The chest supported row is a great alternative to a bent-over row for two main reasons.

  1. Because you’re supported by the bench, there is a lot less tension/stress placed on the lower back. If you find you’re still experiencing discomfort in the lower back, think about pushing your stomach into the pad, this will eliminate any arch and keep your lower back more stable. Or you can try bringing your feet off the floor and try it with your knees on the seated part.
  2. You can’t cheat with your momentum. You want to really focus on keeping your chest on the bench, this eliminates the legs and hips assisting with the exercise, meaning we’re getting more recruitment from the muscles we’re trying to work in the mid-back and lats.


How To Set Up:

  1. Set an incline bench at 45 degrees.
  2. Grab a pair of dumbbells, and approach the bench with your chest toward the angled pad, then lean onto it. Make sure your collarbone and face are above the pad. Plant your feet firmly on the floor, and let your arms hang straight down, palms facing each other. This is the starting position.
  3. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and drive your elbows back, bringing the dumbbells to just below your ribcage.
  4. Slowly reverse the move, and repeat for reps.


  • Keep your neck neutral and don’t look up or let your head hang down.
  • Do your best to keep your chest on the bench for all reps.
  • Pretend your hands are hooks and pull with elbows. This prevents the biceps from assisting too much.