T Nation

Bodyweight Row?


Besides putting a rope around something and pulling your self to it, is their a body weight exercise you can replace a row machine with.
I already try to do the pull yourself thing but it's kinda hard and I don't know if it is doing that much.
I work out at my house so I do what I can.


Yes, I think that's the only thing you can do. It's like a reverse push-up, and keeping your body straight is hard as fuck. You want to really think of push-ups, it'll help your form. The most common way people do this is by putting an O-bar on some low J-hooks in a rack and pulling yourself up to that.


I would say get some rings. These have gotten good reviews: www.ringtraining.com


They're called "LayBack" pull-ups...I believe if you do a search on this site, you'll find a pic of them.


If you are finding it too hard, try putting a chair down and supporting your lower body with it and just doing the rows with your upper body.

The most important part of this exercise is keeping your body stiff and straight. You should lift your chest to the handles this isolates the back more and less on the arms.

I love this exercise and look forward to being able to have less and less of my BW supported by the chair.



I just got some Blast Straps from elitefts.com. They work great for inverted rows among other exercises


You could do these in the smith-machine.


You may find this information on front levers and front lever pullups helpful.
It progresses from simple static holds to more advanced front lever pullups.

Yours in Fitness,
Coach Sommer


"The Front Lever Progressions

We will begin our training progression with various static positions and from there progress to the more difficult pulling movements. For the front lever series be sure to use a shoulder width overhand grip (fingers pointing away) as this will increase the amount of power you can exert during these exercises. Also, as with the planche series, it is very important to keep the elbows straight as bending the elbow will lesson the intensity and possible gains of these exercises.

Tuck Front Lever
Using any kind of comfortable support (chin-up bar, tree branch, rings etc.), hang using an overhand grip (i.e.. with fingers pointing away from you). Bring your knees to your chest and then strive to lift your hips in front of you while at the same time leaning back with your shoulders. At this time it is fine to allow your back to curve as you learn and build strength in the movement. Your goal is to eventually be able to pull your hips up to horizontal or level with your shoulders with an approximately 45 degree angle between the arms and torso. This is however, a very difficult position for beginners and you will probably need to build up to it gradually. At first, simply lift your hips as high as you can and begin timing your sets. As before, combine your sets until reaching a total time of 60 seconds. Upon reaching a 60-second hold in a single set, it is time to once again move on to the next progression.

Advanced Tuck Front Lever
Once the tuck front lever feels firmly in control, it is time to move on to the advanced tuck front lever. As with the advanced tuck planche, the main difference here is the ?flat? back. This position will cause all of the muscle fibers in your back to fire as they struggle to handle the load of your bodyweight. The contraction will be intense. Your goal is to eventually be able to pull your hips up to horizontal or level with your shoulders with an approximately 45 degree angle between the arms and torso while maintaining your ?flattened? back. To achieve this position, think of pulling your shoulders back away from your hands while at the same time pressing your hands down towards your hips. Be sure to remember to keep hips shoulder high and elbows tight and straight.

Continue combing sets to your usual 60 second total and striving for that 60 second single set static hold.

Straddle Front Lever
From the advanced tuck front lever position, begin to carefully and slowly extend your legs out from your chest. As with the planche, the wider your legs are spread, the easier the transition from the advanced tuck front lever to the straddle front lever will be. Strive to maintain your ?flat? back position. If you are unable to do so, you are too far extended forward and need to pull your legs back a bit. Don?t forget to keep the shoulders pulling back and the hands pressing down.

While working on the straddle front lever, it is also fine to begin learning the tuck front lever pullup.

Tuck Front Lever Pullups
From the advanced tuck front lever you may now attempt to pull yourself up. Basically this is a horizontal pullup. It is incredibly difficult to hold the hip level with the shoulders during the pull. As you pull up, your hips will want to drop down and as you lower, your hips will want to stay elevated. These changes occur as your body struggles to find an easier way to complete the movement. Maintaining the horizontal position here is the key for exceptional back development.

Straddle Front Lever Pullups
Straddle front lever pull-ups are essentially a full body weight row and will make you incredibly sore from head to toe. Do not attempt this movement until you are proficient at both the straddle front lever and the tuck front lever pull-ups. Doing so anyway will not injure you, you simply will not be strong enough to complete the exercise correctly. This movement is an especially good overall conditioner for the back, as this one exercise alone will work the back completely from the traps to the lats to the mid back down to and including the lower back. Biceps, forearms and shoulders are obviously also heavily worked. Core strength is once again extremely taxed as the entire mid section struggles to maintain the stretched (body) position.

From the straddle front lever position, begin to pull your upper stomach to your hands. Be careful to keep the hips level with the shoulders as you rise, as it is very easy to simply let the hips and legs drag and turn this movement into a simple pull-up. Pause at the top and extend back down to the straddle front lever.

Yours in Fitness,
Coach Sommer"


Use a barbell with the pins set low in a power rack.

Slide a bench over to put your feet up on.

Now, lie supine with your head in a straight-line under the bar. With a completely stiff body, do "reverse push ups" by pulling your chest up to the bar (however, visualize and "feel" yourself pulling the bar to your sternum).


in all honesty, I wouldn't mind seeing Coach Sommer do a series about various bodyweight only exercises.

YOU are a BAMF