Athlete Performs Rope Inverted Row

The rope inverted row is one of my favorite pulling drills to use with athletes for developing a stronger back and posterior chain. Besides pure aesthetics, strengthening the upper back is one of the best ways you can fight poor posture and avoid upper body injury while going for a big tackle, layup, batting session or whatever your sport demands.


The rope inverted row is a horizontal pull that’s great for targeting most muscles of the cervical and thoracic back including the rhomboids, erector spinae, serratus’, lattisimus dorsi, trapezius, deltoids, infraspinatus, teres major and minor, and scapulae amongst others.

As an athlete, it’s so important to have a strong back chain including those of the upper body.

The rope inverted row is also great for building grip strength through the forearms and upper arms since you’re using a rope which will typically be a bit harder to hold than a barbell or similar. Using new challenges like this will always help prepare you to play at the top of your game.

Check out this post on how to program upper body training for athletes.

How to Perform the Rope Inverted Row?

Set up a barbell to about chest height on a squat rack. You’ll then simply lay your rope down over top the barbell.

From here set up into position by lowering yourself to ground underneath the barbell, and grabbing either end of the rope with each hand so that you’re suspended in air. From here, plant both feet underneath the hips and and lift so that your spine and torso are flat like a board.

Retract the scapula down the back and then row, pulling the elbows behind you to bring the chest through.

Common Mistakes

I really want you to focus on isolating the scapula by keeping the core tight as you row each rep. A common mistake I’ll see with this drill is that guys will let the core go and start using their back or legs to get them to the top of the row, rather than the upper back as intended.


The rope inverted row is a great asset to any upper body strength training. I would typically program this as a super-set with an overhead press movement as opposition.

Try 3 rounds of 10 reps


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