T Nation

Bench Grip Width Barbell Rows

so I see people doing bb rows all the time but with a shoulder width grip. If the bb row is supposed to be a direct antagonist to a benchpress, wouldn’t it make sense to use the same grip width? (ie ring fingers on ring of middle fingers on ring)

I have been doing them for a few week in this fashion, pendelay style with a bench grip width and starting each rep dead from the ground and i find that my rear delts and arms get less work and my teres major, middle traps, and lats take the brunt.

Any opinions?

yea its kind of common sense…

close grip is more arms, wide is more back. i do a little of both on almost all bb lifts.

i like to start with wide because my arms are relatively strong and close grip is easier for me on almost everything.

wide grip kinda feels unnatural at first, kinda like squatting deep

There’s no such thing as a “bench grip width”. I use a variety of spacing for the bench press and do the same for rows. My preference for both is actually with my pinky just inside or barely touching the ring.

For example to wfifer’s point, i am currently using a wide grip on all back movements in the hope to achieve more stimulation in a certain area, and using alot more close, incline grips on presses to achieve stimulation in a particuler area of my pecs too.

Thas what i usually do always, until the day i am “perfectly” symmetrical and proportioned, when i will rotate with a balanced variety of grips…


technically a legal grip width in powerlifting means your fingers have to touch the rings

Joe that brings up another point, there seems to be two sides of an arguement

certain grip widths/hand positions etc will promote peak contraction = more inner pec/higher bicep etc


a muscle is a muscle, you want more peak get it bigger, you can only emphasize different heads, not different “layers” of the muscle belly ie top layer = peak

I know i have heard em, all i know is after years of neglecting close bench work for tris or chest… i now have a lacking “inner” pec area. And all i know is what i “feel”, now whether that is a harder contraction or that specific area of the muscle under a higher tension, i dunno… Or maybe because i WANT to work that area, i deliberatly contract it during the movement?! lol!

I know after concentrating on my upper chest for a long time, it is fine… with a much meatier outer (wide grip usually) pec than inner… It is worth a try in my book.
I also personally think this isn’t all about exact science and i am willing to let a little superstition into my training… just in case!!


for pronated grip, go wide. for supinated, get in a tad inside shoulder width.