Barbell seal row

The barbell seal row is a weighted exercise targeting the muscles of the middle back, including the lats (latissimus dorsi) and rhomboids. It can be performed on a special elevated bench, on a bench placed on top of boxes or benches, or on a bench with a slight incline. The higher the bench, the greater the range of motion and stretch at the bottom of the movement. It is usually performed as an assistance movement for back strength and muscle growth, in rep ranges of 8-12 reps per set or higher.


  1. Takes the lower body out of the row, focusing purely on the back
  2. Enforces strict rowing form and eliminates momentum

Barbell seal row Images


Barbell seal row Instructions

Barbell seal row muscle diagram
  1. Place a cambered bar underneath an exercise bench.
  2. Lie face down on the exercise bench and grab the bar using a palms down (pronated grip) that is wider than shoulder width. This will be your starting position.
  3. As you exhale row the bar up as you keep the elbows close to your body to either your chest, in order to target the upper mid back, or to your stomach if targeting the lats is your goal.
  4. After a second hold at the top, lower back down to the starting position slowly as you inhale.

Variations: A regular barbell can be used, but a cambered barbell gives you a greater range of motion. You can also turn this into a rear delt movement by flaring the elbows out instead of keeping them close to your torso.