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Fitness: Grow and strengthen your back muscles

Fitness - By Nina Odongo
Bent-over rows not only helps improve your posture but also stabilises your lower back and helps you in other exercises (Shutterstock)

Bent-over rows are an excellent exercise staple for strengthening and growing your back muscles. It not only helps improve your posture, it stabilizes your lower back and helps you in other exercises such as pull-ups and deadlifts.

However, this is an exercise that is commonly done incorrectly, leading to less than optimal results and in the worst case, to injury.


  1. Stand with feet hip-width apart.
  2. With soft knees, bend down and grip the bar shoulder-width apart with an overhand grip.
  3. Keeping your back flat and shoulders back and down, tighten your core and pull on the bar, driving your shoulders and elbows back.
  4. The bar should almost touch your body just below your chest.
  5. Lower the bar with control until your arms are straight.


  1. Stand upright
  2. Round your back
  3. Flare your elbows
  4. Bounce

A lot of the problems mentioned above are caused by a combination of using a weight that is too heavy and having a weak core. These common mistakes can lead to back, shoulder and elbow pain so always brace your core and reduce your weight as necessary.

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