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Very Weak on Inverted Rows


Hi, for some reason I'm very very weak on inverted rows. However, I'm very strong on chin ups. I can easily do 12 reps of chin ups (no cheating, all the way down, no using momentum or kipping) and can do reps of chin ups with 30+ lbs on me (I'm 170, 5' 9"). When I do inverted rows, I can't touch the bar to my chest or sternum, no matter how hard I try. I'm about two inches off. If I use momentum and pull hard I can sometimes touch it, but I can't otherwise. Why is this? What part of my back is so weak, and what exercises can I add to fix it?



why do inverted rows when you can do 12 perfect chin-ups?


I'm trying to do sternum chin ups, but I can't get my sternum to touch the bar. I'm only two inches away, so I tried to identify my weakpoints.


Your weak points are most likely everything. Eat more and get stronger.


Okay, lemme try a different explanation. I've been doing chin ups like mad. I'm getting stronger on them, much stronger than when I first started 6 months ago and couldnt' do one. However, if what's the point of being able to pump out chin ups if I have such a severe muscle imbalance in my back that that strength doesn't carry over to other back exercises such as inverted rows.


What's the point of getting stronger in chin ups when that strength isn't transferring to other back exercises such as an inverted rows. It seems that inverted rows are still as hard for me as when I started.


it could be your technique it
make sure you keep your hips high and lead with your chest!


Why do you assume you have a "sever muscle imbalance"??

You are not strong on inverted rows because you've never done them. Does this really need to be explained?


I've added them to my program and been doing them once a week for about four weeks and I still can't touch my chest to the bar. It didn't take me this long to do a perfect chin up.


Are you doing the rows palms up with a wide grip? I've never tried that, but it sounds like the last few inches could be very difficult with that grip. If I'm working rows on a pulley I either go wide grip palms down or use a neutral grip.

Another thing might be are you're shoulders pulled back and chest up and out when you finish?


Row is different then a chin. One is more vertical and the other is more horizontal. You just need to get better at that exercise. Wait a second.. when you say inverted row that is when you use a fixed bar like in a smith machine set so the pins are kind of in the middle and then you do almost a reverse pushup pulling yourself into the bar?


Where are your feet when you do them? Start on the floor, legs bent at right angle - when you get the reps, make them harder.


different exercise and if you want to get stronger in both movements, i would train accordingly, as i find my vertical pulling strength(down) hardly relevent too my horizontal (and even moreso "pulling up") strength


If that's your logic, then why does anyone do Bent over rows?

I do inverted rows all the time for a change of pace- feet on a chair, and grabbing a bar that's on one of the higher peg settings of my bench.

It's not just a middle back exercise- you need strong abs and lower back to keep yourself steady. If you don't have this, your body may dipping. Make sure you keep yourself rigid when you do it, and as someone else said, start with your legs on the floor.

Rotator cuff or shoulder problems may prevent you from touching the bar with your chest. Limited flexibility in your shoulders might also.


I think inverted rows are something you have to practice alot of regardless of your chinning strength.

When I first started doing inverted rows I couldnt get the last 2-3 inches from my chest either. even though my chinning strength was good at the time.

Things that helped me were doing the rows more frequently.

performing full range of motion with less reps. instead of banging out 8 crappy ones do 2-4 good ones.


Thanks. I'll try legs bent to get the form better. I think the problem is the horizontal movement uses much more scapula retraction, which is never worked in a chin up. I probably have weak ass rhomboids.


That is a surprisingly tough exercise. I've done them a few times and was suprised at how weak i was in it, despite being pretty strong with regular Bent over rows.

Practice the movement for 1-3 sets every time you start your training session. This will add enough frequency without too much volume to bring the strength up on that body part.