Bent Over Barbell Row Vs Barbell Rear Delt Row: Which Workout Is Better For Maximum Gains?

Bent Over Row Vs Rear Delt Row

Bent Over Barbell Row Vs Barbell Rear Delt Row

Majority of the fitness trainers and beginners find it normal to be concerned about the benefits of certain workouts and the regions in which they build. It is completely understandable, and in fact, that is one of the motives behind writing this post.

Because different exercises target different parts of the body and different muscle groups, beginners or those who train at home sometimes have trouble understanding what each exercise entails, how it should be done, and what advantages it will provide.

Just before we go further, this article is intent on explaining the difference between bent over barbell row and the barbell rear delt row. So, let us not waste any more time and go over it now.

The Bent Over Barbell Row

Bent Over Row Vs Rear Delt Row

The bent-over row, often known as a barbell row, is a kind of resistance training that engages a number of different back muscles. The specific muscles targeted is dependent on the form of the exercise carried out. The bent over row is a popular exercise in both powerlifting and bodybuilding.


  • During this exercise, raising the elbows wide apart strengthens the upper back, traps (trapezius), and rear deltoids. Bent-over rows improve upper and lower back stamina by loading the hip-hinge position, which is essential for excellent posture when standing.
  • The erector spinae, lats, and upper back get strength and bulk boost with the bent-over row. Since more weight may be lifted than with other types of rowing, this activity is excellent for increasing strength and muscle mass. Your grip will improve as a result of the use of your forearms and biceps.
  • It provides instruction on abdominal bracing and helps to keep the spine in its natural posture. Good spinal control, which may be strengthened with exercises like the bent-over row, can help you avoid rounding your upper and lower back.

What Muscles Does the Bent-Over Row Work?

Your “pull” muscles can be built significantly from exercises such as bent-over rows. This includes;

  • All the muscles in your back
  • Your biceps
  • Your upper arms
  • Your grip
  • All of the stabilizer muscles that lie in between those muscles and are responsible for their coordinated movement

The Barbell Rear Delt Row

Bent Over Row Vs Rear Delt Row

The barbell rear delt row is an exercise that is intended to target the muscles of the back with primary focus on the rear delt shoulder as well as the muscles in the upper region of the back.

As a component of an exercise for the back or upper body, It is often done with lighter weight than those used for the standard barbell bent-over row, although it is typically done with a higher number of repetitions per set, such as eight to fifteen repetitions per set.


  • When you perform a barbell rear delt row, the continuous positioning of your elbows should be wide apart. This will target your rear deltoids, traps, and upper back.
  • There are a few different ways to perform the Barbell rear delt rows, including using a Smith machine, the popular T-bar row, or even a pulley which has a wide-grip attachment. The manner in which you grip the bar, the type of resistance you employ (barbell, dumbbell, or machine), and the degree to which you use your legs to assist the movement are the primary factors that differentiate these various types of rows from one another.
  • The barbell rear delt row promotes good abdominal bracing and preserves alignment of the spine, which are both very essential benefits of doing this exercise.

What Muscles does the Barbell Rear Delt Row Work?

An exercise that places an emphasis on your rear deltoids is the barbell rear delt row. Make sure to utilize a small weight and concentrate on making the muscle contact with your back delts in order to prevent yourself from using improper form or swinging the weight up.

Below are the Muscles worked in the Barbell Rear Delt Row.

There are predominantly two muscles which are considered to be the the primary muscles worked on by the Barbell Rear Delt Row  and they are;

  • The Rear deltoid muscle.
  • The trapezius.

The secondary muscles worked by this exercise includes:

  • The four rotator cuff muscles
  • The Biceps
  • The flexor muscles of the forearm

Barbell Rear Delt Row vs Bent over Barbell Row – Differences?

The truth is, although the two exercises look similar, in terms of how they are performed, a very close observation of the two exercises would pinpoint subtle differences in their mechanics. Upon close examination, here is what I have come to realize between the two;

  • When performing a barbell rear delt row, the bar reaches the upper chest and the elbows are positioned to be very wide apart from each other. On the other hand, the bar hits the lower chest or abdomen when performing a bent over row because the arms are closer together.
  • While performing the barbell rear delt row, the delts’ involvement is maximized, while the lats’ are minimized. To target the back deltoids, the torso must be positioned at an angle greater than 45 degrees. Keep your torso roughly horizontally bent.”
  • The Rear Delt Row is an excellent example of shoulder transverse extension, and the posterior deltoids serve as the primary propulsion muscle in this movement. In this pose, the upper body is at a 90-degree angle to the lower body. The arms should be kept away from the torso but at a substantial angle below 90 degrees when performing a bent-over row.
  • The lift is a combination of transverse extension and extension, where the lats become more contracted as the arms approach the body.

Bent Over Row vs Barbell Rear Delt Row, Which is better?

To give an  answer to this question;  “which is preferable?” it all depends on the exercise’s goal. The bent-over row works the majority of the back muscles, so it’s the perfect exercise if you want to bulk up your back muscles.

If, on the other hand, you feel the need to work on your posterior deltoids in order to achieve a more rounded deltoid and better flexor muscles at the same time, then you should think about picking up the barbell rear delt row exercise.

The bent-over row is, in my opinion, superior to the barbell rear delt row. Truly, the bent-over barbell row is my go-to choice for building as much muscle and strength as possible, despite the fact that there are various variations of the bent-over row exercise.

It works all of the key muscles in your back, including your biceps, shoulders, and forearms, and as the weights get larger, it even engages your legs.

It is essential to keep in mind that for these exercises to have the most possible effect, they should be carried out in the most correct manner possible.