Bar Row Alternative
  • What to know about T-Bar alternatives?

    04 Aug 2020
    What to know about T-Bar alternatives?

    Imagine a gratifying buffet of numerous delicacies standing before you, the first thing that comes to mind isโ€ฆโ€Phewโ€ฆwhat exactly am I going to pick out of these heavenly dishes.โ€ This is exactly how the terrain of fitness exercises works โ€” choice. You have an endless list of options, but you have got to choose wisely to suit your fitness goals. Looking out for an effective back-building workout? The T-Bar row is the perfect option. By reading the guide, you will be better informed about its benefits as well as some equally effective alternatives to T-Bar row. Now, letโ€™s dive in?

    The T-Bar row is acclaimed a one-in-a-million back-building exercise because its focal point is the back. Here are some of its fascinating benefits.

    • Safety

    It is safer than most of its substitutes such as the bent-over row, as long as you donโ€™t flex your spine. This is because the weight is directly under your center of gravity.

    • It is adaptable

    It offers a variety of grips to work your back from different angles such as the close-neutral, shoulder-width neutral grip.

    • Easy to learn

    T-Bar row is easier to learn than many other rowing exercises as the machine guides your weight. However, it may be quite tricky when it comes to its mastery.

    Common Alternatives to T-Bar row

    Cable Rows

    Despite these benefits, how do you get to enjoy the workout when the big machines required such as barbells and some pretty heavyweights are inaccessible? This is a major setback that will make you contemplate other alternatives. Donโ€™t worry, weโ€™ve got you covered with some fantastic T-Bar row alternatives that are just as effective.

    Resistance Band Bent Over Row

    This is just like an exact clone of the T-Bar row as it replicates virtually all the pulling movements involved in it. However, unlike the T-Bar which requires heavyweights, a resistance band bent over row simply requires a resistance band.

    • Merit: It will work your lats vehemently which in turn helps you maintain postural balance and furnish your muscles with pulling resistance.
    • Execution: Grab your band, place it on the floor, and stand on it while your limbs are positioned hip-width apart. Then, get a hold of the band at both ends with each hand. The next step is to slightly slouchy your knees and stretch your arms towards the ground.
    • Pro tip: You can kickstart your back muscle workout with this exercise as an opening shot to loosen up.

    Inverted Rows

    The most striking feature of this T-Bar row substitute is their novelty for effective upper back training. In fact, it should constitute your daily routine of fitness exercises. A barbell or smith machine is all that is needed.

    • Merit: It improves your grip and forearm strength as well as your core stability.
    • Execution: Set the bar to the height of your waist and grasp it at shoulder-width apart. Position yourself beneath the bar and pull your chest close to the bar. Hold still as soon as it makes contact with the bar. Then, lower your body back to your starting position.
    • Pro tip: You can improvise with a table or any solid surface, in the absence of weights.


    It is a toilsome T-Bar row alternative exercise because it puts your resilience to a rigorous test. It is a big shot at the heart of calisthenics because you can perform them at any given place, with no equipment aside from a bar. So, we can refer to it as the best home gym workout.

    Inverted Rows
    • Merit: It enhances grip and forearm strength.
    • Execution: Grip the bar with your palms turning away from you. Slowly pull up yourself until your chin is slightly above the bar.
    • Pro tip: Maintain the tension on your shoulder girdles so you donโ€™t strain your tendon.


    Deadlifts are an all-encompassing T-Bar row machine alternative that requires a heavy barbell. It tasks the limb muscles up to your lats.

    • Merit: They help build the hamstrings and quads.
    • Execution: Stack up the barbell with as much weight as you can maneuver and stand before it with your feet shoulder-breadth apart. Then, bend forward, grasp the bar with your hands, and pull it up slowly until you can stand straight.
    • Pro tip: You can add some light load to the pulling movement such as a kettlebell for an improved balance.

    Chest supported rows

    This is a first-class lying T-Bar row alternative which is an amazing upper back muscle builder. In fact, the level at which this workout tasks the upper back muscles far outrun the t bar.

    • Merit: It inspires muscle endurance and postural enhancement.
    • Execution: Place a dumbbell at each end of the bench. Lay on the bench with your face down. Lift the dumbbells off the ground in a steady manner, up to your rib cage level. Squeeze your shoulder blades together, before reclining to full extension.
    • Pro tip: To get the most out of this T-Bar row alternative with dumbbells, ensure your movement is slow and controlled. Using the best workout shoes for men will help you gain better control.

    Sled pulls

    The focus of the T-Bar row is the pulling motion which accounts for its unrivaled efficacy. Coincidentally, sled pulls are also premised on this too, thereby making it a quintessential alternative to T-Bar row.

    • Merit: Sled pulls improve your muscular endurance and strengthen your back muscles.
    • Execution: Ensure that your feet are in front of your hips and your arms are straight till the end. Start by pulling the sled without any plates so you can get accustomed to the pull. Thereafter, you may begin to stack up the sled with the weight for more demanding pulls.
    • Pro tip: Do not overburden yourself with too much weight until you have mastered the exercise well enough.

    Cable rows

    Cable rows are yet another superb T-Bar row machine alternative that requires the use of a seated cable machine. They focus on upper back muscles to pull off the motion.

    Chest Supported Rows
    • Merit: By working your lats, forearms, and the upper back muscle, they become stronger.
    • Execution: Sit with an erect gait and pull the cable handles towards your chest. Be careful not to get overwhelmed by the thrust of the cable.
    • Pro tip: Maintaining a straight gait is crucial. Ensure you keep your back against the backrest. In the absence of a backrest, do not slouch your shoulders.

    Kroc rows

    One of the most effective T-Bar row alternatives is the Kroc rows. What makes it so is its uncompromising toughness like the T-Bar rows. This is why some refer to it as an exercise for men and not for boys.

    • Merit: It is a reliable yardstick to evaluate your progress in your muscle-building journey.
    • Execution: Place one hand on a raised bench while the other hand grips the dumbbell. Pull the dumbbell till it reaches your chest level. Then, reverse your movement to your starting point while lowering your shoulders towards the ground.
    • Pro tip: For fresh starters, start out with just a few reps until you feel stronger to add more.


    Having gone through this guide, we hope that by now you should be able to make a well-informed decision on the perfect T-Bar row alternative. We will be excited to know what your decision is and why. Visit our website to drop your comments.

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