system anchored, grab each handle in one hand and move away till you feel the tension.

To start, lean back with your shoulder joints locked in and rest on your heels until your arms are hanging straight while keeping you from falling down.

Begin the movement by pulling your body up while bending your elbows an contracting your back and lats.

3. Ring Row

The ring row exercise is similar to the TRX and inverted row exercises because you perform the exercise depending on your body weight.

As you won’t be able to do it at home, the ring row is the best alternative to the inverted rows when it comes to training at a commercial gym.

Why you should do it

The ring row exercise targets the back, shoulder, and biceps very effectively and it could be tweaked for advanced lifters to progress more and make the exercise itself harder.

It is easy on your spine and does not load it like other resistance-based exercises.

How to do it

To start, grab both rings and lower your body until your arms are making a straight line, keep your heels touching the ground throughout the movement.

While your body is in a straight line position, pull yourself up while bending your elbows until your chest touches the rings, lower yourself down until your arms are straight, and repeat.

4. Cable Rows

Cable rows is a resistance-based exercise that is very popular among lifters especially bodybuilders. Nearly every pro bodybuilder is seen doing this great exercise. It targets mainly your back and would increase your muscle mass to a great degree.

Why you should do it

The cable rows offers the same benefits as the inverted row. For that reason, it is a great alternative to it that you could do at your commercial gym or even at your garage gym if you have a pulley machine.

It is not stressful for your lower back and will only work your back, shoulders, and biceps. If you have an injury or pain in your lower back, you should consider doing cable rows.

How to do it

To do the cable rows exercise, you need to have a pulley machine and a cable or a V-grip accessory. Put the pulley system at the lower slot available, if there are pads available with the pulley system, place your feet on them.

If not, place a box or 2 dumbbells, 1 dumbbell for each leg to keep you stabilized. Grab the cable of V-grip while keeping your back straight and your chest elevated.

Start by pulling the cable to your lower chest or upper stomach by bending your elbows, contract for 1-2 seconds then get back and repeat the movement

5. Pull-ups

The pull-ups is from the best exercises that are done for your back and it is convenient as it does not require any equipment other than the pull-up bar.

Why you should do it

It builds up your entire back and biceps just like the inverted rows. It is easy on the back and won’t harm your lower back or cause any pain in that area.

Also, it is easy to follow and you would find it in any gym or garage gym, as its tool is pretty popular.

How to do it

To start, grab the pull-up bar with your arms straightened out and your shoulders locked in and down. Keep your core engaged and do not swing.

Start by pulling yourself up until your chin reaches above the bar height level, then slowly lower yourself down, and repeat.

Final Words

In conclusion, the inverted rows exercise is one of the best to build your back muscles as it provides enough stimulus and is very convenient and easy to do.

For some reason, many people don’t prefer to do the inverted rows.

We have listed the best inverted rows alternatives that you could do to get the same or even better results. Try them out and build your back now!

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